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Pier 57: Chelsea's New Underwater Adventure Unveiled!

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As expected, the Hudson River Park Trust designated Youngwoo & Associates as the developer to turn Pier 57 at 15th Street into a rip-roaring New York City waterfront attraction?one that can generate some revenue for the upkeep of Hudson River Park. We're cautiously optimistic! It's not that we don't enjoy the Youngwoo bid, with its green space, canoe docks, Tribeca Film Festival venue and "Underwater Discovery Center." It's that if we've learned one thing about the commercial development of the Hudson River piers, it's this: Don't hold your breath. The "Leonardo" plan for Pier 57 fell apart in early '08, and Pier 40 is a total shitshow. But, heck, it's a joyful day so we'll stop raining on the parade. Above, a pair of new renderings of Youngwoo's shipping-container-chic plan (designed by LOT-EK), combined with some previously released early looks. And hey, what's with the Koons?

From the Pier 57 press release, some highlights:

YWA’s plan for Pier 57 includes a 170,000 square-foot covered, open-air public market – to be programmed and managed by Urban Space Management (USM) and housed in part in recycled and creatively refitted shipping containers. The market will be New York’s first large-scale concentration of year-round, affordable work/sell space for artisans and other small businesses. USM operates the holiday markets in Grand Central Station and Union Square, as well as several of the biggest, most popular public markets in London, including Camden Lock.

The Tribeca Film Festival (TFF) will establish a permanent outdoor venue on the roof of the pier, offering a mix of film, music and arts-based programming and promoting cultural connections between New York’s artistic community and the general public. In addition to hosting parts of the annual film festival itself, the Pier 57 “Sky Park” will be the year-round backdrop for a variety of exhibitions and performances conceived by TFF and YWA to educate, entertain and inspire independent artists and audiences alike.

The plan also calls for a “Contemporary Culture Center” of approximately 90,000 square-feet on the ground floor, envisioned as a unique mix of auction, exhibition, gallery and entertainment space centered around the contemporary arts. Seasonal docks will be provided for kayaks, canoes and other small craft. Other features include a two-acre rooftop park, restaurants and an “Underwater Discovery Center” in one of the pier’s historic caissons. Redevelopment of the pier, a National Historic Registry structure containing approximately 375,000 square feet of buildable waterfront space, is estimated to cost a total of $210 million.

· Pier 57 coverage [Curbed]

UPDATE: Just added to the gallery, new views and renderings of the plan, including the five total acres of new public park space from those zany Dutchmen at West 8 (of Governor's Island fame) and more shots of the interconnected container modules. Also, check out this fly-through video if you'd like a soundtrack.