Waterside Pier to Be Demolished and Replaced by 2015, City Says

By Heather Holland on February 14, 2014 9:30am 

TUDOR CITY — The city will demolish the damaged, unused Waterside Pier and replace it with a new pier that contains public park space, officials announced this week.

The city previously planned to renovate the abandoned East River pier — which stretches from 38th to 41st streets and was previously used by Con Edison for fuel deliveries and parking — but the city's Economic Development Corporation recently decided it would be better to tear it down and start over, officials said.

“It’s important to the city that it replaces the entire pier,” said NYCEDC vice president Cali Williams, who presented the plan to Community Board 6’s land use committee on Wednesday.

Demolition of the abandoned pier, which is riddled with cracks and strewn with garbage, will begin later this year. The new 800-foot-long pier will open to the public by the end of 2015, Williams said.

The city is still in the process of designing the pier, but it will be raised 4 feet higher than the existing pier and will include protections against storm surges, officials said.

In 2011, the city announced that it would begin renovating the pier using $13 million that Con Edison paid the city after leaving the pier in poor condition when its lease expired in 2010.

However, no work ever occurred, and now the city will supplement the Con Ed funds with a "couple million" from the Parks Department and the city's capital budget to rebuild the pier entirely, Williams said. City Councilman Dan Garodnick has contributed $1.25 million to the project.

The exact cost of the project is not yet clear, Williams said.

The city will present basic designs including storm protections for the new Waterside Pier this spring, but the full design, which will include amenities for the public, will take longer because that part is not yet funded, Williams said.

Based on the amount of funding available now, the pier will have just one entry and exit point, at Glick Park near the 38th Street end.

When members of CB6 asked whether the project would include improvements to Glick Park, including repairs to the lighting and water fountain, a representative from the Parks Department said it was unlikely because there wasn’t enough money.

“We are aware of the deficiencies at Glick Park,” said Leslie Wolf, a representative for the Parks Department. “There is no funding identified to do a complete upgrade of Glick Park, but perhaps it can be handled in that [final] phase.”

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