Will Pier 35 Eco-Park Open in Your Lifetime? Inquiring Residents Want to Know

Pier 35, March 2015.

Pier 35, March 2015.

As we mentioned earlier, the parks committee of Community Board 3 will be briefed tonight on the long-promised Pier 35 project. The city’s Economic Development Corp. (EDC) is responsible for building a new recreational area, including an eco-park, on the pier, located near Rutgers Street. But the project has been plagued with delays for several years. We’ll see what city officials have to say tonight. In the meantime, let’s review what we’ve been told over the years about the Pier 35 timetable.

July 2012: The city estimated completion of the Pier 35 recreational area in early 2014.

June 2013: A spokesperson for the EDC told The Lo-Down that the completion date had been pushed back until the spring of 2014. The culprit was Hurricane Sandy and complications with portions of the East River Esplanade Project south of Pier 35.

July 2014: Another EDC spokesperson told us the agency now anticipated a spring of 2016 opening. The latest delays were attributed to complications in building a “screen-wall” designed to shield Pier 35 from a large shed on Pier 36, located just to the north of the proposed eco-park.

Residents in the area are mobilizing to protest the constant delays. TUFF-LES, a tenant coalition on the waterfront, has created an offshoot called “Friends of Pier 35.”  If you’re interested in more information or in joining up, here’s their email: Pier35NYC@gmail.com. They’ll be attending tonight’s community board meeting, which takes place at BRC Senior Center, 30 Delancey St., at 6:30 p.m.

Last spring, the city opened up a play and workout area just to the south of the pier 35 work site. It includes basketball courts, a bocce court, workout equipment and new seating and plantings. Tonight, residents will very likely be complaining about the damage done to the area in the past year by skateboarders who descend on the space daily.