Pier 57 to get new proposals

By Jane C. Timm | May 29, 2008 02:52PM

The Hudson River Park Trust will issue a new request for proposal for Pier 57 soon because all proposals have fallen through, the trust announced today.

Pier 57, a 300,000-square-foot pier at West 15th Street, was used as a city bus garage until 2003 and is built on concrete pilings. The pier’s development faced a big setback when developer Steven Witkoff pulled out of the project in January. Witkoff’s proposal, a $400 million project which had been dubbed “Little Italy on the Hudson,” would have built a marina, museum and banquet hall.

Trust Chairwoman Diana Taylor said a new request for proposals of development for Pier 57 would likely be issued in the next couple of weeks.

The trust also announced that Hudson River Park was 40 percent
completed and will be 80 percent complete by 2010. The remaining 20
percent is occupied by “a number of facilities that were located on the
West Side long before it became a park,” said Connie Fishman, the
trust’s president. Two city sanitation facilities, a heliport and a tow
pound will relocate, but not by 2010.

At another pier — Pier 40, off of West Houston Street — the trust is awaiting a combined proposal from the Pier 40 Partnership, a community group formed by neighborhood parents, and the Camp Group and Urban Dove.

Camp Group, a day camp operator, and Urban Dove, a non-profit that works with city youth, originally proposed the so-called “People’s Pier” that would include a high school, added park space and athletic fields.

The Related Companies $600 million proposal for an entertainment complex, dubbed “Vegas on the Hudson” by critics, was rejected in March. The complex would have housed Cirque du Soleil. The trust said Related’s proposal required a longer lease than it could guarantee.

Taylor said the trust hopes to finish reviewing proposals for Pier 40 in the next several months.
“These two developments are crucial in helping produce the money needed to maintain and operate a great park well into the future,” she said.

Taylor said the biggest challenge at Pier 40 was creating a proposal that can produce the revenue needed to fund the pier’s construction and operation.

“You probably need in the neighborhood of $120 million to bring the pier up to code so that you can build on top of it,” Taylor said. “There’s not a lot of people who can actually do that.”

Fishman, the trust’s president, also announced that the park’s upland area in Tribeca, between Pier 26 up to Houston Street, will open to the public in early July, now that construction is complete and steel beams and debris from the Twin Towers have been removed.