It’s mutiny on the waterfront as Durst pitches Pier 40 plan

A rendering provided by Assemblymember Deborah Glick’s Office gives a rough sense of how Pier 40 could look with 15-story towers added along its northern edge.

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON  |   Taking a different tack to try to save Pier 40, Douglas Durst, chairperson of the Friends of Hudson River Park, is pushing an alternative plan to add valet parking and a high-tech campus to the massive but crumbling structure.

Joining Durst in the effort is Ben Korman, the Friends’ vice chairperson and a partner in C&K Properties, which formerly ran the parking on the 14.5-acre West Houston St. pier.

Durst’s Pier 40 plan is at odds with the vision of the Hudson River Park Trust, the state-city authority that operates the 5-mile-long waterfront park. The Trust, along with local youth sports leagues, has recently been pushing for residential housing development on the key park pier. The youth leagues commissioned a Pier 40 study earlier this year that found that adding 600 to 800 units of high-end, rental housing on it would provide the greatest amount of revenue along with the lowest impact when compared with other types of development scenarios studied.

Doing nothing on the pier is not an option, the Trust says, since without a major cash infusion by a private development project, the decaying pier won’t be repaired and the entire park — which depends on Pier 40’s revenue — will soon be increasingly in the red. Without funding, Pier 40 might have to be shut down in phases, the Trust’s leadership recently warned.

Jordan Barowitz, a spokesperson for Durst, outlined the new plan, which is still fairly general.

“It’s attendant parking,” he explained. “The current parking configuration on the pier is mostly park-and-lock,” meaning drivers park their own cars. “With attendant parking, it can be a lot more efficient in terms of space.”

Durst’s plan calls for installing stacker parking so that the cars can be parked in a smaller footprint. Attendants would be needed to park the cars and operate the hydraulic stackers.

Pier 40’s parking is currently on all three levels of the pier. Under Durst’s idea, the parking would be moved to one level — possibly the ground floor — freeing the other two levels for new uses.

Barowitz said Durst’s plan doesn’t seek to increase revenue by increasing either the amount of parking or the parking fees. Rather, the extra revenue would come from adding new uses in the space left over from consolidating the parking in a smaller area. Durst envisions these uses as “commercial, offices or a high-tech campus,” according to Barowitz.

(One park activist was alarmed by a sentence in an article on the Durst plan in the Observer referring to “galleries and shops” that indicated Durst might also be eyeing destination retail for Pier 40: “Given the area’s booming tech sector, [Durst] seems to think this could be a good spot for a technology campus of some sort, or, pitching to the neighborhood’s other historic strength, galleries and shops.” However, Barowitz told The Villager, “Douglas didn’t talk to the Observer. It’s not a quote from him.”)

Asked about the cost of adding parking stackers, Barowitz downplayed it, saying, “It’s a small piece of the scope of the work necessary to secure the pier.

‘We think it’s viable’
“It’s in the early stages, but we think it’s viable and certainly worth considering,” Barowitz said of the plan. “This is something that Douglas and Ben Korman have been working on. We think it could provide the incremental increase in revenue to finance the $100 million or so to fix the pier and also provide revenue for the park.”

As for building residential housing on Pier 40 — which would require a change to the Hudson River Park Act — Durst, who heads one of the city’s most prominent development organizations, says it wouldn’t work.

“Douglas speaking for himself does not have an ideological issue, but a practical one — that it will be too difficult to implement and construct and won’t generate the necessary revenue for the pier or the park,” Barowitz said.

Hudson River Park is intended to be financially self-sustaining, and until recently Pier 40 has supplied about 40 percent of the park’s revenue. But as the pier deteriorates, its revenue will dry up, Trust officials warn.

For Durst’s plan, Barowitz said, changes to the park act also would be needed, including increasing the allowable length of the lease for the commercial component and allowing bonding ability.

The Trust would have to issue a request for proposals (R.F.P.) for someone to “manage the pier,” he said, though adding, “Neither Douglas nor C&K is interested.”

Asked if there’s a study of their plan available, Barowitz said it’s not completed yet.

He said they’ve been talking to the Trust and local stakeholders about their plan for several weeks.

‘Exploring all possibilities’
Regarding Durst’s idea for Pier 40, Madelyn Wils, the Trust’s president, indicated she’s open to a wide range of uses for the pier, but that they must generate sufficient funds.

“We are working with all of our community partners to continue to explore all possibilities, including a high-tech campus,” the Trust president said. “The most important step for Pier 40 is to allow legislative changes that will give us the best chance of receiving the strongest proposals possible. Any viable proposal must be able to provide for Pier 40’s huge infrastructural needs while also making annual payments to help fund the continued maintenance of the whole park.”

The Friends of Hudson River Park had previously been the park’s main advocacy group — as well as its main watchdog. In recent years, the Friends sued to force the city to commit to remove its garbage trucks from Gansevoort Peninsula, at the north end of the Village waterfront, and also sued to end tourist helicopter flights at the W. 30th St. heliport. More recently, though, the Friends transitioned into the Trust’s private fundraising arm.

Now, with Durst and Korman opposing the Trust’s hope for housing on Pier 40, its seems the Friends — or at least its leadership — is reprising its watchdog role.

However, in a statement, A.J. Pietrantone, the group’s president, said, “Friends of Hudson River Park remains committed to finding a sustainable solution to Pier 40 as well as to the care and completion of the entire park. While all ideas and input to that end are wholly welcome, Friends continues to expand our fundraising efforts and to work with the community in establishing an improvement district.”

A “neighborhood improvement district” is one thing, at least, that people seem to be agreeing on. The district would impose a fairly small annual fee on commercial and residential property owners living within a few blocks of the park. This money would be funneled back into the park’s maintenance and operations and used to spruce up the blocks near the park.

As for political intrigue, some speculate that with Mayor Bloomberg heading into his final year in office, the Durst “mutiny” could be setting the stage for a possible change in the Trust’s leadership under a new mayor, or at least an effort to “rob victory” from Bloomberg and Wils on Pier 40.

Glick: ‘Interesting idea’
Assemblymember Deborah Glick is a fierce opponent of housing on Pier 40. The pier is in her district and she has made it clear she won’t support modifying the Hudson River Park Act to allow residential development there. She objects, in principle, to the idea that the park must be financially self-sustaining, arguing this will only lead to unwanted overdevelopment — like housing in the park.

Glick noted that Durst and Korman’s stacker-parking plan is similar to one pitched in 2007 by the Pier 40 Partnership. A well-funded group of parents whose children played sports on the pier, the Partnership’s proposal was an alternative to the “Vegas on the Hudson” plan by The Related Companies that would have turned the pier into a major entertainment site.

“We thought that was an interesting idea and were sorry the Trust didn’t pursue it,” Glick said of the Partnership’s plan, which also included space for schools.

She called Durst’s proposal “an interesting approach, a more common-sense approach. We’re really pleased to see someone who has a tremendous track record in New York City real estate and development share a similar view of the future of Pier 40 that supports the park and preserves the playing fields,” she said.

Glick figured the parking rates might rise a bit with the attendant parking, though adding, “I would hope it wouldn’t be dramatic.”

Meanwhile, she said, she could see the space freed up by consolidating the parking being used by “new media or post-production film facilities, maybe gallery space, too. There’s great potential for natural light,” she noted of Pier 40.

However, the park act’s prohibitions against housing must remain, she warned, or else, “The entire Lower West Side will be developed over time and the river will be walled off.”

Gottfried: ‘We need options’
Assemblymember Richard Gottfried co-authored the 1998 park act, and his district includes Hudson River Park north of W. 14th St. This spring he was won over to the idea of residential housing on Pier 40 as the best way to save both the pier and the cash-strapped park. On the other hand, at the big public meeting the Trust held about Pier 40 in May, he stated, “A parking garage and a tow pound — I don’t think either one of these belongs in Hudson River Park.” The Police Department’s tow pound is currently on Pier 76, at W. 36th St.

Asked last week about the new Durst/Korman plan, Gottfried said, “We need a broad range of options on the table for Pier 40 and Pier 76, including office buildings, parking garages, housing, hotels and longer lease terms to allow financing. They should be allowed in the law. Then there would have to be an open planning process to evaluate the revenue potential, traffic impact and other factors for these options. The law requires a request for proposals, public hearings by the Hudson River Park Trust, and the city ULURP process. The Trust has a good track record of getting broad community input. Douglas Durst is an extraordinary friend of the park. Any proposal he is advancing deserves our attention. The legislation I support would help make that happen.”

By “the legislation I support,” Gottfried was referring to proposed legislative changes that the Trust is expected to ask the state Legislature to approve either in a special session in November or December or, if not then, likely in March, when the state budget is passed.

Likes incremental idea
Arthur Schwartz, co-chairperson of Community Board 2’s Waterfront Committee and head of the Hudson River Park Advisory Council, also expressed respect for Durst and said the incremental-approach idea “was a step in the right direction.” But he worried where the needed millions would come from to renovate the pier’s dilapidated roof and corroded pilings.

“The community advocates who have struggled with Pier 40 development issues since 2002, as part of two task forces, have long called for incremental development; developing the pier piece by piece, instead of as part of a grand plan,” Schwartz said. “If anyone can figure out how to do this it’s Doug Durst, and I look forward to discussing his proposal with him from a community perspective.”

‘Fairy-tale tech campus?’
P3 (Pier, Park and Playground Association) is one of the youth sports groups that commissioned the consultant’s study that found housing was the best high revenue/low impact option for Pier 40. Asked his thoughts on Durst’s plan, Tobi Bergman, P3’s president, was skeptical.

“The proposal wants to open up 500,000 square feet for commercial use based on an R.F.P.,” Bergman said. “But what if a fairy-tale tech campus doesn’t bid? Then we are left with generic commercial space that can be legally used for retail and entertainment, and what we have is a back-door approach to the same kinds of proposals that the community has rejected twice before.”

(Indeed, the city has been giving away free space for high-tech campuses in other places lately, so, some would ask, why would anyone pay for it at Pier 40?)

Bergman added, “Why insist on preserving the existing pier-shed structure when other plans might create more park space and more river access? Isn’t the idea to have a better park?

“The Pier 40 Partnership tried to show this approach works and the conclusion was it probably doesn’t,” Bergman said. “The existing building is poorly configured for most other uses. … And income from parking is too unreliable to support the investment. Shifting the costs to other commercial uses overstresses the added development.”

P.R., pro and con
Meanwhile, the local youth sports groups are poised to launch a new P.R. campaign in support of residential use at Pier 40. Called The Pier 40 Champions, they’ll use architects and urban planners to illustrate possible schemes for residential or mixed-use development on the pier.

According to a member of the group, the concept will be to graphically show how “a residential project can increase the space on the pier available for playing fields, improve access and openness to the river, and bring more income to the Trust, based on a solution that brings in fewer than 1,000 [residents] who will care deeply about the park instead of hundreds of thousands [of people coming to a destination retail or entertainment-use pier] who could care less about it.”

The group plans to use a Facebook page to allow people to see the visuals and comment.

Not to be outdone, Glick plans to wage her own visual campaign to show how putting housing on Pier 40 will “wall off the waterfront.” An architect friend of Glick’s office has produced basic renderings showing what the West Houston St. pier could look like with 15-story-or-higher residential towers added along its northern edge.

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28 Responses to It’s mutiny on the waterfront as Durst pitches Pier 40 plan

  1. Assemblymember Glick's relevance continues to wane, she simply has lost the ability to think ahead, to think innovatively in any fashion. She's spending her summer having some friend make a ridiculous drawing to show what "shouldn't be", and focusing with insane intensity on housing, rather than doing the job we elected her to do, which is to seek, present and promote fiscally prudent and actually possible alternatives. "Great potential for natural light"?! What is this, her living room? Why isn't she out in Silicon Valley talking to venture capitalists about funding for the world's greatest renewable energy research and development facility, one where wind, solar and water driven technologies can all be tested (and manufactured) in one place?? The greatest research center in the world, with a park and fields…a triumph. Where is her ambition? Or remembering when we brought it up years ago that production professionals seemed to think that the river presented impossible to overcome attenuation issues for recording? Elected officials in other cities and states are out there, hungry, traveling, finding, lobbying for and creating renewable energy, biotech, internet and medical research facilities, and Glick is beginning to favor, after all of this fighting, what essentially will amount to a mall. You want presenters for the Pier, GO GET THEM! All the while staying silent on Sheldon Silver's use of taxpayer money to pay off victims of an old school bully and sexual predator. We know now that she will not protect women, what would she have done if the victims were members of the LGBT community? Would she have stayed silent? This is an utter embarrassment. Where are the Pier 40 ideas, and where is the money? That question goes out to the Assemblymember, and to folks like Mr. Capsis, who continue to promote ideas with no backing or interest from principal parties, as we worked so hard to get with Major League Soccer. There must be some local with political ambition, and ideas, willing to wage a bonafide write-in campaign for this seat. My Greenwich Village landlord, who is a Republican running for a Senate seat in Westchester, is fanning the flames of this Assembly debacle in his campaign, and he is right. Not a bad man, but a dyed in the wool free-marketeer who seeks to end rent regulation, and has large holdings in the Village. Is he even on our Assemblymember's radar, and what is she doing to help the Democratic candidate in Westchester overcome this threat?

  2. Have no interest in attacking Glick. I like her staff's rendering of the proposal– looks pretty evil and fascist– no idea if it is fair but it gets the message across. Frankly I like the Pier just as it is. I am obviously not a developer and I would prefer the city NOT over-develop– there's not benefit for me. I hope that this generation will have the sense and passion to withstand the blandishments of corporate interests, developers and big landlords– just as in earlier days locals defeated Westway.

    Can we please avoid ideological blinders as we try to solve this? Most likely there will be some sort of compromise but those with all the power need to scale way way back. I say lets make sure that the city does not give any more sweetheart deals to the crony capitalists. Hey that's not my ideology speaking– that's business as usual, sad to say!

  3. Fulminations against good sense and downtown leadership, such as that of Patrick Shields are irrelevant to this discussion and should be taken down by The Villager. The straight facts are, the pier is crumbling, so something must be done to raise the revenue to repair it. The repairs required for housing would amount to building a whole new pier and still would not be economically viable. Mr. Durst — an experienced developer — has a good idea, and most >smart< people, including Assemblymember Glick, think it merits serious attention. The question is, will Mad Wils, who foisted a film fest on Tribeca, be among the smart people.

    • So you would have a downtown news entity remove comments you disagree with, and allow only yours and those you agree with? That speaks volumes. My record of advocacy for a pro, pro-soccer "good sense" compromise solution on Pier 40 has been well known since 2002, and I have advocated it as urgent from the very beginning. I've supported Assemblymember Glick's no-housing position since the creation of the Trust, but sadly, she has failed, completely failed to solve the Pier 40 problem. Enough time has passed, she has failed, these are the facts. Like many, you comment on this Pier 40 issue as if it is fresh, just started yesterday. Go back and read everything, especially Arthur Schwartz articles in various papers. Then come back better informed. On top of that, Glick fails to challenge her own leadership on use of taxpayer money to quietly make an anti-woman sexual harassment scandal go away. This is a bonafide scandal which has exposed how apathetic the Village has become in the face of entrenched, failed, complicit leadership. If you see a crumbling Pier 40 and leadership in utter fear of the wrath of Sheldon Silver as either "good sense" or "leadership", (or as irrelevant) I challenge you to see what it really is: Deborah Glick backtracking, and preparing to allow a mall with offices and stores on Pier 40, instead of getting the city and state to complete the capital funding, which is what she has been demanding. This demand, and the delay it has caused, is why we are where we are now. She hasn't come through, and there is no way she, or you, can spin it.

      • It's sad when you think that by conflating an attack on Ms Glick and Sheldon Silver as a way for the Trust to push through their plan to put a luxury high rise apartment and hotel in Hudson River Park.

        • Not the Trust, not any other entity. I am a longtime, and loyal supporter of Glick's, a regular Village resident, Bedford Downing Block Association member. A pro preservation, anti overdevelopment, Pier 40 user, who is saying NO MORE. Enough is enough. Glick needs to get the capital funding she has been promising now, as in NOW, or walk away. We are going to lose this amazing asset because she has not come up with the funding. You can't only do the developer blocking if you are the legislator. You have to come up with the solution, you have to win sometimes, ass in find the money. We have an upstate Republican telling his party to "shove it" and supporting same sex marriage, and we can't even get our most important local Dem to challenge the Democratic leadership in an unbelievably anti woman and anti taxpayer scandal. These are the facts. Why is she getting a free pass when we need real leadership most? Go back and look at my history, in many venues, of calling the HRPT to the carpet during this process. Now it's Glick's turn. I am pro only one thing. A Pier 40 solution. Do your homework before making such an unfounded accusation of affiliation.

          • I think every one agrees that Capital Funds to complete the park has been missing from the CITY and State. It IS the job of the Trust to lobby the state and city agencies to secure the capital funds.

            My understanding of the legislation that was bandied about in the spring HAD capital funding. It was not Ms Glick who walked away from that piece of legislation.

            Housing will never work as the solution. But perhaps you are impressed with the way Trump Towers worked out. But this time on a pier, in a high risk flood zone, with no public transporation (hey build more parking spaces for them).
            Again I'm sorry for your loss Patrick. Your devotion to the soccer stadium was well chronicled.

          • So you oppose the Trust, but you are comfortable with saying that it is THEIR job, and not the job of our local politicos, to lobby for capital funds from the city (Christine Quinn) and state (Deborah Glick and Tom Duane). Unrealistic and naieve. Have you not seen the Trusts Board membership?! It is a who's who of the NYC development community. Already they are positing Durst as the savior, a done deal, without community input or permission (though he clearly has been the first from the development community to open a dialogue for compromise). They want bonding and debt as a means to create infrastructure for housing or something similar. You have seen me here and there opposing housing, and advocating for a reasonable compromise solution, yet you have the nerve to lump me in with the pro Trump/Soho crowd? Are you serious? You're insult of me in that regard is indicative of your understanding of my positions in the Pier 40 matter, and typical of the cloak of anonymity online. The Village, right now, needs individuals to come forward, online and off, and put their names on a solution for this ridiculous Pier 40 crisis which has pitted neighbor against neighbor. The sad reality is that Deborah Glick has failed to provide a political or financial solution. It is loud but weak leadership. Roy J. McDonald, the upstate Republican, who is about to relinquish his seat for having used his moral authority to help secure Ms. Glick, Ms. Quinn, Mr. Duane and Mr. Hoylman the right to marry in New York State, has absolutely shamed her and all of these local Democrats, not one of which has had the courage to challenge Speaker Silver for spending our tax dollars to coverup grotesque and ape-like harassment of women in the workplace by Vito Lopez. Mr. McDonald is a hero, our locals are merely "politicians". Every Villager should be openly angry at this hypocrisy, and the lack of political will and conviction in this cradle of democracy. Pier 40 is merely a symptom.

  4. Ye gads! What a monstrosity. Why not just cover the river altogether.

  5. There is no mutiny or conflict between HRPT and The Durst Organization regarding Pier 40. We are working together to study the economic viability of all options, including housing, to restore or rebuild Pier 40.

    • Thank you and we understand that. But why does every explanation say something to the effect of "We are working together to study the economic viability of all options, including housing"…or "we are looking at all options, including housing". "Everything is on the table, including HOUSING". Seems the focus is clear, and frankly, we have seen the Board structure of both HRPT and Friends, so even with your good will gesture, how can you expect us to accede. Repetition is a strategy. Housing. As I said regarding Glick's lack of initiative or clout: now that the soccer option, which I believe to have been the best compromise as it created no debt, is gone, where is the fundamentally new and creative idea? There is an enormous amount of money out there not tied to housing, big box retail or old energy. This is downtown New York City, Greenwich Village, blocks from Wall Street in the greatest city in the world, and she can't come up with a solution for Pier 40? The more this drags on, the more I am comfortable with the idea that Glick is the problem. If you're going to stop one type of thing on principle, you have to also come up with the solution. The first half only, is failed leadership. Not good enough any more. If she doesn't come up with a solution to Pier 40 before the next legislative session, (a solution which should have been an absolute crowning achievement), she should prepare to walk away from politics. As of now, it is clear she has neither the clout, nor the desire/hustle to get this done. The successes in her prime-sponsored legislative record suggest that her primary passions lie outside the greatest needs of her constituents.

      • It is not the job of Deborah Glick to come up with a development solution for Pier 40 -THAT IS -and WAS the job of the Hudson River Park Trust and its Board which has FAILED miserably over the last decade.
        The lack of leadership lies with the Chair Diana Taylor and a politically appointed Board which desperately needs an infusion of new voices. Sadly unless Govenor Coumo steps in we will have to wait until Mr Bloomberg leaves office for any change. It was not Ms Glick who killed your beloved soccer stadium on the piers Mr Patrick. Ms Wils would not allow any other option to be seriously considered BUT housing.
        Despite her public PRstatements.
        Ms Wils and the Trust have known for YEARS they had no plan or solution for their looming crisis. But now they want to position Ms Glick as the obstructionist and are using the entire park as hostage.
        Ms Glick has called for the reexamination of the park as a WHOLE to determine its future.
        Mr Durst and a number of other Hudson River Park supporters have taken up that challenge and have requested to be heard.

        • The job of Deborah Glick is to come up with the public money she has been saying is needed to complete the job, while opposing development efforts. Which we have all supported. All along. Now it is clear that she has failed in getting that done. It's called bringing home the bacon, and it has become clear she has neither earned nor sought the political clout to demand this type of funding. I have never called once called her obstructionist, nor am I pro developer, or affiliated in any manner with HRPT or Durst. I am a small business owner in the Village who has been either parking or playing soccer at Pier 40 since 1992. We need the Pier, Glick has neither come up with public funding nor forced the HRPT to come up with a solution acceptable to the community. She has failed. Failed on Pier 40, failed to stop NYU. Failed on Saint Vincent's. It is time for new blood.

          • I've been calling on Dick Gottfried to retire for awhile on this same issue.
            Again my condolences on the loss of your major league soccer stadium.
            As a soccer fan myself I'm sorry you did not get the support from the Village community or an open mind at the Trust.
            I only wish there were as many park amenities you enjoy in the Hudson River Park above W 29th .
            But as long as you have your Pier 40 Fields and parking there….everything else must STOP.
            One look whose district has more real park and you will see that Ms Glick's wins hands down.

  6. It would help if Ms Wils remembered that she no longer works for the Bloomberg administration in his Economic Development Corp. but I guess it's hard considering Diana Taylor is the chair of the politically appointed Trust Board.
    It is known that her mind is settled on housing on piers in the park and everyone else is a threat.
    Perhaps Ms Taylor needs to resign and perhaps that will allow Ms Wils to be open to other ideas than more luxury apartments on park land. But unfortunately Ms Wils has pushed housing as a solution to park funding on a number of EDC projects she worked on.

  7. Village residents will protest whatever development will save pier 40, then when it's condemned and closed forever they will protest the closing. Sound familiar? St. Vincents?

    • Completely wrong. Saint Vincent's was a gift to very well connected developers, for pennies on the dollar, of an important community asset which had been mismanaged willingly by a corporation with ties to the development community. Years in the making, and every local politico knew it was coming down the pike. They did little to oppose the closing or provoke good business practices at the hospital when it mattered. What you are referring to is all the noise they made after the housing development was already in progress, post the hospital closing. Your analogy suggests that anti development protests could have contributed to the closing of the hospital, which is clearly impossible, and certainly inaccurate. The anti development protests were in regard to smart people knowing the fix was in, that the hospital was being run into the ground in order to let it die so the property could be developed. Slightly more complicated, but no one really has the energy for understanding "complicated" these days. Certainly developers do. They have the time and the money to exist in a world of legal and financial complications, while paying their PR firms to simplify it publicly in order to win over the intellectually and politically lazy.

  8. The laws were written for this to be a park. It should stay a park.

    Don't fix the roof – take it off = millions saved. Replace pilings where the pier is strongest, and destroy the rest = millions saved. It will be a smaller pier, but stackable parking will generate the same income. And a small sports stadium will have less neighborhood impact, and there's already a place for fans to park.

    Scaling down will build up efficiency. And demand that the city and state kick in $ for repairs if sustainability can be achieve thereafter.

  9. Outstanding letter posted in current The Villager by Tom Fox.
    Puts the issue in context and well sourced.
    A must read.

    • Yet with no concrete ideas for specific and immediate resolution of issues. Respectfully to Tom Fox, this is a history lesson we all know. The focus must be kept on an immediate solution for Pier 40. Why hasn't Glick put together a task force to create truly new ideas, and seek developers for those truly new and energetic ideas? (The task force can do its job while she pushes for capital funding to complete the park and repair Pier 40). The big scary housing drawings presented last week are the equivalent of a lawyer spending all summer vacationing and then presenting a cursory press release on behalf of her death row inmate at the very last second, rather than spending all summer doing everything humanly and legally possible to save the life of the innocent client.

  10. AGAIN Patrick….it is the responsibility of the Hdson River Park Trust to lobby for capital finds to complete the park

    Chair Diana Taylor and her newly hired Ms Wils have Failed to even lobby successfully the state or the city.

    Which is pretty pathetic considering Ms Taylor living situation.

    Clearly the leadership of the Trust has failed in the stewardship of Hudson River Park.

    End the harangue of Housing on Parkland as the solution and again I’m sorry for your loss (a stadium is such precious commodity)

    Perhaps we need to heed Ms Taylor and Wils plan to begin a phased shut down of Pier 40 and focus on BUILDING THE PARK north of W 29th St. The community -represented by Dick Gottfried- don’t even have a park bench from 29th-44th St but as long as Mr Shields and his Pier 40 First lobby crab about their amenities Ms Wils will hold the entire park as hostage.

    Mr Gottfried who district encompasses this dearth of “park” is hard at work though-he’s busy hoping to build a hotel and luxury apartments I his part of the Hudson River Park. And boy is Patrick Shields and buddies at the lobbying firm of Pier 40 Champions envious.

    • I'm 100% unaffiliated. Note my criticism of Pier 40 "Champion's" in Downtown Express. You've revealed yourself only as an information-free false accuser, and now that I'm sure you're just the usual anonymous commenter, I'm moving on, but thank you for the opportunity to point to why the Pier 40 problem hasn't been solved. Your vote for Deb Glick in November, and it's lack of impact, are both assured.


  11. To Patrick Shields

    DOUGLAS DURST is not on the board of The Trust.

    And he is NOT being touted by the TRUST as the savior.

    Far from it –the Trust is INSISTING on Housing as the Savior.


    End of Discussion.

    Where is Hudson River Park above West 29th St ?!?

    • Show me Glick's plan for Pier 40 in your next response.

      Patrick Shields

    • Next time read my post. I said GLICK is now suddenly touting Durst as the savior, (read her e-mail blast to constituents) because she has nothing else to reach for, because she has no plan of her own, and cannot obtain public capital funding. A failure.

      p.s. Sorry, I know you said "end of discussion", seems you like to tell people what to do, how to act, what they can say in print. So, OK, I'll move on. As I said before, the Pier 40 discussion needs to be public from now on to get it done. Real people, real names, real ideas. Next ULURP meeting for Pier 40, make sure and get up and intro yourself as HKres, and present your Pier 40 idea. Bring Deb Glick.

  12. They might as well have built WestWay. There is only so much that can be gotten out of Pier 40. Leave it for ballfields and parking, but remove the sidewalls to improve the sightlines.

    • Your right…they might as well go back to West Way and that's just SAD.
      And those developers who pushed Westway and lost….they didn't loose.
      They are still here. And now with all the capital improvements that the TAXPAYERS of the city and state of NY paid for and brought to the coast of Hudson River it's a better deal for them. And if we can just get the Trust to cry SOS I'm sure a housing developer will step forward and cut a great deal to get it for pennies on the dollar.
      While getting the city and state to pump even more capital dollars to ONE part of the park leaving the rest still waiting to see anything above 29th St.

  13. Has the Trust forgotten about Chelsea Piers? Why not build luxury apartments and retail around the privately owned Chelsea Piers and leave Pier 40 as the public park and community sports facilities it was intended to be.

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