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Press Release

City Opens Portion of New Waterfront Park Along East River in Lower Manhattan

Dec 19 2018
City Opens Portion of New Waterfront Park Along East River in Lower Manhattan
NYCEDC, NYC Parks and community stakeholders today celebrated the partial opening of Pier 35

NEW YORK, NY—New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) Executive Vice President Seth Myers, NYC Parks Deputy Commissioner Alyssa Cobb Konon, Council Member Margaret Chin and community stakeholders today celebrated the partial opening of a newly constructed waterfront park on Pier 35 in Lower Manhattan, that will deliver 28,000 square feet of public open space to the Lower East Side community.

Pier 35 is a result of the East River Waterfront Esplanade project, a multi-agency approach to improve waterfront access by renovating several piers and creating amenities for public use and enjoyment. The two-mile East River Waterfront Esplanade includes four construction phases to provide ample space for community programming, active recreational space and a connection to the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway for pedestrians and cyclists.

“Residents in this community have voiced their desire for more access along the East River Waterfront, and we’re thrilled that this park will become integral to the area’s recreational fabric,” said NYCEDC Executive Vice President Seth Myers. “I thank our agency partners, elected officials, and community stakeholders who have worked tirelessly to bring this vision to fruition.”

“Having access to vibrant, thriving open spaces is essential to our physical and mental health,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silver. “We are excited that with Pier 35 and the other East River Waterfront Esplanade projects, we can make an immediate impact on the surrounding neighborhoods when we revitalize the water’s edge by activating unique spaces like our city’s piers.”

"As a neighborhood distinctively nestled along the East River, the Two Bridges community has diligently worked to preserve and expand access to the waterfront for years. Today, I'm proud to join residents, EDC, and the Parks Department as we take a bold new step towards this goal with the partial opening of the Pier 35 park," said Council Member Chin. "Waterfront preservation and access to open space have always been fundamental values of this community, and I am so excited to see families bring the vision of this park to life and take advantage of more opportunities to enjoy their neighborhood."

"As we work towards finalizing community-led resiliency plans along the East River, I am thrilled to see active open space come online at Pier 35," said Councilwoman Carlina Rivera. "Along with ecological projects, this section of the waterfront is a much-needed amenity what will someday be part of a continuous and protective esplanade along Manhattan's East Side. We’ll be improving our coastline in the years ahead and much of it will be inaccessible during renovation, so the community needs as much alternative open space as it can get. I thank my colleagues in government that championed this project."

"We are extremely excited about today's opening of a new and beautiful open space in our neighborhood," said Trevor Holland, Co-Founder, Friends of Pier 35. "For the last five years, our "Friends of Pier 35" group has volunteered to steward and program this active and important, waterfront amenity for the residents of Two Bridges. In an area starved for open space, we are thankful for the many advocates who have fought over the years for an equitable and accessible waterfront park. We believe that this Eco-Park will set new standards for equitable design in passive areas with difficult urban constraints. We look forward to working with NYEDC, NYC Parks, our local elected officials and everyone involved in delivering the full waterfront esplanade project. A big thanks to Council Member Margaret Chin and the Partnership for Parks for their steadfast support of our commitment to local, resident led stewardship."

Pier 35 includes pedestrian pathways along the East River waterfront to adjacent Pier 36, a series of landscaped lawns, seating areas offering views of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, and a 35-foot-high screen wall that will be overlaid with vines. In addition, the City received a grant from the NYS Department of State to create “Mussel Beach,” a 65-foot long artificial habitat intended to attract colonies of blue and ribbed mussels along the East River shoreline. The habitat feature was designed to promote river ecology, with sloping concrete surfaces, textures, and gardens in the tidal zone. The final phase of the park will include a new canopy and is expected to fully open in Spring 2019.

Construction of the waterfront park was managed by NYCEDC in collaboration with SHoP Architects and Ken Smith Landscape Architects, with Hunter Roberts Construction Group serving as the construction manager. The park was designed by HDR and Arup and will be maintained by NYC Parks. Lighting for Pier 35 was designed by Tillotson Design Associates.

New York City Economic Development Corporation creates shared prosperity across New York City’s five boroughs by strengthening neighborhoods and creating good jobs. NYCEDC works with and for communities to provide them with the resources they need to thrive, and we invest in projects that increase sustainability, support job growth, develop talent, and spark innovation to strengthen the City’s competitive advantage. To learn more about our work and initiatives, please visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.