CB3 Committee Approves Phase 1 of Pier 42 Park Plan

Posted on: October 22nd, 2014 at 5:21 am by
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The revitalization and beautification of Pier 42 into public parkland is slowly advancing through the bureaucracy. Indeed, Community Board 3 last night heard and approved the final design for Phase 1 of the so-called master plan.

Suits from both Matthews Nielsen Landscape Architects and the Parks Department presented to the Parks and Rec subcommittee in order to fill in the bones of the project, so to speak. As the first step in a years-long endeavor, the $9.6 million first Phase simply transforms the area in question from pockmarked parking lot to park. Changes include:

  • Dismantling most of the warehouse structure, which was originally constructed in 1964. Its skeleton will remain.
  • Removal of toxic soil.
  • Remove asbestos and lead paint.
  • Planting trees and vegetation.
  • Grinding the current asphalt bed into fill for a knoll on the north end. It’s seven feet above the 100 year flood line with views of the Brooklyn Bridge.
  • Repair bulkhead stone.
  • Provide interim park lighting.
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As the representatives noted, this initial work is really just a site safety project. Many public attendees weren’t having it, though.

Led by a vocal Nancy Ortiz – Vladeck Houses Resident Association President – many in the room relayed their feelings of being disenfranchised from the overall master plan. She immediately went on the offensive and noted that the approximate 10,000 families living in the immediate vicinity don’t benefit from amenities like a kayak basin. How it’s all just a play to attract outsiders and not appease those river denizens. A pool or roller rink is what’s desperately needed, neighbors contend. Ortiz noted that “we are a community tired of being ignored … [kayaks] don’t fit into the demographic of our community.”

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To be fair, the only item up for vote last night was Phase 1. Future park composition and potential amenities like concessions, kayaks, roller rinks, comfort station, and/or pools won’t be discussed until later down the line.

Also not addressed in Phase 1 are safety concerns regarding the bike path and the southern entrance to the park at South and Montgomery Streets.

The panel unanimously approved the measure. Expect completion sometime in 2016.

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