Sink or Swim: Pier 40, Once a Cash Cow, Is Slowly Killing Hudson River Park

Abandon pier! (

What was once the life preserver of Hudson River Park is now dragging the waterfront park under. Pier 40, the popular athletics venue and parking lot might, after years of attempting to rehabilitate it, be shutting down, according to The Tribeca Trib.

Almost a decade ago, the Legislature signed the Hudson River Park Act, an act aimed to transform NYC’s west side into a pulsating parkland aimed to promote wellbeing, but instead the pier has become more of a health hazard than a health benefit.

Fast forward to 2012 and there are still no developers in sight to come and whisk the property off its feet and recreate it.  Therefore, the Hudson River Park Trust, which has been waiting for the developer-in-shining armor, has begun talking about a possible segmented shutdown of the pier.

“If it was my decision right now, I would completely cut [Pier 40] off and say ‘Not one more dime goes into that pier, period,’” HRPT Board Chair Diana Taylor said at a Trust board meeting last week. “And we just close it down as we have to.”

The re-ignited debate of whether or not to shut down the dilapidating peer follows a major push by the Trust to spread the word about the severe financial state of Pier 40, which with repairs it faces in 2013 would cause the pier to operate at a loss.  The trust pushed for legislative changes that would allow new commercial developments along the piers to bring in revenue and activity to the area.  According to the Trust President, Madelyn Wills, with repair cost-estimations reaching $30 million, “by 2015, those repairs could deplete the Trust’s reserve fund entirely.”

The board is expected to discuss the fate of the pier again in September and will factor in the affect the closing would have on the public.

Should New Yorkers fear for their safety out on the pier, that would only make things worse, driving down revenues further. Talk about a sinking ship. Sink or Swim: Pier 40, Once a Cash Cow, Is Slowly Killing Hudson River Park