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Crumbling Pier A Needs Nearly $1.3M Extra for Repairs

Workers are repairing Pier A's clock tower.
Workers are repairing Pier A's clock tower.
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Battery Park City Authority

LOWER MANHATTAN — Repairs to the rotting Pier A will cost nearly $1.3 million more than expected as workers race to finish the project by the end of the year, officials said Tuesday.

The Battery Park City Authority, which is fixing up the dilapidated 126-year-old landmarked pier so it can be turned into an oyster bar and catering hall, approved the $1.27 million in construction contracts for the pier Tuesday morning, amid board members' concerns over the swelling cost of the project.

The new funds include S647,000 for construction manager The LiRo Group, which will cover a new expedited schedule, including weekend work, so that the repairs can be finished by the end of this year, said Gwen Dawson, senior vice president of asset management for the BPCA.

"We have received a commitment [from] the contractors to accelerate construction…so we can finish construction by Dec. 31," Dawson said.

The Battery Park City Authority had initially hoped to finish repairing the pier by last summer, but the rotting wooden structure was in much worse shape than anticipated, which delayed the completion by 18 months.

Once the work is finally done, the authority will turn the pier over to a group of developers including the Poulakakos family, who will pour $18 million into the space to build an oyster bar, sit-down restaurant, catering hall and tourist information center by next summer.

At Tuesday's board meeting, several authority board members raised concerns about the $36.8 million project's rising costs, asking that LiRo not receive any more money if they miss the new Dec. 31 deadline for repairing the pier.

"They should agree to get the job done by Dec. 31 or continue [working] at no extra cost," said Donald Capoccia, an authority board member. "They should either agree to this or tell us why…they can't hold a schedule."

The authority plans to continue negotiating with LiRo over future costs, authority staff said.

Other Pier A cost increases approved Tuesday include an additional $380,000 for Stalco Construction to replace sections of Pier A's roof that the authority had hoped to save but were in such bad condition that they needed to go, and an additional $245,000 for a subcontractor to do work related to Pier A's plaza, Dawson said.

A Battery Park City Authority spokesman said the new costs would be covered by the project's contingency fund.

Pier A opened in 1886 as the headquarters for the New York Harbor Police and Department of Docks, before later serving as an FDNY fireboat station and workshop. It has sat vacant and closed to the public for more than a decade.