With final bids due Friday for the proposed redevelopment of Hudson River Park’s Pier 40, the West Village community seems all but too eager to shut the door on Related Companies‘ proposed park and waterside entertainment complex. Instead, many seem to be opting for a community plan that mostly preserves the giant working pier-turned-parking lot and ball field complex while still generating enough money to survive.
Not that Related isn’t trying to be loved.
The firm, with money to be made on its proposal that includes Cirque du Soleil, has thrown bone after bone to the community, claiming in its plan to have more parking than currently exists; two acres more of sports fields and basketball courts (both of which are all free); and a dog run. Earlier this month they presented a plan [PDF] with reduced entertainment space, a move that comes on top of dropping a night club and a beach club.
But this is the West Village with which Related is contending, and in the home of Jane Jacobs, the prospect of some 2.5 million annual visitors and tourists—along with the traffic, attitude, and related development they may bring—apparently doesn’t sit too well.
Last night, a Community Board 2 committee recommended that the Hudson River Park Trust board vote down both Related’s proposal and a more modest plan by the Camp Group that mostly leaves the pier intact but adds restrictions on the playing fields.
Now the ball falls into the court of the Hudson River Park Trust board, controlled by Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Spitzer, and Borough President Scott Stringer; it’s slated to vote on the Related and Camp Group proposals on Jan. 31.
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