Pier 57 Gets New Proposals for Development
In a response to a request for proposals issued by the Hudson River Park Trust in July of this year, three development teams have submitted proposals for the redevelopment of Pier 57, a city bus garage until 2003. The site is one of two sites that are available for private commercial development on Manhattan’s Westside waterfront south of 59th Street.
The HRPT is the not-for-profit entity that is responsible for the design, construction, maintenance and operation of the 550-acre waterfront park in which Pier 57 is located. Proposals were received from the Durst Organization and C&K Properties; Related Cos.; and from Young Woo & Associates.
Located on the Hudson River at 15th Street, Pier 57 contains approximately 300,000 sf of built space. Through the RFP, HRPT sought proposals from developers that are consistent with the Hudson River Park Act which allows this historic pier to be reused for revenue generating commercial facilities that enhance the park. HRPT is now reviewing the three proposals to determine their compliance with the criteria spelled out in the RFP, including: compatibility of proposed uses with the park; capacity of the development team to complete the project; the design of the project, including its respect for the historic structure; and the financial feasibility of the project.
An HRPT spokesman tells GlobeSt.com that he cannot disclose how long the proposals will be reviewed, nor could he disclose what the specific proposals entailed. A Related Cos. spokesperson tells GlobeSt.com that they can’t detail any specifics regarding the proposal at this time. The other two teams in the running were unable to be reached by press deadline.
Review and approval of the designated development will be coordinated by HRPT. Following preliminary approval by the Trust’s board of directors, the development will be reviewed through the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, which includes significant community input, according to a statement. HRPT will also work with a community working group throughout the review process.
Since construction of the five-mile Hudson River Park began in 1999, roughly $350 million in capital funds from the state and New York City and the federal government have been used to build 10 new piers and about 2.5 miles of upland park area. At a media briefing in May, HRPT chair Diana Taylor, said that although “commercial activities such as parking at Pier 40 and Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex generate most of the funds needed to maintain and operate the park on an annual basis; in the future however we know that those funds will not meet our entire fiscal need.” She said that that was the reason for issuing a new RFP for the development of Pier 57, adding that that, along with development of Pier 40 will help produce the money needed to maintain and operate a “great park well into the future.”
According to a statement by Taylor regarding Pier 40, after six years and two separate RFPs, the Trust is “still unable to designate a developer for the reuse of Pier 40 despite the hard work of the Trust, the developers, elected officials, the Hudson River Park Advisory Council and the community.” She explains that “while the process generated some good ideas–even some that are universally supported, such as the inclusion of schools–neither of the proposals meets all of the criteria that were established by the Trust.”
Taylor continues that “in the near future we will begin discussions with our finance committee, board members, elected officials, and community representatives to re-examine baseline criteria and consider our course of action. As we complete the complex task of transforming the decaying waterfront into a great recreational facility enjoyed by millions of people from around the city and the world, we will continue to try to implement a development strategy for Pier 40 that meets our objectives of ensuring the structural integrity of the pier, consistency with the Hudson River Park Act, and generating sufficient revenue to maintain and operate Hudson River Park well into the future.”
Commercial activities such as parking at Pier 40 and Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex generate most of the funds needed to maintain and operate the park on an annual basis, Taylor said at the media briefing. “In the future, however, we know that those funds will not meet our entire fiscal need,” she adds, which was the reason for issuing a new RFP for the development of Pier 57. The HRPT has a goal of completing 80% of the Hudson River Park by 2010.