Completion of Long-Delayed Pier 35 is Nowhere in Sight

Posted on: September 28th, 2016 at 5:00 am by

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“It’ll be at least another year before Pier 35 is finally complete,” read one of our headlines in July 2015. Those words still ring true today, as there really aren’t any updates to speak of. So, here we are, more than five years behind schedule with nothing to show for it except a footbridge, half-built “screenwall,” and a new construction manager.

The Economic Development Corporation, the landowner, tapped Hunter Roberts Construction to oversee the completion of Pier 35 on the East River waterfront back in February. The company replaced Trocom Construction, whose contract was terminated last year. Work was thought to have jumpstarted again over the summer due to placement of materials, but that was just wishful thinking. Instead, the esplanade is a lesson in urban decay. Local fishermen and kids have taken to the concrete peninsula. It’s not like there’s anyone around; the project site is stalled in every sense of the word.

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The updated timetable is that there really isn’t one.

The city attributes the execessive delays to structural setbacks from Hurricane Sandy, problems with the screenwall needed to obstruct that unsightly sanitation shed at Pier 36, and bureaucratic bickering on where to install the underground water main. Regarding the latter, however, the Department of Environmental Protection approved the location of water piping last spring, when it was announced that final design details were reportedly underway.

So embarrassing is this delay that SHoP Architects head Gregg Pasquarelli mentioned it during the presentation about 247 Cherry Street. Chalking it up to a “contractor problem” but that “we’ll get it done.”

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Hunter Roberts Construction is also tasked with completion of the four-years-in-the-making Pike Slip pavilion, which still requires a BSA variance. The facility will provide community space and Parks Department storage. No food concessions as some in the area had requested.

EDC, for its part, will provide an update to the neighborhood next month at the Parks subcommittee meeting of Community Board 3.

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