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.
It was a sad sight the Tuesday after Sandy when Radler got his first look at the damage. The floors had completely buckled, but it looked as though the water receded almost immediately. In the weeks since the storm, he’s been working non-stop to get replacement supplies, hire contractors and reschedule events.
Basketball City is used by corporate and other organized leagues, as well as by about a dozen neighborhood schools for physical education classes. The facility was more than a dozen years in the making; there were numerous delays caused by construction problems. Radler does not know exactly how much the repairs will cost or whether his insurance will cover the damage. But he said the company did not have the luxury of waiting around to find out. “I can’t look back… we’ve got to look forward,” he explained.
One event, a New Year’s Eve party featuring DJ Armin van Buuren, will go forward. At a community board meeting last week, Radler briefed members of the parks committee regarding concerns about noise emanating from large-scale events at Basketball City. Residents who live in nearby buildings (Gouverneur Gardens and the Grand Street Co-ops) said the sounds wafting from the “All Tomorrow’s Parties” music festival in September were a little out of hand. Radler said the problem arose because the festival organizers staged some performances outside under the FDR. He said outdoor programming along South Street won’t be allowed in the future.