City Plans to Use Pier 42 For Parking; “Urban Beach” Proposal on Indefinite Hold

Once upon a time, the city envisioned creating an “urban beach and boat launch,” something like the rendering posted above, on Pier 42. Last week, however, NYC’s Economic Development Corp., detailed plans that are considerably less ambitious. David Quart, EDC vice president, told CB3 the city intended to temporarily use the pier (at the end of Montgomery Street) for public parking and to park vehicles being used for movie shoots.

The lofty plans for Pier 42 are on hold, since the city doesn’t have the money to finance the project. Quart told community board members the revenues generated would be funneled into a pier maintenance fund. The EDC plans to use the pier for parking during the next three years. CB3 Waterfront Subcommittee Chair Lois Regan asked whether there was a plan to raise revenue for the beach/park area.

Quart responded, “we are always talking but there is no near-term money available.”   Most of the funds currently in the pipeline are being devoted to Pier 35 (an urban park now under construction). Quart said the Pier 35 project will hopefully be completed in less than two years.

CB3 members and residents attending the meeting complained about the city’s neglect of the East Side, while the waterfront on the West Side has been refurbished with ample open space and recreational facilities. But one resident, Jim Miller (who runs the local movie supply company, Angel Aerial) said he welcomed the decision.

In a separate discussion, the committee talked about proposed changes to an agreement made several years ago with Bruce Radler, the owner of Basketball City. The private company has signed a long-term lease for a section of Pier 36. During the past year, several neighborhood organizations have been demanding more concessions from Radler, including increased access to Basketball City facilities and employment opportunities.

But after Radler explained he couldn’t agree to more concessions, community leaders said they were willing to wait until the facility is open before making additional demands. Everyone agreed Radler had been  a “good neighbor” when Basketball City was operating on the West Side.

Radler said building the Pier 36 facility has taken a lot longer and cost far more than he anticipated. The most recent complication occurred after contractors learned the pier is on a flood plain, and the site must be raised. Radler indicated the latest revelation could cost $1 million.