Douglas Durst Wants to Put Lofts for Techies and Galleries in Pier 40 to Keep It Afloat

Little help? (agent j loves nyc/Flickr)

The problems of Pier 40 are well documented by now. Once the golden goose of Hudson River Park, the pier is now so deteriorated, it costs more to maintain than it earns for the libertarian park. In two years, the pier might have to be shut down all together. With hopes of MLS soccer headed to Queens instead and a housing proposal on the rocks, what’s a park to do?

Well, it looks like Douglas Durst to the rescue.

Acting as “a private individual with knowledge of residential development” rather than chair of the Friends of Hudson River Park, which supports a housing plan, Mr. Dust said he did not think this would work, according to the Post’s Steve Cuozzo. Instead, he wants to rejigger the parking to one level instead of three, freeing up room for additional profit generating development.

It would have the same number of parking spaces, currently 1,700, by converting it from a self-parking facility to one with attendants who would move cars into a three-level “stack,” which would fit into the existing ground floor with 20-foot ceilings.

Freeing up the second floor and roof would make room for 500,000 square feet of commercial space, Durst said. But he wouldn’t build or operate it himself; rather, the Trust would solicit proposals from other developers.

Given the area’s booming tech sector, he seems to think this good be a good spot for a technology campus of some sort, or, pitching to the neighborhood’s other historic strength, galleries and shops.

Mr. Durst argues this plan is preferable because office space is less contentious than residential development, and it might have an easier time getting approved in Albany, which must approve any changes to the pier’s financial structure. If done right, it might not even need Albany’s approval at all. Wouldn’t that make life easier? Douglas Durst Wants to Put Lofts for Techies and Galleries in Pier 40 to Keep It Afloat