Volume 73, Number 4 | May 26 - June 1, 2004

Contracts are issued for Pier 40 field, tennis courts

By Lincoln Anderson

The Hudson River Park Trust’s board of directors at their May 20 meeting approved $5.5 million in contracts to build a 3 3/4-acre, interim sports field at Pier 40. The Trust also awarded a contract of just under $900,000 to build three permanent tennis courts by the river at Spring St.

Citnalta Construction Corp. was the winner of the contract for general construction work for the field at Pier 40, located at the foot of W. Houston St. Citnalta submitted what the Trust deemed the “lowest responsible bid” for the work, $3,072,000. With contingencies, the cost could rise to $3,899,588.

The field will be 400 ft. by 400 ft., large enough for several different games to be held at once, and will be covered with an artificial grass surface, such as FieldTurf.

The Trust will pay for the work out of its general funds, plus $1.6 million from the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. that had previously been slated for an ice-skating rink at Spring St. and the tennis courts.

The Trust shelved the ice-skating rink plan last year after it was rejected by Community Board 2 and Assemblymember Deborah Glick; the tennis courts, initially planned as temporary, will now be permanent.

The United States Soccer Federation and NIKE are also contributing $250,000 to the cost of building the field. As part of the agreement with U.S.S.F./NIKE, a banner will be displayed somewhere inside of Pier 40’s courtyard, facing the field, and there will be youth soccer clinics held at the pier.

A contract for electrical work for the field, including an emergency evacuation warning system — necessary as the pier will be receiving increased public use — was awarded to Seven Star Electrical, which offered a bid of $1,420,066.

A contract for plumbing and construction work in connection with the field was also awarded.

Connie Fishman, the Trust’s president, said that with approval of the contracts, work would start “immediately” on the field and it will be ready for use by early December. Fishman said the field will be used 12 months a year, and that the artificial surface’s expected lifespan is six to seven years.

She said it’s clear the field was the community’s top priority for the pier, and that any developer the Trust might bring in to fully redevelop the pier in the future will surely recognize that fact.

“Having [the field] there will show any developer that this is what the community wants,” Fishman said.

The Trust’s effort to find private developers for a full redevelopment of the 15-acre pier into a mixed park-and-commercial site failed last year without a developer being chosen.

In addition, as part of the Pier 40 interim plan, the existing rooftop field will be renovated and a new passive-use open space, also to be covered with synthetic turf, will be built to the west of the rooftop field.

The tennis courts at Spring St., two doubles and one singles, will be a hard surface, asphalt covered with Har-Tru. Citnalta also submitted the winning bid for this project, at $896,117. With contingencies, the cost for the tennis courts could rise to, but is not to exceed, $1,002,229.

Fishman said the courts will be free and operate the same way the two tennis courts formerly on Trust property near Battery Park City did: If people are waiting in line to get on the courts, those who are playing must get off after an hour.

After the meeting, Noreen Doyle, the Trust’s vice president, congratulated Tobi Bergman, president of Pier Park & Playground Association, or P3, a local youth sports advocacy organization, regarding the field. Wearing their “GV” logo baseball caps, several coaches from the Greenwich Village Little League also attended the meeting, eager to see the Trust give the go-ahead for the field’s construction.

Said Bergman in a statement, “The new fields will be a major improvement for the quality of life for Downtown families, who will for the first time have what almost every other community in the nation takes for granted, places for children to play sports…. The leadership and design staff of the Trust needs to be congratulated for staying with this project as a variety of code issues created unforeseen complications…. In the end, everyone stuck together and that’s why this is happening.”

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