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.


Pier 42 Park Construction Delayed Until 2017

Pier 42; interim park rendering by Mathews Nielsen.

Pier 42; interim park rendering by Mathews Nielsen.

As we reported earlier today, the federal government is awarding New York City $176 million to create a flood barrier and new recreational amenities from Montgomery Street to Battery Park. This afternoon, we have some news about another waterfront project — a Pier 42 park.

Until recently, plans were underway to begin the first phase of construction this coming spring. Four years ago, the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. (LMDC) allocated $16 million to begin transforming the site just to the north of Montgomery Street.

A spokesperson for the NYC Parks Department tells The Lo-Down that “design and planning issues,” especially the environmental review of the site, have delayed the project. The city’s new estimated start date is January of 2017.

The first phase of construction involves creating an interim park. The plan is to tear down most of a large storage shed, remove asphalt, plant grass and trees and establish a 7-foot-high knoll. The overall project, expected to cost at least $94 million, remains unfunded. Last year, the LMDC suggested it would allocate another $7 million to Pier 42, but the board has not yet voted on the proposal.

Paths to Pier 42 spring celebration, 2015.

Paths to Pier 42 spring celebration, 2015.

This past summer, several local non-profit organizations wrapped up a three-year initiative called Paths to Pier 42 in anticipation of the start of construction. Paths to Pier 42 was initiated by the Hester Street Collaborative, GOLES, Two Bridges Neighborhood Council and CAAAV.  They transformed a section of the pier into a recreational space and sponsored all sorts of arts projects, performances and community events there. The idea was to reclaim the derelict public space for the neighborhood and to keep attention focused on the park planning process.

But given the new delay, the Parks Department is asking the groups to brings Paths to Pier 42 back to life for another season. A few weeks ago, we met with Dylan House and Anna Pelavan of Hester Street Collaborative to talk about the road ahead for Pier 42.

The programming they helped develop was designed to give voice to the people who live along the waterfront, a predominantly low-income community. During a three-year period, the partners utilized about $500,000 in funding to support 15 artist/design teams and to run Paths to Pier 42’s engagement programs. They’re now looking at how the space can be activated once again this spring and summer. While it will be tricky in the absence of any additional funding, they’re optimistic about finding creative ways to keep the pier lively throughout the spring and summer months.

The LMDC funding was secured with the help of U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer and State Sen Daniel Squadron. At various times during the last several years, they have urged the city to move forward with a fully funded Pier 42 project as quickly as possible.

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

Celebrate Summer at Pier 42 Tomorrow

Photos: Spring Celebration at Pier 42

Good Morning!

pier 42 trees

Monday, May 11, 2015 | Here’s a shot from Pier 42 this past weekend. More photos coming up later from the “Paths to Pier 42″ spring celebration | Weather: A mix of clouds and sun today with a high near 80 | Send us your photos and tips | On This Date: Irving Berlin was born in 1888, and as the Times notes, moved to the Lower East Side when he was 5 | Subscribe to our daily email.

Community Members Blast Plans For Pier 42 Park

Pier 42 Park Plans To Be Unveiled October 21

East River Park Celebration Coming Up Saturday

Revamping the East River Waterfront: A Multi-Faceted Plan

LES Kite Festival Tomorrow at Pier 42

If you haven’t gotten a chance to check out the temporary park at Pier 42, this weekend provides a good opportunity.  The Lower East Side Kite Festival will be held in the community space tomorrow.

GOLES Summerfest at Pier 42 This Afternoon

This afternoon at Pier 42, at the temporary park near Montgomery Street, Good Old Lower East Side presents Summerfest 2013.

“City That Drinks the Mountain Sky” Comes to Pier 42 Thursday

On Thursday, Pier 42 will be the setting for a theatrical performance, City That Drinks The Mountain Sky, an allegory that traces the epic story of New York City’s water supply.

“Paths to Pier 42″ Project Rehabilitates Waterfront With Art, Events

Giacinto Frisillo, a contributor at The Lo-Down, has been volunteering with the Hester Street Collaborative as part of their Paths to Pier 42 project on the East River waterfront between Montgomery and Cherry streets. She reports on the progress toward creating public art and events, and how to get involved.

Pier 42 Park Plans Unveiled

pier 42 park partial deck 2

One of two master plans for a new park at Pier 42.

Last night, members of Community Board 3 and local residents got their first look at master plan proposals for a large new park in the works at Pier 42.  Two options outlined by Signe Nielsen of Mathews Nielsen, an architectural firm hired by the city, would transform the eight acre parcel into a multi-use expanse featuring grassy lounging areas, recreational sports facilities, a mini-eco-park and kids’ play areas.

The city intends to build the new green space in phases.  The Lower Manhattan Development Corp. has provided $16 million in funding out of $60 million the entire project is expected to cost.  Last night, Nielsen emphasized that the dock and pilings on which a large abandoned shed sits is in “very poor condition” and will need to be completely rebuilt.  She described two proposals — one in which the entire deck is reconstructed — and another in which it’s only partially rebuilt.