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.
“The Roots” perform Saturday night at “All Tomorrow’s Parties. Photo by Bahram Foroughi.
We have more photos this afternoon from All Tomorrow’s Parties — “I’ll Be Your Mirror” taking place at Pier 36, at the end of Montgomery Street. Last night’s highlights included The Roots, the Afghan Whigs (frontman Greg Dulli co-curated the festival) and Swedish folk singer Jose Gonzales. Photographer Bahram Foroughi has been covering ATP for The Lo-Down. Have a look at Saturday night on the East River.
There are big happenings at Pier 36 on the East River this coming weekend. All Tomorrow’s Parties, the highly regarded indie music festival is coming to the Lower East Side Friday-Sunday. The festival, which began in Great Britain, is co-curated this year by Greg Dulli of the Afghan Whigs and features Frank Ocean, the Roots, Phillip Glass and many more artists. Recently, we posed some questions to festival founder Barry Hogan about the decision he and his wife/partner (Deborah Kee Higgins) made to move an American version of the event from Asbury Park to the LES.
Other confirmed artists: Hannibal Buress (joining the Friday comedy lineup) and a second performance from ex-Sonic Youth member Lee Ranaldo. The Afghan Whigs headline on Saturday night. There will also be performances from The Roots, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, José González, The Antlers, DJ Questlove, Charles Bradley, The Make-Up, Dirty Three, Mark Lanegan Band, Hot Snakes, Thee Oh Sees (to name a few).
The American edition of All Tomorrow’s Parties is moving from Asbury Park to Pier 36, at the end of Montgomery Street (otherwise known as Basketball City). Passes for the weekend cost $199. Some single-day tickets are available. More info on ATP’s web site.
Big news today in the music world — The Lower East Side is the new home of the American-version of “All Tomorrow’s Parties.” The highly regarded British music festival is moving from Asbury Park to Pier 36, the Basketball City facility at the end of Montgomery Street.
The festival takes place September 21-23. Afghan Whigs singer Greg Dulli is this year’s curator. Performers include: Philip Glass with Tyondai Braxton, the Roots, Lightning Bolt, the Make-Up, Godspeed You Black Emperor, the Dirty Three and the Antlers, Chavez.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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.
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.
State Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver released a press statement a short time ago calling on the city to dedicate revenues from Pier 36 to the “maintenance and upkeep of the East River Esplanade.” A private company, Basketball City, has leased a portion of the pier (located near Montgomery Street), but due to construction delays has not yet opened its new facility. The statement from Silver’s office said:
Once upon a time, the city envisioned creating an “urban beach and boat launch,” something like the rendering posted above, on Pier 42. Last week, however, NYC’s Economic Development Corp., detailed plans that are considerably less ambitious. David Quart, EDC vice president, told CB3 the city intended to temporarily use the pier (at the end of Montgomery Street) for public parking and to park vehicles being used for movie shoots.
A basketball tournament held on Henry Street yesterday wasn't just about the game. It was also meant to keep the pressure on Basketball City, a for-profit gym that has been awarded a long-term lease at Pier 36. Two groups, GOLES (Good Old Lower East Side) and Two Bridges Neighborhood Council, are negotiating with Basketball City for free and discounted access for the community to the facility.
The organizations fought the city's decision to award the lease to a corporation, citing a legal agreement requiring the pier to be set aside for a community recreation center. Now they're trying to make sure Basketball City is accessible to low and middle income residents in the neighborhood.
Yesterday's event (delayed one day due to the rain) was originally supposed to include a march to the pier. But Victor Papa (Two Bridges) and Damaris Reyes (GOLES) announced that, as negotiations continue, the march was being put on hold. But Reyes said they would reserve the option of "taking to the streets," if the talks stall. Basketball City has expressed an interest in working with the community. Reyes has said she's encouraged by their willingness to have discussions, but is looking for specific commitments. Here's a brief video from the tournament, held at the Henry M. Jackson Playground:
The fight over Pier 36 on the East River – raging since the Dinkins Administration – is heating up once again. This month, neighborhood organizations began new talks with Basketball City, the private company granted a 20 (plus) year lease for part of the pier. They want assurances that the community will have access to the facility, that membership fees will be discounted and that the company will hire local residents.
The organizations, including the Two Bridges Neighborhood Council and Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES), fought a long battle to keep Basketball City from occupying the waterfront. Citing a 1994 agreement requiring Pier 36 to be “permanently dedicated for use by the community as a community recreation facility,” they opposed the city’s decision to go ahead with a lease to the for-profit company (a bid was first submitted in 1996). But, with support from Community Board 3, the deal went through — although promises were made that Basketball City would provide certain free and discounted services to the community.
Now, as Basketball City makes plans to refurbish a section of the pier for an opening later this year, the groups are determined to make sure they get what was promised. Two Bridges recently sent a letter to supporters saying, “…the whole affair demonstrates an egregious indifference to the youth and families of our community.” It urges residents to contact elected officials and community board members and sign an online petition. The organizations are planning an “All-LES Basketball Tournament” on August 29th at the Henry M. Jackson Playground on Henry Street. A flier for the event says, “The City is taking the People’s Land… and turning it into a huge private gym.” It continues, “All we need is two hoops, some pavement and a ball.”
But even as the groups mobilize their supporters, they have already held one meeting with Basketball City owner Bruce Radler, and more negotiations are scheduled. Contacted by The Lo-Down, Radler said he was surprised by the letter, given the fact that talks are ongoing. He emphasized that part of Basketball City’s mission is to “give back to the community” and he’s committed to honoring the promises that were made. Radler acknowledged, however, that the details still needed to be worked out.