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New Waterfront Cafes and East River Esplanade Slated to Open by Summer

By Irene Plagianos | February 20, 2013 4:39pm

LOWER MANHATTAN — New sections of the long-awaited East River Waterfront Esplanade are slated to open just in time for warmer weather.

The glass-walled Maiden Lane pavilion, which sits underneath the FDR Drive at Maiden Lane and South Street and will feature a restaurant run by Merchants Hospitality, should be ready by the summer, officials told Community Board 1 Tuesday night.

Also, a piece of the riverfront pathway that stretches from the Battery Maritime Building to Wall Street is slated for an April opening, while another small portion linking Fulton Street to Pier 15 should be completed by Memorial Day, said Terri Bahr, a project manager for the city Economic Development Corporation.

On Pier 15, which offers sweeping views of Lower Manhattan, two glass-encased pavilions are also opening soon. One will house a cafe, launching by Memorial Day, and another will be home to a maritime education center, slated to begin operating in July.

The $165 million East River Waterfront Esplanade project, which is creating a 2-mile picturesque stone path and bikeway lined with greenery and seating, as well as revamped piers and new eateries, will run from the Battery Maritime Building up to Montgomery Street, just north of a retooled Pier 35, when the overhaul is done.

Bahr said the EDC anticipates the entire path, which has suffered setbacks in construction through the years, including recent delays thanks to Hurricane Sandy, will be finished by 2014.

Sections that opened in 2011 include a stretch from Maiden Lane to Wall Street that includes a popular dog run, as well as the double-level, 50,000-square-foot Pier 15.

When completed, the esplanade will be part of a larger greenway, connecting the West Side's Hudson River Park with a continuous loop to the East Side.