Constant Delays on Waterfront Spur Creation of ‘Friends of Pier 35’ Grassroots Group
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Don’t hold your breath for Pier 35. The capital works project to install an EcoPark right off Rutgers Slip is stalled out and unlikely to see the light of day for many years. As Rodney Dangerfield would say, “while we’re young!”
According to the Economic Development Corporation – the city agency behind the initiative – completion of Pier 35 is now pushed back to at least 2017. That makes it some four years behind schedule. Purported reasons for the delay include setbacks from Hurricane Sandy, the need to screen that unsightly shed at Pier 36, and bureaucratic bullshit on where to install the underground water main.
It was this inaction that lit the proverbial fire that birthed Friends of Pier 35. The grassroots group formed to take back the esplanade and pressure the EDC to make good on its investments here. Basically, advocacy and stewardship. “We want to make sure that EDC is held accountable for the project and that we are given timely updates,” one of the group’s members told us via email. “We also want to make sure that residents have a say in any further updates, design changes, and future park programming.”
Of major concern to Friends of Pier 35 is access to the park itself. With all the new developers circling the area like vultures – but especially the Extell towers – those in the vicinity fear that this new EcoPark space may slip out of public hands into the benefit of private use.
Meanwhile, package 4 – the ribbon of park real estate between Catherine and Pike – should commence construction sometime in the fall.