Correction appended: Controversial plans to redevelop the West Village’s Pier 40 may include more space dedicated to recreation, thanks to a proposal released today by a group of community advocates called Pier 40 Champions, the Wall Street Journal reported. The proposal would transform what is currently a parking lot at the western end of Houston Street into 600 residential housing units and creates a total of about 10.5 acres of open space, which would be used for athletic and recreational purposes, such as sports fields and a track.
The so-called Pier 40 Champions, a conglomerate of seven youth sports leagues, brought on WXY Architecture to draft the proposal. The Champions argue that their proposal would best serve the financially troubled floating 14-acre pier, which is currently sinking.
“In our view you can’t really expect a good response from developers unless you add residential as an opportunity,” Tobi Bergman, president of Pier, Park and Playground Organization, a nonprofit that promotes youth sports and runs baseball programs at Pier 40, said. “We wanted to open up that possibility. Residential also treads more lightly on the park.”
The pier suffered extensive damage from Hurricane Sandy, and since that time disagreements regarding how best to redevelop the pier have become heated, leading to the resignation of Douglas Durst, chairman of Friends of Hudson River Park, and the organization’s vice president, Ben Korman. Durst had argued that luring tech tenants to the area was the best way to maximize revenue for the pier. [WSJ] –Christopher Cameron
Correction: In a previous version of this story The Real Deal incorrectly stated that Durst’s proposal for Pier 40 included office towers.