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Gov. Cuomo approves redevelopment of Pier 57 in Hudson River Park

Governor Andrew M. Cuomo has announced the State’s approval of a deal with RXR Realty and Young Woo & Associates to transform Pier 57 in Hudson River Park into a mixed-use facility.

A $350 million redevelopment will transform the long-shuttered pier into a showpiece office, retail and cultural complex with Google as its anchor tenant.

As part of the redevelopment, the original pier structure will be restored and a new public rooftop park and esplanades will be created.

“Pier 57 is an iconic part of New York’s history, and I am proud the State is playing a central role in this exciting project to enrich New York’s waterfront.” said Governor Cuomo.

“This action will bring jobs and new investment to the region while also creating a world-class venue for commerce and culture, and I look forward to seeing the work get underway.”​

Google has already signed a letter of intent to occupy approximately 250,000 s/f, including lobby and other space primarily on the top two floors.

The developers have also signed a letter of intent with world-renowned chef, author and television personality, Anthony Bourdain, to construct a large public market on the Pier’s main concourse and mezzanine, containing a mix of international and local dining experiences.

Under a 97-year ground lease with the Hudson River Park Trust, RXR and Young Woo will invest more than $350 million to develop more than 480,000 s/f of office, market and retail and cultural space on the Pier.

Though Pier 57 is designated for commercial use under the Hudson River Park Act, the Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT) and the developers reached agreement on the creation of a nearly 80,000 s/f public park on the Pier’s roof together with a new rooftop outdoor venue for the Tribeca Film Festival and a new rooftop restaurant pavilion.

The project will also include about 34,000 s/f of public outdoor esplanades around the Pier’s nearly 900 ft. long structure, together with a new esplanade from 14th Street to 17th Street, which will link to an expanded esplanade that HRPT is currently building between 14th and Bloomfield Streets.

The first full-scale commercial pier development project brought to fruition by HRPT, Pier 57 is likely to generate millions of dollars in new revenue for the Park and marks a major milestone for HRPT, which is charged with the design, construction, and operation of the four-mile Hudson River Park. HRPT is governed by the Hudson River Park Act and operates on a premise of financial self-sufficiency, meaning that it receives no public funding for its maintenance and operations. That self-sufficiency model is heavily reliant on the few piers designated for limited commercial uses in the Hudson River Park Act.

HRPT conditionally designated Young Woo & Associates to redevelop Pier 57 in 2008. Subsequently, redevelopment plans, including rezoning, were approved unanimously by Community Board 4, the Manhattan Borough President, the City Planning Commission and, ultimately, the New York City Council through New York City’s Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP) that culminated in April 2013. In November of that year, Governor Cuomo signed an amendment to the Hudson River Park Act to expand the permissible uses at the Pier to include office space in order to help enhance the project’s overall viability and potential for public benefit.

The project will retain the basic plans that were previously approved, including the historic preservation of the pier structure, the public marketplace with design inspiration from shipping containers and the rooftop public park. The plan will also include third and fourth floor office space geared towards the creative and technology industries, which will be built within the existing structural pier envelope, simultaneously increasing the economic viability of the project and generating new economic activity for New York.

Via a release, the mayor’s office stressed the importance of retaining the pier’s tradition and preliminary certification from the New York State Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service has already been obtained.

“The redevelopment of historic Pier 57 will transform the area in and around this project and create significant new opportunities for the residents of our state,” said Senate Majority Leader John J. Flanagan. “By putting office, retail and cultural space in one central location, along with a public rooftop and restaurant pavilion, this mixed-use facility will generate millions of dollars and bring about dynamic and positive change. While there is more work to be done, there are many exciting things happening all across New York.”

“New York will always welcome businesses that invest in the local economy and provide strong, quality jobs for New Yorkers,” Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie added.  “The development of Pier 57 is a fine example of the benefits we can achieve for our communities through responsible and inclusive partnerships with businesses. The expansion of Google’s headquarters and the addition of cultural attractions will bring hundreds of permanent new jobs, recreational opportunities and generate millions in economic activity for the state and local economy. I would like to thank Assembly member Deborah Glick and Assembly member Richard Gottfried for their dedicated efforts to ensure that the needs of residents, local businesses and other stakeholders were heard throughout this process.”

Assembly Member Deborah Glick weighed in, saying that ​ she is “pleased to join the Governor and the Speaker in this important announcement that will help Google to continue to grow in our community and revitalize this historic location. I’m excited about the creation of the rooftop public park to be enjoyed by neighborhoods with so little open space.”

Pier 57 is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and includes unique basement space comprising three separate submerged concrete caissons – the only pier basements in New York City. The Pier opened in 1954 as the terminal for Grace Line, and then in 1969, it became the Hudson Pier Depot for the New York City Transit Authority. The depot closed in 2003 and the Pier has been shuttered ever since.

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