Sherman Creek Waterfront Esplanade Master Plan

  • Sherman Creek Waterfront Esplanade Master Plan map
  • Sherman Creek inlet
  • Sherman Creek waterfront
  • New pedestrian trail south of Sherman Creek inlet
  • New pocket park at the Harlem River end of West 203rd Street
  • Proposed boating dock
  • Proposed fitness and play area
  • Proposed pebble beach and fishing pier
  • Proposed riverwalk
  • Proposed Sherman Creek riverwalk
  • View south from the University Heights Bridge
Last Updated September 12, 2016

NYCEDC has developed a plan to revitalize the Harlem River waterfront in Inwood.

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    Inwood NYC Neighborhood Study

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NYCEDC developed this plan by working with a multi-disciplinary team of experts, as well as the City's Departments of Parks & Recreation and City Planning. 

The plan builds on a study that the City conducted in 2004. In that study, the Inwood community expressed its desire for a waterfront esplanade to revitalize the area traditionally known as Sherman Creek.


Sherman Creek lies along the Harlem River within the neighborhood of Inwood, in Upper Manhattan. Once a hub for water-related recreational activities, Sherman Creek began to change in the early 1900s with the arrival of power generation, rail maintenance, and heavy industrial facilities to the area.

By the 1970s, Sherman Creek had become neglected and inaccessible to Inwood residents, and it has largely remained in this condition to this day.

In 2003, several City agencies joined together to conduct a year-long study to identify the community's main concerns regarding planning and development in Sherman Creek. The study found that there was a strong desire to reclaim and enjoy the waterfront once again.

At the public workshop that closed the study in 2004, the community recommended that a pedestrian esplanade, or "malecón," be created to bring new life to Sherman Creek. Download a summary of the workshop 

Starting in 2004, NYCEDC and the City's Department of Parks & Recreation worked together to implement the study's recommendations that relate to waterfront access, parks, and recreation.

That work includes:

  • The clean-up of the upland area just south of the Sherman Creek Inlet, in partnership with New York Restoration Project (NYRP), a local non-profit organization,
  • The creation of a pedestrian trail next to P.S. 5, a local elementary school, also in partnership with NYRP, and
  • The creation of five pocket parks at the Harlem River ends of West 202nd, 203rd, 204th, 205th, and 206th streets.

Sherman Creek Waterfront Esplanade Master Plan

NYCEDC launched this initiative in the fall of 2009 to continue advancing the 2004 study recommendations. NYCEDC engaged the local community through this planning process to identify a shared vision for a Sherman Creek waterfront esplanade. The resulting master plan builds on the work already completed in Sherman Creek and includes a conceptual design for the esplanade and an implementation strategy.

NYCEDC worked on this initiative with a team of planning, design, engineering, and other experts, as well as the City's Departments of Parks & Recreation, Transportation, and City Planning.

The Sherman Creek Waterfront Esplanade Master Plan has been made possible, in part, through a grant from the New York State Department of State's Division of Coastal Resources and was released in the Fall 2011.

Community Engagement

The NYCEDC team held several small-format meetings with community members and elected officials between December 2009 and March 2010 to present and gather preliminary feedback on this planning process.

The meetings were followed on March 20, 2010 by a public workshop where more than 70 people discussed their needs, desires, and concerns regarding a Sherman Creek waterfront esplanade. Please scroll down to download the presentation that was developed for the workshop.

At the public workshop, NYCEDC announced the creation of an Advisory Committee. The committee provided a forum for additional input from key stakeholders, including City agencies, local elected officials, community board members, residents, property and business owners, and non-profit organizations.

The Advisory Committee met for the first time on August 5, 2010, at the Dyckman Houses Seniors' Center. Please find below the presentation to the Advisory Committee.

At the meeting, the NYCEDC team presented a set of initial design options for the waterfront esplanade. Based on the Advisory Committee's valuable feedback, the NYCEDC team began to develop a preferred design direction for the waterfront esplanade.

On February 1, 2011, the NYCEDC team gave a preliminary presentation of this preferred direction to the Parks & Cultural Affairs Committee of Manhattan Community Board 12. Please find this presentation below.

NYCEDC presented the final design direction to the Advisory Committee on July 13, 2011. More than 60 people attended the meeting, which was held at P.S. 5 - Ellen Lurie, and provided valuable feedback on the final design and the overall planning process. Please find the final presentation below.


Sherman Creek Waterfront Esplanade Master Plan - Part 1 - Fall 2011

Sherman Creek Waterfront Esplanade Master Plan - Part 2 - Fall 2011

Sherman Creek Waterfront Esplanade Master Plan - Part 3 - Fall 2011

Sherman Creek Waterfront Esplanade Master Plan - Spanish - Part 1 - Fall 2011

Sherman Creek Waterfront Esplanade Master Plan - Spanish - Part 2 - Fall 2011

Sherman Creek Waterfront Esplanade Master Plan - Spanish - Part 3 - Fall 2011

Public Workshop Presentation - March 20, 2010

Advisory Committee #1 Presentation - August 5, 2010

Community Board 12 Presentation - February 1, 2011

Final Advisory Committee Meeting - July 13, 2011

Sherman Creek Master Plan Presentation

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