Three weeks ago, we reported that the marina at Pier 36 had been shut down after a routine inspection detected some stability issues. The situation is now causing Pier 36/Basketball City to cancel large-scale events.
The organizers of the New York Bike Expo announced yesterday that they had been forced to move the huge May 4-5 event to Pier 12 in Brooklyn. “Due to unexpected maintenance at Pier 36,” a press release read, “we were unable to obtain a permit to hold the event at Basketball City, where (it)… has taken place for six years.” Every year, the Bike Expo attracts 60,000 visitors.
When we stopped by the pier the other day, a gate leading to the marina remained padlocked. Several notices posted on the fence from tour boat operators indicated that they’d moved to other piers.
Basketball City runs a 70,000 square foot events center at Pier 36, while BillyBey operates the marina. The entire facility is overseen by the city’s Economic Development Corp. (EDC). A city spokesperson previously indicated that the inspection had turned up damage to the piles supporting the pier apron. Today the spokesperson reiterated what we were told March 28, that there’s “a load restriction on Pier 36.”
We are still awaiting answers to other questions today. It’s unclear whether all Pier 36 events have been canceled, or only events using the outer walkway alongside the East River. The Nike GO NYC 5K is supposed to end up with a big private party at Pier 36 this coming Sunday. It remains to be seen whether it will end up moving to another facility.
Crews working on the long-delayed park at Pier 35 have typically used the outer deck of Pier 36 to move trucks and heavy equipment into place. They’re now accessing the pier directly from South Street. The pier stability issue could potentially lead to even more delays.
The upside? Locals regularly complain about the tour boat activity and the large crowds descending on Basketball City for events. At the moment, they have a reprieve. On the other hand, Lower East Siders know what can happen when there are East River pier stability problems. Remember the 10-year closure of portions of East River Park?