Bike Expo Moved to Brooklyn After Inspection Shows Pier 36 Stability Issues


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?



Satmar Dinner Returns to Pier 36; Local Residents Protest Street Closure Permit

Pier 36, December 2016.

Pier 36, December 2016.

During the past couple of days, we have heard from local residents who are outraged about a huge event returning to Pier 36/Basketball City this coming weekend. It’s the Satmar Hassidic sect’s annual dinner for 10,000 people. At about this time last year, the group descended on Pier 36 (at Montgomery Street). Residents complained about gridlock on South Street and and on other streets, about people parking on sidewalks and blocking fire hydrants.

On Wednesday, the 7th Precinct’s Community Affairs Office sent an advisory to people in the general area of Basketball City.  This year’s dinner will take place tomorrow (Saturday) evening. According to the 7th Precinct, the organizers of the Talmudical Academy event obtained permits to close streets and to allow parking on Gouverneur and Water streets.


Residents of Gouverneur Gardens and the Vladeck Houses are fuming about the disruption. Here’s a flyer posted on the Vladeck tenant association Facebook page:


Following last year’s event, Basketball City’s mangers and representatives of the NYC Economic Development Corp. (which operates the pier) went before Community Board 3 to discuss ongoing crowd control problems at the facility. In June, the firm producing a large NBA awards show at Pier 36 went to CB3’s parks committee with a crowd management plan. But the Satmar organization did not do that. Community Board 3 only hear about the dinner this week.


Next Week’s NBA Show, Drake Performance Lead to Lockdown at Pier 36

December 2016 event at Basketball City.

December 2016 event at Basketball City.

Mark your calendar. Monday, June 26 (one week from today) will be an excellent day to stay far away from South Street. At a recent meeting of Community Board 3’s parks committee, organizers of the first-ever NBA Awards Show detailed their plans for the star-studded event at Basketball City/Pier 36. Bottom line: NYPD’s anti-terror squad will have this area of the Lower East Side on lockdown.

Not only will most of the NBA’s top stars be in attendance, but there are performances scheduled from Drake and Nicki Menaj. The show will be broadcast live on TNT.

Josh Shull from Dick Clark Productions, which is orchestrating the show, appeared at last Thursday evening’s committee meeting. He was joined by Basketball City owner Bruce Radler and representatives of the NYC Economic Development Corp., which oversees operations at the East Side pier. They tried to appease frustrated community residents, who have watched in dismay in recent years as Basketball City has transformed into a large-scale events destination.

Basketball City/Pier 36, Dec. 21.  A gathering of the Satmar Hasidic organization  caused major parking and traffic problems.

Basketball City/Pier 36, Dec. 21. A gathering of the Satmar Hasidic organization caused major parking and traffic problems.

The organizers say that the NYPD, concerned about recent global acts of terrorism, has insisted on a “safety perimeter” around Pier 36. They will be closing the area Between Montgomery Street to Rutgers Street along the East River, subjecting all vehicles to searches.  Montgomery Street below Cherry Street will also be restricted. Streets will be shut down from 5 p.m.-midnight. There will be a check point, complete with bomb sniffing dogs, at Pike Street. Pedestrians won’t be allowed to walk on South Street, not even on the north side of the block. Red carpet arrivals will take place from 6-8 p.m., with the show beginning at 9. Up to one-thousand guests are expected.

Susan Stetzer, Community Board 3’s district manager, acknowledged that Basketball City gives back to the community (Radler offers scholarships and sponsors basketball camps and makes donations to local non-profits). She added, however, that CB3 — in endorsing Basketball City’s lease at Pier 36 years ago — “never supported it to become an events center.”

One woman in the audience noted that cars have been ticketed and towed following previous events at Basketball City. “Are you going to take care of our tickets?” she asked of the Dick Clark Productions rep.

Marc Richardson, a local tenant leader, saId, “We don’t want any more street closures! You should be confining your events to your own property.” He also alluded to longstanding gripes about Basketball City’s takeover of Pier 36, even though the area had been designated as a community facility (the basketball center is not open to the general public). “You should be finding a way to bring back more to this community,” said Richardson.

In the end, event organizers promised to post signs in the neighborhood giving residents ample warning about next Monday’s event.

Photo courtesy of two Bridges Tower.

Photo courtesy of two Bridges Tower.

Residents Lodge Parking, Traffic Complaints After Huge Event at Pier 36

pier 36 3

It was a chaotic scene last night at Pier 36/Basketball City, where the Satmar Hasidic sect was hosting a huge dinner. There was gridlock on the streets surrounding the large events space as  the drivers of school buses, tour buses and private cars looked for parking spaces.

We’ve been hearing from residents in the area, who were not at all pleased when “no parking” signs went up in public spaces around Basketball City a couple of days ago. An email to community leaders from the 7th Precinct indicated that 10,000 people were expected and that the “city (administration) granted (the organizers) permission to put ‘no parking’ signs up on multiple streets in the area… There will be a huge police presence at the location.” The event was expected to go until 1:30 a.m.

Nancy Ortiz, tenant leader t the Vladeck Houses, has been asking questions about the event all this week. We drove around the area with her last night. Her observations to us in a text message this morning: “Building ramp entrances on Water Street were blocked, hydrants were blocked on Water and Gouverneur streets, exhaust from idling buses was wafting into apartments, car alarms were going off from 10 p.m.” Ortiz said, “It was just a mess. This is mayoral patronage, affecting the quality of life for residents and community.”

According to the “News in Satmar” twitter feed, U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer was among the guests.


— News In Satmar (@NewsInSatmar) December 21, 2016

pier 36 2

Local residents have been sending us photos. Via Facebook, Y Ay Sin, noted: “It’s a shame what’s going on at Basketball City tonight. They took up all the public parking and blocked all the sidewalks for a religious event! Montgomery Street, Water Street and Gouverneur Slip, plus no sidewalk space for anyone to walk.”

pier 36 facebook

William Coloma sent along photos that showed cars parked on sidewalks and blocking fire hydrants. He complained to 311 last night but received a reply stating, “The police department responded to the complaint and with the information available observed no evidence of the violation at that time.”




UPDATE 8:50 a.m. Coloma points to the following item that popped up around midnight on the @NyCityAlerts twitter feed.  An officer was struck by a vehicle.  

UPDATE 4:52 p.m. According to the 7th Precinct, the driver who struck the officer was not an attendee of the Pier 36 event. He’s going to be all right. The officer, from 83rd Precinct detectives squad, hurt his hand and leg. 


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Pier 36 Docking Plan Gets Chilly Reception From CB3

Pier 36, which includes the Basketball City complex, is getting into the boating business.   Not everyone is overjoyed.

Photos: NADA at Basketball City

This past weekend, collectors flocked to Basketball City on Pier 36 where NADA, the New Art Dealers Association, held its second New York City fair.  The New York Times called it NADA’s “best home yet.”  Tim Schreier checked out many of the 70 galleries, a lot of them LES-based, and offers the slide show you see here.


Repairs Begin at Basketball City; Armin Van Buuren New Year’s Eve Show Still On

Workers began replacing the floors at Basketball City this week.

Last week we noted that Basketball City on Pier 36 sustained a lot of damage during Hurricane Sandy.  The wood floors covering seven courts inside the recreational facility, which just opened this past summer, were completely ruined.  This week we stopped by to check out the progress of repairs and to talk with Basketball City owner Bruce Radler.

The good news, he said, is that the building is in good shape structurally.  The new floors are being shipped in batches during the next few weeks.  It will probably be mid-January before the job is complete.  A couple of transformers were also lost in the storm, and Verizon has still not been able to restore regular phone service.

Basketball City Floors Ruined By Hurricane Sandy

Basketball City; June 2012.

It’s been a tough month for Bruce Radler, the owner of Basketball City, the brand new recreational facility on Pier 36.  Hurricane Sandy completely destroyed the wood floors that were installed over the summer on seven courts.  Last night, Radler told a committee of Community Board 3 that new floors had been ordered. Installation will begin next week and will hopefully be completed shortly after the New Year.  The good news, he said, is that the building (located at the end of Montgomery Street) did not suffer any structural damage. This photo was taken during the summer when Basketball City had its official opening after years of delays.  We’ll be getting a first hand look at the damage next week and will have more details about the repair project.


Basketball City Officially Opens on Pier 36

Friday's "official opening" of Basketball City on Pier 36.

As we reported on Friday, more than 100 kids from local schools and elected officials came to Pier 36 to celebrate the long-awaited official opening of Basketball City.  The 70,000 square foot facility, located at the end of Montgomery Street, features seven courts, locker rooms, a restaurant and a promenade with access to the East River.

The facility hosts corporate basketball and volleyball leagues, as well as children from neighborhood schools.  It’s also a large-events venue. A few weeks ago, Basketball City was the site for a huge bike expo attended by 45,000 people.  As part of his agreement with Community Board 3, Bruce Radler (the organization’s owner) plans to hold youth sports clinics, beginning in the fall.

Kids, Politicos Celebrate Basketball City Opening

Sheldon Silver, Bruce Radler and neighborhood kids help inaugurate Basketball City today.

Earlier today, we visited Basketball City, on Pier 36, where local elected officials and school children helped open the 70,000 square foot recreational facility. Following a news conference, the kids hit the courts, along with Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and the facility’s owner, Bruce Radler. We’ll have a full report on Monday.


Basketball City Officially Opens Tomorrow

Workers put the finishing touches on the courts at Basketball City. Photo via Facebook.

At long last, Basketball City on Pier 36 will officially open tomorrow.  The huge facility at the end of Montgomery Street consists of seven courts and an events space.  Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and Council member Margaret Chin will join Basketball City owner Bruce Radler and 100 school children for a ribbon cutting.  The large complex has hosted quite a few high profile events in the past several months, including a big bike expo early last month.

As a result of a lawsuit won by Silver years ago, the city was compelled to open a community recreation facility on the pier.  The $12 million project was supposed to open long ago, but multiple construction complications led to delays.  Basketball City hosts corporate leagues, offers youth basketball clinics and accommodates special events.

We’ll have more after tomorrow’s ribbon cutting.


Low-Cost Youth Clinics Offered at Basketball City

Basketball City's new facility at Pier 36.

The operators of Basketball City are shooting for a March opening date for their new facility on Pier 36, at the end of Montgomery Street.   The company, which hosts corporate recreational leagues, has run into a lot of construction delays and other complications. But as the debut of the $12 million complex draws near, plans are underway for a series of youth basketball clinics.

As part of his commitment to Community Board 3, Basketball City owner Bruce Radler agreed to offer the low-cost clinics for kids in the neighborhood.  Each clinic will last six weeks and will cost a total of $25. The sessions will be held on Sundays.  If you have a child between the ages of 7 and 16, they’re eligible. To sign up, email CB3 member Thomas Parker at

Remember to include the name of your child, his/her age, your name and contact info.  Kids who live in Community District 3 (Lower East Side, East Village, most of Chinatown) are being given top priority.


Deadmau5 Concert Slated For Pier 36 New Year’s Eve

Previous Deadmau5 concert, via

The crowd might not be quite as massive as the one pictured here (photo location unknown) — but the Deadmau5 concert New Year’s Eve at Pier 36 is shaping up to be a pretty big happening.  Deadmau5 (Joel Zimmerman) is a Canadian dance/house/electro artist who’s been packing in huge crowds at concert venues around the world.

Pier 36 is the future home of Basketball City, the privately-run recreation center still under construction at Pier 36, located at the end of Montgomery Street.  Here’s what Joonbug, an event co-sponsor, has to say about the venue:

Ever wanted to play, dance, and rage on 13 million dollars? Thanks to the newly renovated entertainment complex at Pier 36 you can. The immense 65,000 square-foot facility has already proven itself to be the entertainment center par excellence for New Yorkers and tourists alike. It is Manhattan’s newest playground that caters to any type of function and its producer. It boasts a sleek, modern canvas that is transformational responding to the creativity and artistry of each and any event. Whether it is showcasing fashion, music, dance or entertainment, all galas and affairs are executed with a mind-blowing platform. When not hosting high voltage events, the space will manifest its courts located on a single floor accommodating basketball, volleyball, badminton, dodgeball and indoor soccer. Whether it be to party, play or perform, Pier 36 is blazing a trail that will long be known as a New York City landmark for all.

Last week, Community Board 3 member Valentina Jones told other board members she is concerned about noise and crowd control at the pier on New Year’s Eve.  Jones, who also sits on the board of Gouverneur Gardens (the apartment complex across from Pier 36), said she planned to discuss her concerns with Basketball City. It’s possible the matter will come up on December 8th, when CB3’s Parks Committee is scheduled to discuss several Basketball City-related items.


CB3 Panel Approves Liquor Licenses for Bowery Steakhouse, Basketball City

199 Bowery. Photo credit: New York Magazine.

What’s to be done with a venue boasting a maximum occupancy of 900? Well, in the case of 199 Bowery, the Lower East Side has already been graced with mega-clubs Blvd, Crash Mansion and Soiree. Tonight, at the tail end of Community Board 3’s blessedly brief SLA Committee hearing, we learned this cursed spot is about to become home to an enormous steakhouse from the father/son team behind Quality Meats and Smith & Wollensky.

Alan (father) and Michael (son)  Stillman won approval for their concept, a “slightly more affordable” version of the original Quality Meats on 58th Street. The offshoot will include around 300 seats on the main level, plus a 50 foot bar — along with a downstairs club with an “occasional DJ and live music.” There will also be a bakery and ice cream bar up front.

Basketball City Financing Deal Announced; Summer 2011 Opening Envisioned

Pier 36

This just popped up on the wire: The NYC Economic Development Corp. announces a financing deal for Basketball City, the privately owned facility being developed on Pier 36, at the end of Montgomery Street. Unsurprisingly, there’s no mention of a protracted dispute with several neighborhood organizations, who have pressed Basketball City to make a wide range of concessions to low income residents.  Here’s the full news release:

New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and United Fund Advisors, LLC (UFA) today announced the closing of New Markets Tax Credits (NMTC) financing for Basketball City USA. The nearly $13 million project includes the conversion of City-owned warehouse space on Pier 36 in Lower Manhattan into a first-class recreational sports and special events facility with publicly-accessible open space. The project is estimated to create 50 full-time jobs which will be targeted to low-income residents of the area.