Volume 74, Number 41 | February 16 - 22, 2005

Pier 40 consultants say ‘big box’ not good for park

The Waterfront Committee of Community Board 2 heard a preliminary report this week on the marketing study commissioned by the Hudson River Park Trust on ways to develop Pier 40 as an economically viable and community-friendly part of the Hudson River Park.

The Bay Area Economics Consultants executives who came to the Feb. 7 waterfront meeting with Connie Fishman, Trust president, and Noreen Doyle, Trust vice president, acknowledged that a “big box” retail outlet on the 14-acre pier off Houston St. was not compatible with a park, despite its revenue potential

But one of the possibilities involved the idea of a permanent farmers’ market. The Ford Foundation has been working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to develop public markets in several cities, the consultants said.

Similar markets have been established on waterfronts in Seattle and the San Francisco area, they noted.
Another possibility involved a company on the West Coast that leases small unprogrammed spaces to artists, craftsmen and hobbyists who lack their own studios.

Don MacPherson, committee chairperson, said committee members were interested in the possibility that public parking could remain as a commercial use of the pier along with the active and passive recreation space now on the pier.

A written report on the B.A.E. study will be made public soon, according to Chris Martin, Trust spokesperson. The study is intended to help the Trust draft a new request for proposals for potential developers. Under the Hudson River Park legislation, at least 50 percent of Pier 40 must be noncommercial park space.

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