Douglas Durst may have stepped down as chairman of Friends of Hudson River Park, but that doesn't mean that he no longer cares about its problems. Durst walked away because he disagrees with the group on how to save the totally broke Pier 40 from completely sinking into the river,
the trust wants housing and Durst thinks that's a bad idea so he tapped Dattner Architects to help him create a new proposal for the pier that offers commercial space for tech companies and art galleries, plus more parking. The Observer notes that it's similar to how the pier is currently used, but space is distributed more efficiently and the pier would actually make money.
Using car stackers, parking would be consolidated and expanded in the middle of the ground floor, allowing for 2,000 spaces (compared to the current 1,400). This would free up the perimeter of the ground floor and mezzanine for 415,000-square-foot of commercial space and 99,000-square-feet of retail. Ball fields would still sit in the middle of the mezzanine, under Durst's proposal, the whole roof could be used for public space, adding several basketball and tennis courts. Durst estimated that this plan could net the park $10 million annually, which the Observer says is almost twice what the park has made in the past.
The proposal was presented at a Hudson River Park Trust advisory committee meeting, and the local community board chairman said that people seemed in favor of the plan. The board will be considering all Pier 40-saving proposals, including that for housing, over the next few weeks, and they will be debating them all at a public forum in February. It's guaranteed to be a good time.
UPDATE: This post has been updated to clarify the fact the Friends of Hudson River Park Trust is not pushing for housing on the pier. "The trust is not advocating for any particular fix. We want all options possible to be presented and examined," said a rep from the Trust. "We want options. We are by no means pushing for housing."
· Douglas Durst Floats Plan for Tech Offices and Galleries to Save Pier 40 [NYO]
· Full Pier 40 presentation [Scribd]
· Friends of Hudson River Park Chairman Resigns Over Pier 40 [Curbed]
· All Pier 40 coverage [Curbed]