Pier 40 closure draws closer

TRD New York /
Aug.August 09, 2012 02:30 PM

How is the West Side’s crumbling Pier 40 like the Euro crisis? Because, according Michael Novogratz — the founder of Fortress Investment Group and a board member of the Hudson River Park Trust — people didn’t understand the problem until it was too late. Now, the park is more likely than ever to close, the Villager reported.

The pier needs $100 million in infrastructure repair and has become a financial liability for the Trust, which was supposed to ensure that the 5-mile-long Hudson River Park was self-supporting. But over the next decade the park is expected to generate $200 million in revenue on expenses of more than $280 million.

Pier 40 pulls in $5 million per year for its parking, but even those funds were used to pay for a $6 million urgent repair of the northeastern section of the pier’s roof.

Hudson River Park Trust President Madelyn Wils has tried repeatedly to get the community to approve a residential development on the site — which a study found would be the least disruptful development while producing the highest possible revenue for the park — but was unable to get state legislative approval to change the Hudson River Park Act by the end of its session in June. The act forbids a lease of the piers for longer than 30 years, but developers are unwilling to take on the project with such a short-term lease.

“It’s a difficult decision to make — no one wants to make this decision — but we don’t have the money for these repairs,” Wils told the Villager. “We’re going to do our best to keep it open.” [Villager]

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