Young Woo’s Pier 57 plan clears City Council vote

By Candace Taylor | April 09, 2013 03:30PM

UPDATED, 5:01 p.m., April 9: The City Council today unanimously approved Young Woo & Associates’ plan to transform Pier 57, a historic pier located at 14th Street and the Hudson River, into a cultural hub and creative center.

The council approved a special zoning permit to allow construction of a 170,000 square-foot marketplace fashioned from repurposed shipping containers on the 900-foot Hudson River pier, which in the past has been used as an ocean liner dock, a bus depot and even a holding pen for protesters arrested during the 2004 Republican National Convention.

The public market, which YWA said it envisions as an “incubator for cutting edge local and international brands and merchants,” will house restaurants and shops and offer “work/sell” spaces for local start-ups in industries such as media, art, fashion and food. The Tribeca Film Festival, once of the anchor tenants, will establish a permanent outdoor venue on the rooftop as part of the pier’s 100,000 square feet of new public park space.

The plan also calls for education and community uses such as cooking schools, art galleries, music recording studios, and photography labs.

The project “will transform Pier 57 from an unused waterfront space into an innovative hub of culture, recreation and public market activity, all located within a restored historic structure,” City Council Speaker Christine Quinn told reporters before the council meeting. Calling the project “a major victory for Manhattan’s West Side community,” she said that it will provide “a new, sorely needed source of revenue” for the Hudson River Trust.

She added that YWA’s plan to use shipping containers as pop-up shops and concept stores, or “Incuboxes,” “will be very cool.”

YWA, the developer of the Sky Garage condominium at 200 11th Avenue, in 2009 was selected by the Hudson River Park Trust to redevelop the historic pier.

“Today’s news is a critical step forward for the future of Pier 57,” said Greg Carney, a partner at YWA. “Over the course of dozens of meetings, we ended up with a plan that meets the community’s goals and will be a true, iconic experience for residents and visitors.”

The developer said construction on the project is slated to start in October. YWA has begun accepting applications to lease the flagship retail spaces, which range from 3,000 to 20,000 square feet in size. Leasing for the 160-square-foot “Incuboxes” will start this fall.

“Today’s approval brings us one step closer to transforming Pier 57 into a recreational, cultural and retail center that will provide yet another great destination for the Hudson River Park community,” Hudson River Park Trust President and CEO Madelyn Wils said in a statement.