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Chelsea Pier 57 Development Update: Little Italy on Hudson?

Big plans are in the works for Pier 57, the decrepit Hudson River dock that the city wants to turn into the next hot destination. Last week, development proposals for the pier were narrowed to four groups. Herewith, Curbed assesses the contenders.

Who: Original Ventures (community consortium)
What: Hudson River Performing Arts Center; Sea History Maritime Center with revolving exhibits; headquarters for Riverkeeper w/outreach center.
Curbed's take: Sounds like a great place... for a field trip.

Who: Discover 57 (community consortium)
What: Jacques Cousteau Society visitor center and museum, with Cousteau?s boat Calypso anchored nearby; 35,000-sq.-ft. event center; retail shops, art galleries; Grace Line waiting room restored and reopened; marine supplies shop; space for U.S. Coast Guard boats and a Coast Guard classroom.
Curbed's take: Upside: who doesn't love Jacques Cousteau? Downside: so dull as makes one want to claw eyes out.

Who: Chelsea Piers (yes, that Chelsea Piers)
What: Art galleries and studios; giant dance center; River Arts Center; 30,000-sq.-ft. aquatics center with indoor pool with a diving pool; 100,000-sq.-ft. tennis center with nine indoor courts, two squash courts. (More here.)
Curbed's take: Upside: sporty! At last, a plan for the site that sounds like it would cost us money. Downside: already exists six blocks up.

Who: Cipriani Restaurant Group
What: Two-story pedestrian street lined with Italian shops and crafts; shops from high-end Italian companies; La Triennale di Milano museum and gallery; Milanostudio fashion and photo studio; Cipriani-operated restaurant and event space; Ferretti-operated marina and nautical store; resort-style outdoor pool on the roof of the pier; parking (see photo above).
Curbed's Take: For its unabashed willingness to inject commercialism into the site, and the potential to lure models from whatever new boîte Sacco opens nearby, this proposal is the clear winner.

· Trust Trims Proposals for Pier 57 to 4 [Villager]
· Hudson River Park Trust, Pier 57 [HRPT, w/plan PDFs]
· Pier 57 Chelsea Piers proposal []
· Pier 57 Discussion and photos [Wired New York]