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Thorny Waterfront Issues to be Discussed at Thursday CB3 Meeting

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Pier 35 under construction. Photo by Instagram user djprybyl.
Pier 35 under construction. Photo by Instagram user djprybyl.

When it coms to the East River waterfront, there are always two predictable themes: (1) The city’s timeline for completing the complex esplanade revitalization project will be repeatedly extended; (2) Locals will complain about the waterfront being taken over for tourism and commerce. Both of these themes will be on display when Community Board 3’s parks committee meets on Thursday evening.

Here’s a rundown on what you can expect:

–First the encouraging news. Officials with the Economic Development Corp. (EDC) will update progress on Pier 35, the eco park and recreational area near Rutgers Street. In the past couple of weeks, crews finally got to work on installing a screenwall meant to separate the new space from a sanitation facility on neighboring Pier 36. Contractors have had a terrible time trying to replicate the screenwall, causing multiple project delays. But now the project seems to be on track.

–City officials will also update community board members on the use of Pier 36 for docking tourist and other boats. The board has never been happy about the crowds that these boats bring. There are apparently several companies now using the dock behind Basketball City.  Back in 2013, the EDC signed a five year contract with a private company, Billy Bey, to manage seven sites, including Pier 36.

–Finally, there will be a discussion about the community impact of a huge event coming up at Basketball City, a June 26 NBA awards show. In the past, locals have complained about the loss of parking due to Basketball City events.

The parks committee meets Thursday at the BRC Senior Center, 30 Delancey St., 6:30 p.m.

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