After Failed Bid to Change Law, Hudson River Park Faces Uncertain Future

With skyrocketing maintenance and repair costs gobbling up the Hudson River Park Trust's reserve fund, the HRPT has been pushing to change the park's enabling legislation to allow a wider variety of development types.
July 17, 2012, 12pm PDT | Jonathan Nettler | @nettsj
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Alex Ulam reports on the status of a controversial proposal sent to Albany by the HRPT, the quasi-governmental agency that runs the park running along Manhattan's west side, "seeking to change the Hudson River Park Act to remove some of the development restrictions, most notably the one against residential development."

According to Ulam, that proposal, which faced opposition from community activists and legislators, has, "failed to get traction in Albany, leaving a big question mark over the future of one of the city's most significant parks."

With Pier 40 facing an estimated $120 million in necessary repairs, State Assemblymember Richard Gottfried, who introduced the bill to change the Hudson River Park Act, supported allowing residential uses in select areas of the park because, "housing has about the lowest traffic impact with the highest level of reliable revenue." 

Critics, including State Assemblymember Deborah Glick, argue that, "The Trust is misrepresenting the degree of the crisis. The immediate needs of Pier 40 and Pier 54 are not beyond the ability of the city and state to address." 

HRPT president Madelyn Wils contends that, "with the current rate of capital maintenance costs, HRPT will run out of money by the end of 2015."

 

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Published on Monday, July 16, 2012 in The Architect's Newspaper
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