Pier 36 Docking Plan Gets Chilly Reception From CB3

Pier 36, which includes the Basketball City complex, is getting into the boating business.   Not everyone is overjoyed.

Photos: NADA at Basketball City

This past weekend, collectors flocked to Basketball City on Pier 36 where NADA, the New Art Dealers Association, held its second New York City fair.  The New York Times called it NADA’s “best home yet.”  Tim Schreier checked out many of the 70 galleries, a lot of them LES-based, and offers the slide show you see here.


Repairs Begin at Basketball City; Armin Van Buuren New Year’s Eve Show Still On

Workers began replacing the floors at Basketball City this week.

Last week we noted that Basketball City on Pier 36 sustained a lot of damage during Hurricane Sandy.  The wood floors covering seven courts inside the recreational facility, which just opened this past summer, were completely ruined.  This week we stopped by to check out the progress of repairs and to talk with Basketball City owner Bruce Radler.

The good news, he said, is that the building is in good shape structurally.  The new floors are being shipped in batches during the next few weeks.  It will probably be mid-January before the job is complete.  A couple of transformers were also lost in the storm, and Verizon has still not been able to restore regular phone service.

Basketball City Floors Ruined By Hurricane Sandy

Basketball City; June 2012.

It’s been a tough month for Bruce Radler, the owner of Basketball City, the brand new recreational facility on Pier 36.  Hurricane Sandy completely destroyed the wood floors that were installed over the summer on seven courts.  Last night, Radler told a committee of Community Board 3 that new floors had been ordered. Installation will begin next week and will hopefully be completed shortly after the New Year.  The good news, he said, is that the building (located at the end of Montgomery Street) did not suffer any structural damage. This photo was taken during the summer when Basketball City had its official opening after years of delays.  We’ll be getting a first hand look at the damage next week and will have more details about the repair project.


Basketball City Officially Opens on Pier 36

Friday's "official opening" of Basketball City on Pier 36.

As we reported on Friday, more than 100 kids from local schools and elected officials came to Pier 36 to celebrate the long-awaited official opening of Basketball City.  The 70,000 square foot facility, located at the end of Montgomery Street, features seven courts, locker rooms, a restaurant and a promenade with access to the East River.

The facility hosts corporate basketball and volleyball leagues, as well as children from neighborhood schools.  It’s also a large-events venue. A few weeks ago, Basketball City was the site for a huge bike expo attended by 45,000 people.  As part of his agreement with Community Board 3, Bruce Radler (the organization’s owner) plans to hold youth sports clinics, beginning in the fall.

Kids, Politicos Celebrate Basketball City Opening

Sheldon Silver, Bruce Radler and neighborhood kids help inaugurate Basketball City today.

Earlier today, we visited Basketball City, on Pier 36, where local elected officials and school children helped open the 70,000 square foot recreational facility. Following a news conference, the kids hit the courts, along with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and the facility’s owner, Bruce Radler. We’ll have a full report on Monday.


Basketball City Officially Opens Tomorrow

Workers put the finishing touches on the courts at Basketball City. Photo via Facebook.

At long last, Basketball City on Pier 36 will officially open tomorrow.  The huge facility at the end of Montgomery Street consists of seven courts and an events space.  Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Council member Margaret Chin will join Basketball City owner Bruce Radler and 100 school children for a ribbon cutting.  The large complex has hosted quite a few high profile events in the past several months, including a big bike expo early last month.

As a result of a lawsuit won by Silver years ago, the city was compelled to open a community recreation facility on the pier.  The $12 million project was supposed to open long ago, but multiple construction complications led to delays.  Basketball City hosts corporate leagues, offers youth basketball clinics and accommodates special events.

We’ll have more after tomorrow’s ribbon cutting.


Low-Cost Youth Clinics Offered at Basketball City

Basketball City's new facility at Pier 36.

The operators of Basketball City are shooting for a March opening date for their new facility on Pier 36, at the end of Montgomery Street.   The company, which hosts corporate recreational leagues, has run into a lot of construction delays and other complications. But as the debut of the $12 million complex draws near, plans are underway for a series of youth basketball clinics.

As part of his commitment to Community Board 3, Basketball City owner Bruce Radler agreed to offer the low-cost clinics for kids in the neighborhood.  Each clinic will last six weeks and will cost a total of $25. The sessions will be held on Sundays.  If you have a child between the ages of 7 and 16, they’re eligible. To sign up, email CB3 member Thomas Parker at tomparker@rcn.com.

Remember to include the name of your child, his/her age, your name and contact info.  Kids who live in Community District 3 (Lower East Side, East Village, most of Chinatown) are being given top priority.


Deadmau5 Concert Slated For Pier 36 New Year’s Eve

Previous Deadmau5 concert, via concerttickets.com.

The crowd might not be quite as massive as the one pictured here (photo location unknown) — but the Deadmau5 concert New Year’s Eve at Pier 36 is shaping up to be a pretty big happening.  Deadmau5 (Joel Zimmerman) is a Canadian dance/house/electro artist who’s been packing in huge crowds at concert venues around the world.

Pier 36 is the future home of Basketball City, the privately-run recreation center still under construction at Pier 36, located at the end of Montgomery Street.  Here’s what Joonbug, an event co-sponsor, has to say about the venue:

Ever wanted to play, dance, and rage on 13 million dollars? Thanks to the newly renovated entertainment complex at Pier 36 you can. The immense 65,000 square-foot facility has already proven itself to be the entertainment center par excellence for New Yorkers and tourists alike. It is Manhattan’s newest playground that caters to any type of function and its producer. It boasts a sleek, modern canvas that is transformational responding to the creativity and artistry of each and any event. Whether it is showcasing fashion, music, dance or entertainment, all galas and affairs are executed with a mind-blowing platform. When not hosting high voltage events, the space will manifest its courts located on a single floor accommodating basketball, volleyball, badminton, dodgeball and indoor soccer. Whether it be to party, play or perform, Pier 36 is blazing a trail that will long be known as a New York City landmark for all.

Last week, Community Board 3 member Valentina Jones told other board members she is concerned about noise and crowd control at the pier on New Year’s Eve.  Jones, who also sits on the board of Gouverneur Gardens (the apartment complex across from Pier 36), said she planned to discuss her concerns with Basketball City. It’s possible the matter will come up on December 8th, when CB3’s Parks Committee is scheduled to discuss several Basketball City-related items.


CB3 Panel Approves Liquor Licenses for Bowery Steakhouse, Basketball City

199 Bowery. Photo credit: New York Magazine.

What’s to be done with a venue boasting a maximum occupancy of 900? Well, in the case of 199 Bowery, the Lower East Side has already been graced with mega-clubs Blvd, Crash Mansion and Soiree. Tonight, at the tail end of Community Board 3’s blessedly brief SLA Committee hearing, we learned this cursed spot is about to become home to an enormous steakhouse from the father/son team behind Quality Meats and Smith & Wollensky.

Alan (father) and Michael (son)  Stillman won approval for their concept, a “slightly more affordable” version of the original Quality Meats on 58th Street. The offshoot will include around 300 seats on the main level, plus a 50 foot bar — along with a downstairs club with an “occasional DJ and live music.” There will also be a bakery and ice cream bar up front.

Basketball City Financing Deal Announced; Summer 2011 Opening Envisioned

Pier 36

This just popped up on the wire: The NYC Economic Development Corp. announces a financing deal for Basketball City, the privately owned facility being developed on Pier 36, at the end of Montgomery Street. Unsurprisingly, there’s no mention of a protracted dispute with several neighborhood organizations, who have pressed Basketball City to make a wide range of concessions to low income residents.  Here’s the full news release:

New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and United Fund Advisors, LLC (UFA) today announced the closing of New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) financing for Basketball City USA. The nearly $13 million project includes the conversion of City-owned warehouse space on Pier 36 in Lower Manhattan into a first-class recreational sports and special events facility with publicly-accessible open space. The project is estimated to create 50 full-time jobs which will be targeted to low-income residents of the area.

Silver Wants Pier 36 Revenues Dedicated to East River Esplanade

State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver released a press statement a short time ago calling on the city to dedicate revenues from Pier 36 to the “maintenance and upkeep of the East River Esplanade.”   A private company, Basketball City, has leased a portion of the pier (located near Montgomery Street), but due to construction delays has not yet opened its new facility.  The statement from Silver’s office said:

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.

Community Groups Hold B’Ball Tournament to Protest Private Gym

A basketball tournament held on Henry Street yesterday wasn't just about the game. It was also meant to keep the pressure on Basketball City, a for-profit gym that has been awarded a long-term lease at Pier 36. Two groups, GOLES (Good Old Lower East Side) and Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, are negotiating with Basketball City for free and discounted access for the community to the facility.

The organizations fought the city's decision to award the lease to a corporation, citing a legal agreement requiring the pier to be set aside for a community recreation center. Now they're trying to make sure Basketball City is accessible to low and middle income residents in the neighborhood.

Yesterday's event (delayed one day due to the rain) was originally supposed to include a march to the pier. But Victor Papa (Two Bridges) and Damaris Reyes (GOLES) announced that, as negotiations continue, the march was being put on hold. But Reyes said they would reserve the option of "taking to the streets," if the talks stall. Basketball City has expressed an interest in working with the community. Reyes has said she's encouraged by their willingness to have discussions, but is looking for specific commitments. Here's a brief video from the tournament, held at the Henry M. Jackson Playground:

Community Resumes Battle for Access to Pier 36

Basketball City, now under construction, is housed in a portion of Pier 36, just to the south of Pier 42.

The fight over Pier 36 on the East River – raging since the Dinkins Administration – is heating up once again. This month, neighborhood organizations began new talks with Basketball City, the private company granted a 20 (plus) year lease for part of the pier. They want assurances that the community will have access to the facility, that membership fees will be discounted and that the company will hire local residents.

The organizations, including the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council and Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES), fought a long battle to keep Basketball City from occupying the waterfront. Citing a 1994 agreement requiring Pier 36 to be “permanently dedicated for use by the community as a community recreation facility,”  they opposed the city’s decision to go ahead with a lease to the for-profit company (a bid was first submitted in 1996). But, with support from Community Board 3, the deal went through — although promises were made that Basketball City would provide certain free and discounted services to the community.

Now, as Basketball City makes plans to refurbish a section of the pier for an opening later this year, the groups are determined to make sure they get what was promised. Two Bridges recently sent a letter to supporters saying, “…the whole affair demonstrates an egregious indifference to the youth and families of our community.” It urges residents to contact elected officials and community board members and sign an online petition. The organizations are planning an “All-LES Basketball Tournament” on August 29th at the Henry M. Jackson Playground on Henry Street. A flier for the event says, “The City is taking the People’s Land… and turning it into a huge private gym.” It continues, “All we need is two hoops, some pavement and a ball.”

But even as the groups mobilize their supporters, they have already held one meeting with Basketball City owner Bruce Radler, and more negotiations are scheduled. Contacted by The Lo-Down, Radler said he was surprised by the letter, given the fact that talks are ongoing. He emphasized that part of Basketball City’s mission is to “give back to the community” and he’s committed to honoring the promises that were made. Radler acknowledged, however, that the details still needed to be worked out.