CB3 Committee Approves Phase 1 of Pier 42 ‘Master Plan’ for East Side Park

Posted on: December 6th, 2013 at 6:10 am by

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Tidal marsh planned for redeveloped Pier 42

Last night, the Parks subcommittee of Community Board 3 voted unanimously to approve the conceptual proposal for both the Pier 42 “Master Plan” and “Phase 1.” The meeting itself was the culmination of two years’ worth of politics, community outreach, and planning. Signe Nielsen was on hand to provide the necessary updates, as her firm Mathews Nielsen is behind the design effort.

At a cost of $94 million, the longer term Master Plan envisions a ribbon of parkland bracketed by the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. That shed sitting on the deck jutting into the East River is slated for near-total demolition, leaving a skeleton section for use as a “comfort station” with concessions. The remediated (and repainted) structure will remain open to the elements and offer shade during the summer months. Seen as an “island in the river,” the deck section of the park connects to the so-called “riparian uplands” via footbridges; this part of the park is defined by marshland at the coast, knolls, lawns, a playground, and interactive water fountain (pending DOT approval). Most importantly, however, is that safety concerns regarding the precarious intersection of South and Montgomery (at the park entrance) will be addressed using various traffic techniques like signal timing and increased signage.

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Goals for Phase 1 of Pier 42 redevelopment

In the short-term, though, all energies are focused on Phase 1, which will cost $9.6 million in taxpayer cash and, unlike the Master Plan, is already funded. The partial shed demolition, its subsequent stabilization, and asbestos abatement all come first; the existing deck on which it sits will be unavailable to the public as it’s severely compromised. This component of the project is apparently the most costly, accounting for the lion’s share of the cash on hand. More palpable public benefits in Phase 1 include the seeding/replanting of the aforementioned “upland area” and the rejiggering of the South/Montgomery intersection.

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Exterior of demolished shed to remain as part of “comfort station”

Assuming all goes to plan, Phase 1 is to kick off sometime in January, shortly after the Public Design Commission is expected to approve. From there, it’ll take two years of permitting, demolition, construction, and other miscellaneous red tape before the public can enjoy the space (i.e. 2016).

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