Delayed and Under-Funded, Pier 42 Esplanade Won’t be Complete until 2020 (at Least)
Already at least five years on the boards, the project to create public greenspace at Pier 42 is still nowhere near completion. Lack of funding apparently fueled the delays. But there is now some progress to report courtesy of a cash injection.
Three years after last appearing before Community Board 3, spokespeople from the Economic Development Corp. provided an update to the Parks subcommittee last night. The big takeaway is that additional federal funding from the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. helped jumpstart the first phase (costing roughly $14 million).
Indeed, so-called Phase 1A includes asbestos abatement and demolition of the pier shed, which should commence in October and wrap by next summer. Staging area for this job will be in the adjacent parking lot (the business operating there will close the month prior).
The extra money also goes toward two design elements not in the initial master plan – comfort station (aka toilets) and a playground – together comprising Phase 1B seen in the rendering below. The city (with Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects) is at the very beginning of design duties, so there aren’t many details about the latter, other than the bathrooms will sit on elevated land (above the flood line). This part of the project will also include new plantings, lighting, and site furnishings.
Construction of both is slated to start in July 2018.
- EDC is now responsible for administration and design of the project. Parks Department is maintenance partner.
- EDC will soon start work on designing the playground and comfort station, with the goal of finalizing the plans by spring 2018.
- There is not enough funding yet for Phase 2, which would see build-out of the shed replacement and completion of the esplanade.
- There was concern from the panel about overall safety in accessing the public park, from lack of lighting to speeding cars off the FDR to the dangerous intersection at Montgomery Street.
- Pier 42 completion date and public opening is pegged at March 2020, over four years after the last prediction.
Community Board 3 approved the plans to add the additional amenities to the project, but asked that the EDC team return in the fall to provide a more robust update.