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Plan to Fix Stretch of Sherman Creek Moves Forward

By Carla Zanoni | October 5, 2011 4:07pm

INWOOD — Sherman Creek is one step closer to becoming the shining jewel of the Harlem River that community officials have been calling for over the past decade.

After receiving close to $1 million from the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey to clean up and restore the Harlem River waterfront at Sherman Creek, the New York Restoration Project (NYRP) has won the support of local Community Board 12 for the plan.

The restoration plan, which is broken into two phases, would clean up the ramshackle and overgrown site that sits to the north of NYRP’s Swindler’s Cove along Sherman Creek, at the easternmost edge of Dyckman Street. The site fell into decay years ago when a 2009 fire burned down the boathouses that once played host to Irish fishermen along the Harlem River inlet.

A view of the Sherman Creek waterfront in Inwood.
A view of the Sherman Creek waterfront in Inwood.
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New York City Economic Development Corporation

The first phase of the clean up would be completed by the end of 2013 and would seek to shore up the waterfront, add vehicle access and restore and maintain a launch for non-motorized boats, according to Community Board 12’s resolution.

The second phase of the project, which is not yet funded, would expand kayak and canoe storage for up to 24 crafts in two 30-foot-by-10-foot storage containers on the site.

Community Board 12 voted in favor of a resolution supporting both phases of the plan during its general meeting last week calling for the "unsound and hazardous" site to be made "publicly accessible and restore it to community use."

Although some community members had said at CB12's Parks and Cultural Affairs committee meeting on Sept. 6 that a redesign of the space might make the space "attractive as a hang out for negative use," the board argued a clean up could "address safety issues" at the site.

The next step is for the city’s Public Design Commission to green light the preliminary plan, before construction can begin.

Calls for comment to the Commission were not immediately returned.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation recently unveiled a separate plan for the complete renovation of Sherman Creek over the summer.

That ambitious $83 million plan would seek to reinvent the stretch of the Harlem River between Dyckman and 208th Street, which includes the space to be rehabbed by NYRP.