City opens new East River esplanade today

Renderings of the first section of the new East River Waterfront Esplanade

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Mayor Michael Bloomberg today led the city in opening the first section of the new East River Waterfront Esplanade, that stretches from Wall Street to Maiden Lane. The opening is part of a $165 million project to transform two miles of city-owned land along the East River, from the southern edge of Manhattan to the East River Park that lies north of the Manhattan Bridge, into open public space. “One of the goals of the waterfront plan we unveiled earlier this year is to reconnect New Yorkers to New York City’s more than 500 miles of waterfront and make it part of their everyday lives, and the new esplanade will help do that for Lower Manhattan’s tens of thousands of residents, 300,000-plus workers and millions of visitors,” Bloomberg said. “When complete in full, the two-mile esplanade will extend the green space around Manhattan’s waterfront that includes Riverside Park, Hudson River Park on the West Side, Battery Park at Lower Manhattan’s tip, and East River Park on the East Side.” The esplanade features seating along the railing of the river, stadium seating that allows views of the water from edge of Wall Street and a new dog park. The space also connects to the newly launched East River Ferry stop at Pier 11 downtown. Construction is underway for additional portions of the esplanade that stretch from the Battery Maritime Building to Wall Street, and a redeveloped Pier 15 set to open in the fall. The city also issued a Request for Proposal for a new restaurant pavilion under the FDR Drive at Maiden Lane that is set to open next quarter. — Adam Fusfeld