The Future of Pier 35 on the East River
Last night, about two dozen residents attended the Community Board 3 Waterfront Subcommittee meeting to learn more about the ongoing progress down at the East River. Even though a resolution for the design was passed last July, the Economic Development Corporation (EDC) held this community update to field questions.
Cathy Jones of SHoP Architects, the firm tasked with the endeavor, presented final renderings of Phase III, the tiny spit of land between Pike Slip and Pier 35. Both the leading esplanade and the pier itself are scheduled for an over-the-top makeover of futuristic proportions.
The esplanade running through Pike and Rutgers Slip is targeted to become more of a recreational area. This covered zone beneath the FDR initially presented a challenge, but ultimately the it’ll include a pavilion with seating, bike racks, water fountains, half basketball courts, and Petanque (lazy man’s Bocce). But presenters seemed quite amped about the riverfront “lookouts,” which will enable pedestrians to descend closer to the cesspool of the East River.
Most grandiose, however, is the vision for Pier 35 itself. It’s something out of the World’s Fair marketing materials. The EDC hopes to make this new casual pier park a destination, but was adamant in saying that it won’t double as a performance venue. The so-called “porch” can allow for small shows, though.
As for timeline, EDC and SHoP are finalizing the construction documents in the coming months, and should officially break ground on Phase III by end of year. Meanwhile, we were told that work has already transpired on Pier 35.