As you might recall, Mayor Bloomberg has tasked his lame-duck administration with creating a vision for “Seaport City.” The leadership of local community boards received preliminary briefings on the project in the past several days. In September, city officials will appear at public meetings on the Lower East Side and elsewhere to begin outlining the strategy for post-Sandy New York.
At the end of last month, the NYC Economic Development Corp. invited design firms to bid on a consulting contract. Here’s a synopsis from the EDC’s web site:
NYCEDC is seeking a consultant or consultant team to study the feasibility of developing a multi-purpose levee (MPL) along the eastern edge of Lower Manhattan. The levee would first seek to address coastal flooding and enhance resiliency in Lower Manhattan and also create economic development opportunities in the area that could fund resiliency measures citywide. The study is intended to advance recent recommendations from the June 2013 report “A Stronger, More Resilient New York.” The study is envisioned as a comprehensive and detailed assessment that considers all the relevant aspects needed to establish the feasibility of developing the MPL, including technical, environmental, financial, and legal feasibility. The Consultant will holistically evaluate specific factors such as the technical configuration of the MPL, infrastructure requirements, costs, environmental issues, legal issues, and implementation strategies. The Consultant will identify and evaluate visionary options for developing the MPL and put forward a recommended option at the end of the study.
The project, if it comes to fruition, could potentially impact Community Boards 1, 2 and 3. CB3 is planning a meeting with EDC officials for September 9th. We’ll have more details once the community board agendas are published. The plan has already been criticized by some as environmentally unsound. There are bound to be concerns about more real estate development on the waterfront, as well as questions about the wisdom of creating new housing in a flood zone. So, no doubt, there will be plenty to discuss on the 9th.