Local residents and city officials bundled up yesterday morning to celebrate the partial opening of Pier 35, a new recreational space on the East River near Rutgers Slip.
As the Economic Development Corp., which was in charge of construction, noted in its press release:
Pier 35 includes pedestrian pathways along the East River waterfront to adjacent Pier 36, a series of landscaped lawns, seating areas offering views of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, and a 35-foot-high screen wall that will be overlaid with vines. In addition, the City received a grant from the NYS Department of State to create “Mussel Beach,” a 65-foot long artificial habitat intended to attract colonies of blue and ribbed mussels along the East River shoreline. The habitat feature was designed to promote river ecology, with sloping concrete surfaces, textures, and gardens in the tidal zone. The final phase of the park will include a new canopy and is expected to fully open in Spring 2019.
EDC Executive Vice President Seth Myers said, “Residents in this community have voiced their desire for more access along the East River Waterfront, and we’re thrilled that this park will become integral to the area’s recreational fabric.” Trever Holland, co-founder of Friends of Pier 35, added, “We are extremely excited about today’s opening of a new and beautiful open space in our neighborhood… We look forward to working with NYEDC, NYC Parks, our local elected officials and everyone involved in delivering the full waterfront esplanade project.”
Pier 35 was supposed to have been completed years ago. There were many problems along the way, including difficulties replicating the screen wall (designed by SHoP Architects). The city was forced to bring in a new contractor, Hunter Roberts, after the original contractor, Trocom Construction, failed to complete the project.