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New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) President Seth W. Pinsky, State Senator Liz Krueger, Assembly member Brian Kavanagh, and Council member Daniel Garodnick, today announced that the City will soon begin infrastructure work on Waterside Pier, located between 38th and 41st Street on the East River. The work, which will include the rehabilitation of the pier’s piles and decking, will stabilize the Waterside Pier, and is an important step in making the pier accessible for public use in the future. The infrastructure work on Waterside Pier will be made possible by a $13 million payment Con Edison made to the City to meet the requirements under its previous lease. The payment was negotiated jointly by the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS), the agency responsible for administering the lease, and NYCEDC, with assistance from the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation.
“The rehabilitation of the Waterside Pier’s infrastructure is an important first step in making this pier fit for public accessibility,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky. “Creating new waterfront access is a priority of the City’s Waterfront Vision and Enhancement Strategy, and will reconnect New Yorkers and visitors to the water, helping to reclaim New York City’s standing as one of the world’s premier waterfront cities. I would like to thank DCAS Commissioner Edna Wells Handy for her agency’s role in working with Con Edison to secure the funds, as well as Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe for his agency’s assistance with this important project.”
"The renovation of the Waterside Pier will provide 34,000 square feet of new public space that our community desperately needs,” said State Senator Liz Krueger. “I am extremely pleased that by working together, the City and local elected officials have achieved a critical first step towards reconnecting East Midtown to the water and closing the gap in the Greenway around Manhattan. I look forward to a continued partnership that will bring many more wonderful things to the East Side Waterfront."
"If we're going to succeed in making our waterfront accessible and enhancing open space on the East Side, we'll need cooperation and commitment from many agencies and many interested parties,” said Assemblymember Brian Kavanagh. “I congratulate and thank the City and Con Ed for taking action to put this significant piece in place."
"Rehabilitating the unused Con Ed pier will get us a step closer to turning prime, underused, waterfront real estate into a public amenity for the East Side and all New Yorkers," said Council Member Dan Garodnick. "The pier is a critical piece in creating a continuous East River esplanade, so we are glad that the City and Con Ed have made this important progress."
“We are very pleased to be part of the city’s effort to transform an unused pier into a beautiful waterfront park,” John Banks, vice president of Government Relations for Con Edison. “Enhancing the city’s green landscape is always a worthy goal for New Yorkers.”
“The city is working on all fronts to provide New Yorkers with a continuous Manhattan Waterfront Greenway and we are thrilled that the rehabilitation of Waterside Pier will set the stage for its improvement into a new waterfront park,” said Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe. “Thanks to our partnership with NYCEDC and East Side elected officials, we are taking a major step forward in our efforts to close the greenway gap along the East River.”
Turning the Waterside Pier into public open space is a key component in the City’s long-term plan to close the gap in the Manhattan Greenway. Currently, the Manhattan Greenway is disconnected by a gap in waterfront access stretching from 38th Street to 60th Street along the East River.
The State recently passed legislation that is intended to allow for the alienation of a portion of Robert Moses Playground, if terms can be worked out in a memorandum of understanding between the City and State officials this summer. That legislation also required payment to the City for infrastructure work on Waterside Pier as a pre-condition to alienation. The alienation of a portion of Robert Moses Playground would, in turn, allow for the United Nations Consolidation Project, which, if built, would facilitate funding for construction of a new esplanade from 38th to 60th Streets along the East River.
Creating new waterfront parks is an important piece of the Waterfront Vision and Enhancement Strategy, a sustainable blueprint for New York City’s waterfront and waterways launched by the City in May 2011. To reconnect New Yorkers and visitors to the water and reclaim New York City’s standing as a premier waterfront city, the plan will transform the City’s waterfront with new parks, new industrial activities and new housing, and it will capitalize on the City’s waterways to promote water-borne transportation, recreation, maritime activity and natural habitats. The plan has two components: a three-year action agenda comprised of 130 funded projects, including the development of more than 50 acres of new waterfront parks, creation of 14 new waterfront esplanades and introduction of new commuter ferry service; and the Vision 2020: New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, a framework for the City’s 520 miles of shoreline for the next decade and beyond. The 130 action agenda projects are expected to create 13,000 construction jobs and at least 3,400 permanent maritime and industrial jobs. It is the first citywide plan for the waterfront in nearly two decades and the first ever comprehensive plan for the waterways themselves.
New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City’s primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC’s mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City’s competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City’s many opportunities. Find us on Facebook and Twitter to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.