LMDC Allocates Another $12 Million For Pier 42 Park

Pier 42; interim park rendering by Mathews Nielsen.

Pier 42; interim park rendering by Mathews Nielsen.

The Lower East Side got some good news this morning when the board of the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. (LMDC) voted to allocate another $12 million for a new park at Pier 42.

In 2012, the agency created to administer 9/11 recovery funds set aside $16 million for a large recreational area on the dilapidated pier.  Today it added $7 million from a settlement fund tied to the fatal 2007 fire at the Deutsche Bank building. The LMDC also shifted $5 million to Pier 42 from unspent funds originally allocated to other projects, including the pavilion in Columbus Park. All told, there’s now about $28 million for the first phase of the park, located just to the north of Montgomery Street.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer and State Sen. Daniel Squadron, who have long advocated for Pier 42 funding, released a joint statement this afternoon:

This gives all of New York 12 million more reasons to celebrate. We’ve worked together since 2010 to make a park at Pier 42 a reality. In 2012 we secured $16 million. And we have seen successful interim use the last three summers. This funding is a big step in our long push for a Harbor Park — a Central Park for the center of our city, and an emerald ribbon around Manhattan, which will be so important for the local community and the whole borough.

The grand plan for Pier 42 is expected to cost nearly $100 million. The current funding will pay for an interim park. According to LMDC documents, almost $6 million will be devoted to the demolition of a large shed that’s obstructing views of the East River. Initial plans called for planting grass and trees and building a 7-foot-high knoll. Additional funding will pay for a comfort station (bathrooms) and a playground. Construction was supposed to begin this spring, but design delays forced the city to push it back to January of 2017.

The lawsuit settlement created a $50 million fund for new projects. Other Lower East Side initiatives receiving allocations today include:

  • East River Esplanade – $10 million for construction of a new sidewalk, paving and curbs for a section of the esplanade from the Brooklyn Bridge to Catherine Slip.
  • Brooklyn Bridge Beach – $5 million for sidewalk paving and curb construction along the waterfront from Peck Slip to the Brooklyn Bridge. An LMDC handout stated, “the project will include the installation of new railings and site furnishings while creating limited beach access near the Brooklyn Bridge.” The city has already committed $7 million for the project.
  • University Settlement – $1,126,850 for facility improvements at the Houston Street Center and the agency’s headquarters at 184 Eldridge St.

While allocations were made today, the LMDC board will weigh in once again as plans for various projects progress and contracts are drawn up. David Emil, the organization’s president, reiterated in remarks before the board that the LMDC will be “winding down” during the next couple of years as the last funds from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development are spent.


LMDC Anticipates Allocating Another $17 Million For Pier 42 Park, East River Esplanade

LMDC is Not Dead Yet; Deutsche Bank Settlement Could Add $50 Million to Its Coffers

Report: Silver, de Blasio Oppose Demise of 9/11 Recovery Agency

Schumer and Squadron Announcing $14 Million Investment in Pier 42 Park

Senator Squadron and Company, announcing the allocation of $14 million towards re-vamping Pier 42.

We’re at Pier 42 where U.S. Senator Charles Schumer and State Senator Daniel Squadron are announcing the allocation of $14 million dollars in 9/11 recovery funds towards renovation of long-neglected Pier 42.

More to come.

Lower Manhattan Development Corp. Awards $17 Million in Grants

This morning, the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. awarded $17 million in community grants to a wide range of non-profit organizations. The 9/11 recovery funds will support groups throughout Lower Manhattan, but quite a few Lower East Side non-profits received LMDC money. We’ll have details later today on some of the specific grants. Click here for the complete list.

Squadron: Lower Manhattan Needs Pier 42 Park

This morning, members of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation board allocated $100 million for a performing arts center at the World Trade Center, $20 million for a bridge at West Thames Street in Battery Park City and $15 million for improvements at the Battery Maritime Building.

As the “ayes” rolled in and the dollars were doled out upon each vote, State Sen. Daniel Squadron sat quietly at the table, making a somewhat unprecedented personal appearance by an elected official that even Squadron characterized as a “high level of pushiness.”

He attended to champion a project that hasn’t been quite as lucky as those preceding him on the agenda: a park and recreation area at Pier 42 along the East River at Montgomery Street. The LMDC board was created eight years ago to direct the dispensation of more than $2 billion in federal funds meant to rejuvenate lower Manhattan in the wake of Sept. 11. The board is nearing the bottom of its bank account, and Squadron and other Lower East Side officials and neighborhood advocates are hoping to shake loose about $45 million for Pier 42 before the last check is written.

Thursday News Links

The push to oppose the city's plan to revamp Chatham Square is picking up momentum. Yesterday City Councilman Alan Gerson, NYC Comptroller Bill Thompson and community organizers rallied and delivered petitions to the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation. They're demanding the LMDC withhold funding due to community opposition to the plan.

In the New York Post, columnist Jacob Gershman speculates about Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's reasons for supporting mayoral control of NYC's schools. He theorizes that, since Governor Paterson is practically on political life support, Silver is, essentially, the state's de facto governor. And, he says, some people believe this has inspired him to "adopt less combative and more statesman-like style."

Also in the Post, an analysis shows that about $1.3 billion in federal stimulus money is already being spent in New York. Among the projects underway: $23 million to reconstruct a portion of East Houston Street.