Critics scoff at Bloomberg’s Seaport City plan

June 18, 2013 08:30AM

Though experts have praised many components of Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s $19.5 billion plan to protect New York City from Hurricane Sandy, his proposal for Seaport City has been widely panned, the Wall Street Journal reported.

City officials envision a neighborhood modeled after Battery Park City – which fared relatively well during Hurricane Sandy — that would rise partially on reclaimed land and would jut into the East River. But experts are saying the city has no use for another waterfront district and that it could mar the character of the historic Seaport neighborhood along the East River.

“In the midst of a brilliant plan that is innovative, this piece is a clunker,” Roland Lewis, director of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance in New York, told the Journal. “There are other ways to protect downtown that would not involve massive land fill and would not harm one of the city’s most historic districts.”

For its part, the city says SeaPort City could help protect the Sandy-ravaged historic area from destructive storm surge in the future, as well as drive economic activity and affordable housing to the area. “Waterfront development is not the problem,” Seth Pinsky, president of the city’s Economic Development Corporation, told the Journal. “The problem is waterfront development not to the right elevation.”

The cost for the project was not included in the $19.5 storm resilience plan unveiled by Bloomberg, but city officials said it was still too early to estimate a total cost. [WSJ]Hiten Samtani