Urban Fold

Can Bid for NID Save Hudson River Park

Running out of options to help pay for spiraling maintenance costs at the park that runs along Manhattan's western waterfront, Friends of Hudson River Park (FOHRP) have begun floating the idea of establishing a Neighborhood Improvement District.

With a proposal to loosen development restrictions unlikely to pass the New York State Legislature and maintenance costs mounting, FOHRP is looking for a little help from its friends and neighbors to help ensure that the park meets its mandate for self-sustainability, reports Tom Stoelker. 

"The FOHRP plan includes a tax for nearby residences and businesses located approximately two blocks inland from Chambers Street to 59th Street...The plan would charge residents about 7.5 cents per square foot, meaning that a snug West Village condo measuring 500 square feet will pay $37.50 per year."

According to a New York Times article published recently, the costs of maintaining just one facility in the park - Pier 40 - have been such a drain on funds that the Hudson River Park Trust is considering shutting down the pier entirely, displacing 1,600 drivers that use its parking spaces and hundreds of sports teams that use its fields. 

"So far the reaction [to the NID] has been somewhat muted," notes Stoelker, "though major commercial interests are lined up behind the proposal, with representatives from Durst Organization, Tishman Speyer, REBNY, and Two Trees sitting on the FOHRP steering committee."

David Gruber, chair of Community Board 2 "thinks the tax can be justified easily. 'It's a dinner out,' he said of the cost."

Full Story: Hudson Calling

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