Posts tagged with "Hudson River Park":

Placeholder Alt Text

New Bill to Allow Developments to Rise along Manhattan’s Hudson River Park

Buildings will soon rise to new heights alongManhattan's Hudson River Park. Governor Cuomo just signed legislation to allow the cash-strapped park to sell 1.6 million square feet in air rights to developers. The bill will enable developers to build new projects one block from the five-mile waterfront park, which can now include commercial tenants, schools, performing art organizations and venues, and TV film and media studios. For the last few years, the commercial tenants at Pier 40 have failed to generate enough money for the park, leading the Hudson River Park Trust to look for new revenue sources. The crumbling 15-acre pier—made up of ball fields, offices, and sports facilities—requires around $118 million in renovations. This plan has been controversial and incited protects from historic and environmental groups. With the city still recovering from Hurricane Sandy, the Sierra Club and New York Public Interest Research Group (NYPIRG) have encouraged the governor to reject the new bill, which they said would put new developments at risk. “Governor Cuomo has rightly called for plans to ensure that the State of New York is better prepared for and more resilient to future severe storms. It would be foolhardy to encourage development in such a storm-vulnerable location,” said Laura Haight, NYPIRG’s senior environmental associate, in a statement.
Placeholder Alt Text

Hope on Hudson? Durst has Idea for Beleaguered Pier 40

As AN recently reported, Hudson River Park is still in the weeds, both literally and figuratively. Now Douglas Durst is pointing to a possible solution to the beleaguered Pier 40. The pier was once one of the few money making sources for the self-sustaining park, but it is now deteriorating and costing $2 million a year to maintain. Durst, chair of the park's friends group, told The New York Post that the park should consider stacking up the existing parking to free up valuable space and in turn rent the pier as lofts to the area's expanding tech sector. The notion could avoid a lengthy State Legislature battle and an uphill ULURP processes for the proposed hotel/residential complex.

Little House on the Pier? Residential plan considered for Pier 40.

A new study looks at a variety of revenue-generating makeovers for Manhattan's Pier 40, part of the Hudson River Park and home to multiple sports fields.  Commissioned by several organizations who are active users of the pier--the Pier, Park and Playground Association (P3), Greenwich Village Little League and Downtown United Soccer Club--the study concludes that a hotel/residential combo would leave the most open space while going a long way to defray what currently is a debt-filled future for the underfunded Park. But such a plan would face several hurdles, including petitioning the state legislature to change restrictions on in-park housing now part of the Hudson River Park Act. Read the all details in The Villager.
Placeholder Alt Text

Reflecting the Stars on the Hudson

With the High Line getting the lion's share of attention lately, Hudson River Park feels more neighborhoody then ever. Last night's opening of public art installation by artist/performer Jon Morris of Windmill Factory felt pretty down home with everyone sprawling out on the grass around Morris, who explained the inspiration for his light show which sits out in the water. Growing up in Beria, Kentucky, Morris could see the stars, but in New York light pollution made the experience impossible.  His idea was to sprinkle a little stardust onto the Hudson in the form of solar powered LEDs attached to the tops of pilings from a long departed pier. New Yorkers are in the midst of a deep infatuation with their industrial past. Call it nostalgia, call it reappropriation, call it what you will, but nowhere is it better exemplified than in the High Line. And so there's probably no one better to comment on new art using old infrastructure than Charles Renfro, of High Line-designers Diller Scofidio+Renfro. Renfro recalled how Morris approached him with the idea of placing lights on the pilings about two years ago. Renfro asked him a few key questions: Have you contacted anyone at the Army Corps of Engineers? (No.) Do you know anyone from Hudson River Park? (He did, a friend of a friend who knew somebody.) What about the technical logistics? (He knew someone who worked at Google.) The friend from Google became one of the key players in the installation. Adam Berenzweig is used to dealing with rooms full of computer power, but here he was dealing kilobytes and radio technology, that go under water twice a day at high tide. "It was pretty thorny," he said. The biggest surprise about the project is the relatively low cost, around $25,000. And that it was completed in two years, from concept to execution. Renfro said he was surprised that the project got past Riverkeepers, the the Hudson's ever-vigilant oyster bed protectors. At the river's edge a panel overlooking the pier sends a signal out to the lights, which respond by forming a constellation. When not acting as Orion, the lights dim and flicker gently, shifting from cobalt blue to white. The scene is quiet and subtle, perhaps best happened upon rather than sought out.
Placeholder Alt Text

Charting Chelsea Cove

On Monday, the latest portion of Hudson River Park opened to the public, bringing with it a novel pair of attractions along New York's expanding West Side greenway. Located just north of Chelsea Piers, the project rises atop Piers 62 and 63, which together with Pier 64 form the roughly 8-acre, U-shaped landscape that Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) named Chelsea Cove when starting the project in 2001. “Our main vision was to create not only a park for people moving along the bikeway, but primarily for the community,” said Peter Arato, senior associate at MVVA. In order to achieve this, the strategy was to activate the site with a mix of uses, but also to blur the typical division between upland and pier, creating “a larger park experience that was not so linear-based.” The first of the piers’ new attractions is a carousel with 33 colorful, hand-carved wooden figures that represent native animals of the Hudson River Valley. Created by Carousel Works of Mansfield, OH, and due to open on Memorial Day, the merry-go-round and its menagerie of bears, turtles, and falcons is protected by a steel-framed roof that incorporates a green roof system above. The cove’s second notable feature is a 15,000-square-foot skate park made of reinforced concrete and shotcrete, with an undulating landscape that replaces an existing skate park on the site. Designed in collaboration with SITE Design Group of Solana Beach, CA, the skate park is the first in the world to be built on a pier structure, according to the designers. To accommodate these two elements—including the skate park’s 10-foot elevation and the carousel’s heavy, 35-foot-wide platform—the designers used structural EPS foam to reduce the load on the pier. The foam was also used to form the rolling landscape that characterizes Pier 64, which was completed last year. The new site also includes a large lawn bowl, a perennial garden designed by Lynden Miller, and a sculptural landscape with large boulders set among wildflowers and shaped by artist Meg Webster.