Volume 74, Number 20 | September 15 - 21 , 2004

Hearing on Pier 57 redevelopment

By Albert Amateau

Four developers who have submitted proposals to redevelop Pier 57 on the Chelsea waterfront will present their plans at a Hudson River Park Trust hearing on Sept. 22 if they comply with a Trust request for additional information.

Connie Fishman, president of the Trust, the state-city agency building the five-mile riverfront park, said this week that the Trust is seeking more financial details about the four proposals and each developer must provide the information to be eligible to make the presentation at the hearing at the Hudson Guild Fulton Senior Center, 119 Ninth Ave.

The design committee of the Trust board of directors chose the four proposals in January from among eight preliminary ideas.

The hearing will begin at 5 p.m. with an informal display of the four proposals followed by presentations with questions and answers at 6 p.m. and public testimony at 7 p.m. All four developers intend to have historic ships, marinas, maritime and environmental programs, art galleries and public space on the 300,000-sq.-ft. Hudson River pier at W. 15th St. The proposals are on display from Sept. 15-Oct. 18 in the lobby of the Trust headquarters on Pier 40 at Houston St. The Trust will accept written testimony on the four proposals until Oct. 18. Information is also available on the Trust Web site www.hudsonriverpark.org.

The four plans are:

* Hudson River Performing Arts Center, a plan by Original Ventures, a consortium including Hudson Guild, the National Maritime Historical Society and Riverkeeper, the nonprofit group headed by Robert Kennedy, Jr. The plan includes a space for music, dance and theater events. Michael Kramer, a Chelsea resident and former member of Community Board 4, is a partner. HRH Construction, KeySpan and the architectural firms of Richard Dattner, Dan Ionescu and Buckhurst, Fish & Jaquemart are team members.

* Discover 57, a plan proposed by LCOR Development Services, Bovis Lend Lease project managers, Meta Brunzema Architects, JM Zell Partners Museum Services and DMCD, Inc., a museum design firm. John Doswell, a member of Community Board 4 and a founder of Friends of Hudson River Park, is a partner in the Discover team. The Jacques Cousteau Society would run maritime center vessels. Docking space for excursion boats, a diving center, a marine supplies shop and space for U.S. Coast Guard boats and classrooms are in the plan. Retail space, galleries, studios and a 35,000-sq.-ft. event center are also part of the Discover plan.

* Chelsea Piers Management, which operates the sports and entertainment complex on the Chelsea waterfront, plans a row of art galleries, studios and a 40,000-sq.-ft. dance center on Pier 57. An arts center with classes in plastic and visual arts plus an aquatics center are in the Chelsea Piers plan. A tennis center is included along with historic ships and a small boat marina.

* Leonardo at Pier 57, a plan proposed by a consortium that includes the Cipriani restaurant group with Plaza Construction Corp. and The Witkoff Group. Leonardo includes an Italian crafts, retail and cultural center in a two-story arcade that simulates an Italian street. The plan also has a restaurant, event space and a marina and nautical store on Pier 57. The town dock on a barge currently on the north side of Pier 63 at 23rd St. would find a home on Pier 57 under the Leonardo plan.

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