Earlier today we noted that a former Microsoft executive is docking his 233 foot yacht at Pier 36. But the waterfront behind Basketball City at Montgomery Street is seeing some other activity, as well. In the past couple of weeks, Go New York Tours began operating a harbor cruise from the same pier.
Last year, the NYC Economic Development Corp. awarded a five-year contract to BillyBey Marina Services, the same company that operates the East River Ferry, for six locations, including Pier 36. The mission was to develop “transportation, maritime operations, recreation, educational, commercial, non-profit, historic, and cultural related opportunities” at the piers. The company is partnered with the New York Waterfront Alliance.
Yesterday BillyBey executive Donald Liloia told us the tour operator began service May 27. During the summer months, five daily trips are planned. According to Go New York Tours’ web site, the “Downtown Cruise” features views of the “Statue of Liberty and Liberty Island, South Street Seaport, Battery Park, Wall Street, Manhattan Bridge, the Brooklyn Bridge, Governor’s Island, Ellis Island, the historical Immigration Center, the World Trade Center (and the)World Financial Center.” It’s priced at $19 for adults and $14 for children.
The Waterfront Alliance is responsible for developing educational and historic programming at the piers. There was a contentious community meeting concerning the use of Pier 36 during the spring. People living on and near the waterfront fought a log battle to assure public access to Pier 36. A number of concerns were expressed about that issue during the meeting. Next week, we’ll have more about that part of the story.