On Thursday, city officials descended on the Lower East Side to kick off the long-awaited construction of a new recreational area at Pier 42 near Montgomery Street.
The site will eventually include a new park with a playground, bathroom facilities, a designated bike path and access to the East River shoreline. A recreation deck will feature a soccer field, tennis courts, adult fitness equipment and picnic tables.
A parking lot and abandoned storage shed formerly sat on this large waterfront site just below East River Park. The community has been advocating for a new recreational space here for years. A local planning process began in 2012 after funding was allocated from the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. (LMDC). There have been numerous delays, in part due to planning for the East Side Coastal Resiliency Project.
— james patchett (@jbpatchett) March 4, 2021
During a press event, officials with the NYC Economic Development Corp. (NYC EDC) and the NYC Parks Department joined with City Council member Carlina Rivera, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Community Board 3 to celebrate the start of construction.
“In late 2019,” a press release noted, “NYCEDC and NYC Parks added activation of the pier deck to the project scope in order to provide additional recreation space for the Lower East Side community during the construction of the East Side Coastal Resiliency project. The design and construction of this portion has been fast-tracked and will open a year earlier than the upland park – in Summer 2022 – to mitigate park closures while critical resilience infrastructure is built.”
So the project will be completed in two phases. The first phase will theoretically be finished next summer, while the second phase, including construction of the new playground, won’t be ready until the summer of 2023.
The project is expected to cost $46 million.