Gov. Andrew Cuomo has vetoed plans to develop commercial office space at Hudson River Park’s Pier 40 — the latest in a series of setbacks at the troubled site.
Cuomo rejected a bill on New Year’s Eve that would have greenlit the development of office space up to eight stories high on the West Village pier, according to Curbed.
In a memo about the decision, he argued the pier’s recreational space needed to be preserved.
“The one thing that we are not making any more of in Manhattan is open space,” he wrote, “and this must be protected.”
The decision is a setback for the Hudson River Park Trust, which had hoped to develop the pier so it could financially sustain the park. According to Curbed, the trust estimated the development would bring in at least $12.5 million per year in rent, under a leasing arrangement with a developer.
However Cuomo said the financial “justification” came at a cost to families living in the city.
“Money is always the rationale to develop sites in Manhattan, hence the lack of open space, green areas, parks and recreation space,” he wrote.
The plan had caused tension with some locals, who butted heads with the trust. Assemblymember Deborah Glick said the veto would create space for careful consideration about how any potential development should take shape.
“I think the veto is a great opportunity to revisit this,” she said. “The governor hit a reset button and I think we will have to have a conversation about what the park’s finances actually look like.” [Curbed] — Sylvia Varnham O’Regan