Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Letters to the Trust

Two weeks ago, a spokesperson for the Trust said in the Villager that the only thing the Trust had heard from the community was "don't take away our ballfields," implying people think the plan that puts the fields on the windblown roof of a huge tourist-focused entertainment center is o.k. Since then, people have sent us almost 150 us copies of thoughtful personal statements they sent to the Trust. You can see some of them by checking out the comments below.

If you wrote a letter to the Trust, please post it here by clicking on "comments" below and pasting it in. Then send email to your personal network and ask people to come here to read it. (That's important, because otherwise no one will know these letters are here!)

The public comment period ends on June 19. You can send one anyway if you like. Send it to comments@hrpt.state.ny.us and be sure to send us a copy at saveourpark@pier40.org and of course, post it here as well.

76 comments:

Anonymous said...

Please preserve pier 40 as a park. We do not need or want a further commercialization of the few quiet areas in this community. I live here. I have watched commercial ventures overrun the community for thirty years now. Why are you unable or unwilling to give equivalence to the voice of the families in the community when they are opposed by commercial interests. Families are the fabric of the community. Without that fabric it's Las Vegas. Mark Margolis

Anonymous said...

As a native New Yorker whose child has been playing soccer and baseball I urge you to reconsider your plans to overdevelop the Pier 40 area. One of the wonderful things about New York is having areas like West Houston Street, which is not densely packed with businesses, residents, tourist attractions, and traffic. We need to keep in mind, as we develop, that space allows people, both residents and visitors room to wander. Your plans for Pier 40 include too many activities. Why not consider keeping the area low-key and developing Pier 40 as a recreational site for the city's kids. We have so little places to play organized sports -- Pier 40 is a wonderful oasis and with overdevelopment we'll lose so much more than we'll gain -- think about what your doing! Thank you, marilyn russo

Greg49 said...

To Those Involved With Pier 40,

Yesterday I walked Central Park and was astounded by its beauty and conscious that there was no entry fee.

I have lived on and off in Greenwich Village for over four decades, and at my current residence for the past twenty years with my wife and three children. I have struggled to remain in the Village for its cultural values and family atmosphere. I am proud of my children who are doing fine. All three of my kids have played various forms of Little League in the Village and I have coached. I resent terribly when the social structure works to break down those aspects of life that make raising a family here the splendid journey it has been.

I attended the presentation at PS 41 and found the proposals repulsive in their self centered disregard for our neighborhood. We are already a tourist attraction and we don't need those tasteless ideas that regurgitated old notions to diminish our lives. The Village is what it is and would be far less for these appallingly vulgar, mal-adaptive efforts by men who will never be fellow citizens, or walk their kids to school here, nor shop for food, engaging neighbors on these streets. They want to use this area where we live to make a playground for tourists, which would be no different from Atlantic City, or Broadway, while providing them with profits to buy even more grotesque suits, and expensive shoes than were worn on that t-shirt appropriate, hot Greenwich Village night.

Both proposals were vile and qualitatively there was no difference between the aggressive land grab of Related Companies
Or the secondary desire for unnecessary profit by the ill-named People's Pier.

Please take your acquisitive ideas and put them into the neighborhoods where you live. You are strangers to the Village and you misunderstand the people who continue living here. (The guy from Chelsea should find another way to make his fortune.)

If those foreign ideas go through, I will be repulsed and the neighborhood will be devastated.

Sincerely,
Greg Zittel

Anonymous said...

Dear Hudson River Trust,

I am writing to you as a very concerned parent living in the neighborhood of Pier 40.

My son is 9 years old and has participated for four years in the Pier 40 baseball program year-round: summer and school holiday day camps, after-school Monday programs, spring training pitching programs on Sunday mornings and Greenwich Village League from April-June each year. The coaches (especially the Dominican Pier 40 ones, but also the volunteer parents) have been an incredibly positive influence on my son's and our lives. He has had challenges in school, but he has found his passion in baseball and built up his self-confidence around it. We have leveraged that baseball passion into school subjects, and none of us can imagine our lives without the current programs there. My son talks about coming back when he is older (in his mind, once he is a professional baseball player), donating money to Pier 40 baseball programs and helping out younger kids at Pier 40 as he has seen and enjoyed the coaches help him.

My daughter is 12 years old and has also participated for four years in Pier 40 programs. She is in her fourth year of GVLL girls softball and, although not as passionate about baseball as my son, she has really enjoyed the team atmosphere and good will. She has also benefited from private sessions with some of the Pier 40 coaches, who have helped her build up her skills and gain more confidence. For the past year, she has also participated in the Biz Kids summer camp and year-long programs. This has been the most influential for her and her acting passion. She has participated in other acting programs around the City, but Peggy Lewis's program is something incredibly special . Peggy's warm and amazing ability to build the strength and confidence in her students is incredible. My daughter has made closer friends and built up her skills and confidence more in 4 weeks with Peggy last summer than she had in years in other programs. And this has only increased over the past year.

Based on our and others' experience, we really do not want to lose the warm, safe and quiet atmosphere of the courtyard and adjoining building areas where the indoor batting/catching areas and Biz Kids are located. We do not want to send our children onto the roof of the garage of a huge entertainment complex that will attract thousands of tourists. We want the wonderful park atmosphere where we can play and grow as both children and as adults helping our children. We already have enough intense tourism and night-life activity in the surrounding neighborhoods.

The Hudson River Park already adds value to all of the buildings on the west side and our city and neighborhood hugely benefits from this. It would be very destructive of the value of this area to bring intense commercial use to our Pier 40 park.

For all of these reasons, I respectfully request that you reject both the Related Companies and the People's Pier proposals. The Hudson River Trust should work with the neighborhood families and the existing programs to continue the wonderful existing programs in a viable way.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely,

Rhonda Brauer

Anonymous said...

To Whom it May concern

Pier 40 is a valuable place for our family. It's unique atmosphere for good quiet play is a God send to the downtown area. It is a refuge from the hustle and bustle and building that is happening on every street in New York (especially the West Side/down town area. We feel safe sending our teen children here on their own (one of the few local destinations where this is a possibility) and provides a beautiful place to focus on sports and physical activity. Our kids and society need as much of this as possible to stay happy and healthy in mind, body, spirit.

We urge you to keep Pier 40 intact and forego plans to transform this tranquil space into a crowded arena for shopping, entertainment, etc. Please support our positive efforts, and help us sustain the environment we have mindfully chosen to engage/live in and raise our families.


Many Thanks

Anonymous said...

Dear Hudson River Trust,
Please, please do not agree to this Related Companies' huge
entertainment complex project. WE do not need it. I live in this
community and I object to the impact that an entertainment center will
have on our neighborhood. We don't need more shopping areas and movie
theaters - we do need the open spaces that make our neighborhood
healthier and more desirable. Plus the Pier 40 area is not well served
by public transportation. Isn't the mayor seeking ways to decrease the
number of private cars driving in the city? Good grief, there are so
many vacant store fronts around the city as it is and of course there's
the huge High Line project already going up. The congestion that yet
another major shopping/entertainment center would bring will only serve
to make this a less desirable and less family friendly area. I agree
with the friends of the park at pier 40's statement that "the Hudson
River Park adds value to all buildings on the west side and the city is
obtaining a huge benefit from this. It would be destructive of this
value to bring this intensity of commercial use to the park." The
Trust has been one of the stewards of what is beautiful and good about
New York City. Please listen to your hearts.

Sincerely,
Catherine Boursier

Anonymous said...

To whom it may concern:

I am a parent of a 14 year old who has played baseball and soccer at Pier 40 since he was 4. If you noticed, there is not a lot of park space in the Village and Soho. Our children think that going trick or treating is something that you do in stores and bars.

It was a sad day when soda machines were installed in public schools. It would be horrible to use our public space to house a big commercial establishment. There are very few things that we have left that are not commercial.
Having a big box store or tourist attraction will pollute our neighborhood with extra cars, trucks and people. The air is not the best quality already. This does nothing to improve the quality of life for the people who live here. In fact, it makes it worse.

I hope that I am making myself clear that it is not the same thing to have fields in the same place that there is a lot of commercial traffic. If you don't understand this, why don't you marry off your daughter at Macy's or perhaps at Target.

Thank you for putting the needs of the citizens of the neighborhood first.

Sincerely,

Lois Andrews

Peter said...

I am writing to express my concern about the development of Pier 40. I am VERY opposed to the Related Companies proposal to turn Pier 40 into an entertainment complex. Our great city offers countless venues for citizens and tourists alike to go for entertainment. What is lacking are open spaces that offer a safe and quiet atmosphere of the current Pier 40 courtyard.

I greatly object to the impact this Related Companies entertainment center will have on our neighborhood, our streets, and our park. With the intense tourist and nightlife activity currently in our neighborhood our families need a quiet park atmosphere where we go to relax, play and enjoy the outdoors.

I strongly insist that you reject the Related Companies proposal.

Peter Gordon

Anonymous said...

To Whom It May Concern;
My son Aidhan who is four years old has been playing with the Downtown United Soccer Club for the past year and a half. He calls Pier 40 "le stade", the stadium. He loves playing soccer there. Pier 40 is one of the few places that has a sense of community. People who are involved in the club do it for the love of the sport. Money does not enter in the motivations. Fields are in very short demand in the neighborhood. As a practicing architect, I recognize the need for development, but development which is sensitive to the needs of the existing neighborhood, especially on property that in any other country would be public and for the public. The Related proposal is not for the people, but primarily for a few developers to make a buck. The proposal is out of scale and is unnecessary and detrimental to the neighborhood.
To make up a decent society we need young people with sound minds in sound bodies. Our emphasis needs to be on education and sports. Pier 40 is a place where kids feel at home, safe, and excited to participate in their favorite sports. As a park, this should be the emphasis. Leave the entertainment to 42nd Street and preserve the fields and also the atmosphere. Pier 40 is a true urban oasis. Preserve it!

Isaac-Daniel, Meghan, and Aidhan Astrachan

Anonymous said...

My family has lived in Battery Park for 6 years. My children go to PS 89, participate in sports and neighborhood activities and we park our car at Pier 40. We love our neighborhood and constantly participate in activities geared toward Downtown dwellers. We have enjoyed the development of the park area north of Pier 40 and have endured the ongoing construction of the southern leg in anticipation of a seamless sanctuary with an improved Pier 40 as its center piece.

The proposal suggesting that Pier 40 could become a tourist destination terrifies us.

We are concerned about losing the sense of community caused by an exponential increase in vehicular and tourist traffic. We are concerned that the ever dwindling parking supply available to downtown residents will be further diminished by an influx of day trippers whose presence will only congest our community.

We are not deluded into believing any claim that the proposed entertainment complex will serve our community in a positive way.

I realize you’re looking at the bottom line. But I urge you to consider the people, the residents who have chosen to live in this area for the sense of community and who would benefit from an improved Pier 40 that will serve our interest as a community and other Manhattan residents as a place to go for recreational activities.

I eagerly look forward to a resolution to this issue that actually considers and respects the wishes and needs of the community.

Thank you for listening,
Cathy and Barton Fendelman
Battery Park

Anonymous said...

My family is very much against changing Pier 40 into an entertainment center for many reasons. While I understand that the playing fields will remain, the environment will be completely different. The fields will go from a family-friendly, safe, community environment into a tourist center filled with people from outside of our community. I don't like the idea of sending my son to play a game amidst movie theaters, Cirque D'Soleil and all those retail shops and restaurants. I do not support this change and hope that you decide that sacrificing are safe, community fields isn't worth another tourist trap.

Sincerely,

Jessica Goldberg
West Village parent

Yamuna Zake said...

I have lived in the West Village and have my business here for over 20 years. I live here because it is the most peaceful part of the city with the least amount of traffic and it is the most family and child centered area of the city. The idea of building the related project would greatly disturb the street traffic and would make it less safe for our children due to the increase of traffic and pollution from the extra car volume. We do not need another area of the city to bring tourism to. Enough people come to the Village because of it's unique feeling and small village feeling within the big city. If you want shows go to Time Square or Lincoln Center. Let neighborhoods where people live and love their neighborhood be for living and for the use of the neighborhood. Why can't there be a park for children and the neighborhood to enjoy without making it a huge financial profit center for Related. They are successful all over the city. Let them propose another tourist center in Long Island City.
Yamuna Zake
Yamuna 132 Perry Street
NYC,NY 10014
1212-
633-2143

Denise Jones Adler said...

I vehemently oppose putting a huge entertainment complex in the middle of our neighborhood's first real park! I have waited for years for this and I am pleased at the present outcome, however to put a complex with movie theaters, retail outlets and a banquet hall in the middle of this park will all but squash our main use of the park which is a quiet safe neighborhood outlet to enjoy the out of doors. I run and on the weekends the park is already crowded with residents of all ages, any additional traffic will detract from the benefits! Our neighborhood -- the west village and the meat district -- is a wonderful mix of history and current fashion, quiet tree lined blocks and cobblestone streets and industry, the latest restaurants and clubs and beautiful sunsets, I understand why people want to come here, it is a magnet for tourists but the Hudson River Park was a reprieve from that. At night we are inundated with traffic (human and otherwise) as people stream into our streets to partake of the nightlife, we have huge billboards glowing brightly in our windows and now our one quiet (enough for us) neighborhood place will be another destination, a new source for traffic jams of tourists, another Times Square! How GREAT!
NO, not for us who live here and use the fields that will now be on the roof of a entertainment complex, making our kids skirt tourists buses to get to their baseball or soccer games. In this day and age this is not a reasonable combination of uses. Please consider that this is a residential neighborhood first and give us a break -- we pay enough in taxes that we should be able to have a park without selling our rights to the highest bidder! Please reconsider this giant mistake you are about to impose on our neighborhood.
Thank you.
Sincerely yours,
Denise Jones Adler

Anonymous said...

Dear Hudson River Trust Personel:

I write as a parent and concerned community member to urge you not to "develop" PIer 40. New Yorkers need open quiet spaces desparately, especially downtown. Thousands of people use Pier 40 weekly to play and relax. The community does not want or need a mega entertainment center in place of the Pier fields. In this era of families staying to live and work in Manhattan, we must maintain park space and continue to foster community. Please leave Pier 40 as it is: available and free for the community to use as a place of leisure.

Thank you.

Valerie Watnick

Anonymous said...

Dear friends at Hudson River Park Trust,

I am a long time resident of lower Manhattan, near 30 years. I have seen the neighborhood change so much and that is a part of NYC. I hope you have the courage to do what is right for our city long term and not follow current trends of what is best for profits and expansion. We now have a West Village because Robert Moses was stopped to put a highway through it. We don't need a huge commercial theme park/sports complex, enticing our children to be mega consumers. We need a new park that will allow more people to access the pier, without a huge commercialized theme. Please look at what is happening to downtown; As we build more and more buildings we have less and less places/transportation etc to put all the people.
We need a forward thinking crew like you to think about what would happen if you opened another huge commercialized zone that would attract so many more people to the neighborhood. I encourage you to walk down on a Saturday night, or even other evening night, Ave. B (at 3rd street) and Orchard street btw Houston and Delancy and see what bad planning has done to the overall livability of the area. Think of the poor families that have to live in these areas where bad decisions have been made. As New York becomes so expensive less and less do we have a choice to kick a ball with our kids for free in a park. There is so much commercialization of New York that there has yet been a project like what you have done at other parts of Hudson River Park. We need these areas to be commercial free.

Please hear my plea. Do not OK a Cirque du Sole Mega commercialized zone to replace a simple sports facility.

What we need is a more organized pier with more public water access/park. with more soccer fields than present and not so much parking or wasted space.

Thank you so much for your time
Orlando Gil PhD


Loisaida Youth Soccer

Anonymous said...

As a resident of this area, with a child that makes use of the fields, I'd like to register my strong objection to the proposed entertainment complex at pier40.

In my opinion, an entertainment complex is NOT good for our neighborhood. Not only do we want to keep the fields a quiet place where our children can play sports (this is a huge part of my son's life and would be a huge loss for him if it were torn down) but as a resident, I don't want a tourist/entertainment complex there. This is our neighborhood, where we're raising our kids. An entertainment complex would bring in traffic, congestion, and ruin what is a wonderful part of our community life.

So it is not just that we want fields. We also want to retain the community aspect of the area, and not turn it into a destination for thousands of visitors. Surely there are enough shopping malls, and restaurants in NYC, or you can find some other place to build your entertainment center. You don't have to lay waste to our fields and turn our children's play area into a tourist attraction.

Thank you for your time.

Claudia Silver
Parent

Anonymous said...

The goings-on at Pier 40 are emblematic of what's going on with the neighborhood in general: A quiet place with its own charm and purpose for the community is being exploited to within an inch of its life. It is beyond an understatement to say that an entertainment center of the scale proposed by the Related Companies (with 40,000 square feet of retail space!!!) is inappropriate for the community. It's not for the community at all: It's for the hordes of tourists who will clog our roadways, pollute our air, and take away the last bits of safe green space that our children are able to play in. The people who have made this neighborhood so desirable will have no choice but to flee if the area is transformed into another urban mall.

Please consider the kids who are now being squeezed into over-crowded playgrounds, onto tiny, tightly-scheduled fields, who, on top of everything else, have to take their lives into their hands every time they try to cross the street...You have to stop for a minute and realize how completely insane it is that hundreds of families are battling to save some quiet green space in the middle of a parking lot. That's how bad it is. Don't make it worse!

Anonymous said...

My strong desire in writing this letter is to make sure that you hear our family's intense disapproval of the related companies proposals. Our son has played at Pier 40 since he was 4 years old and is currently 9 and plays on the Jr Minors.

The reason we are so opposed to the two proposals outlined at PS 41 that evening is that they will ruin the feeling of a "small town" sports field. I grew up in the suburbs so I was lucky to have many beautiful and well kept playing fields for organized sports. The beauty of having Pier 40 is that it is not surrounded by blowing car horns, sirens, tourists, commercial sales or the fear that your child will be taken. There is a sense of strong community and love of sports for our children. We often stay after the games to play with our kids baseball on the top floor. We have never been charged money or been kicked off the field if no one is using it. We played every Sunday when there was no baseball to play yet. This time with our children creates bonding and friendships that playing sports brings. We want a healthy environment for our children. My son is constantly feeling, seeing and hearing the insanity our city brings with living here. There are many places he can go to see a play, a movie, play video/ arcade games and buy toys. The last thing we want is to come to our practices or games on Saturday/Sunday and be exposed to any of that. We want families we know, the sounds of kids playing sports and a beautiful "green" space.

We confidently don't want either of the two proposals that the related companies have developed. PLEASE hear our plea to keep our Pier a simple beautiful field for families to gather and kids to play sports. Krystn Wagenberg
]

Anonymous said...

> To Whom it may concern,
>
> I'm the parent of 12 year old son, Sean, and an 8 year old girl,
> Kimberly. They play soccer for the Manhattan Kickers teams on those
> Pier 40 fields all year long. They as children love having a place to
> practice and play their favorite sport. I as a parent love the peace
> of the park and I trust that everyone who goes to this park is
> enjoying the atmosphere as well, no matter what sport they are
> playing. I feel I can leave my 12 year old alone in this park to go
> and practice with his friends, but I will not feel the same way if
> this Pier turns into a big entertainment complex.
>
> As a parent, I ask you to consider my child's safety. Think of him as
> being your child or nephew. Please count how many parks in lower
> Manhattan can he go to and safely practice and play Soccer with his
> team, the sport which he loves!
>
> Thank you,
> John Sotomayor

Anonymous said...

Folks,

It should be obvious to you that our community is against development of Pier 40. Just a few years ago we finally got a nice place to go to watch our kids play ball and our kids finally got a safe environment to play. Now you want to take it away. There is an endless barrage of building in lower Manhattan. Isn't it time to slow down and take a step back. The residents are sick of living in a construction zone. Whenever one project is completed, another two begin. It is totally out of hand at this point and you want to add to that. If you live here, you know what I mean. If you don't, you shouldn't shrug off our feelings and opinions. Development of Pier 40 will benefit tourists and non-residents. It will not benefit the community. We love Pier 40 the way it is. Figure out how to pay for the maintenance it needs and leave it alone. Enough is enough...

Marshal Coleman
Downtown resident since 1987

linda said...

As a resident of North Battery Park City, I am vehemently opposed to the plans to restructure Pier 40 into a multi-commercial venue. From my perspective as a resident of the area, I can tell you that it will bring no value to our community and will only bring us congestions, crime and headaches.

Why do we need a facility to accommodate Cirque du Soliel, an 1800 seat concert hall, a 3500 seat banquet hall, twelve movie theaters, five large restaurants, and 40,000 square feet of retail? This is clearly not a plan intended to benefit the residents of lower Manhattan, rather a plan to boost income for specific corporate entities. Local residents do not need such a space, and even further will have no benefit to our community.

The Added inflow of tourists and people from other areas of Manhattan will overcrowd our already crowded neighborhoods. It will completely change the dynamic of the Hudson River Walk. I am not interested in exchanging a wonderful, peaceful park where our community congregates and socializes through team sports and physical activities for an over-crowded commercial mega-structure with a 42nd street atmosphere. We are a small community and would like to keep our area having the same family friendly park atmosphere that exists today. These parks are our children’s playgrounds. They are our back yard.

As a member of this community, I object to the impact this entertainment center will have on our neighborhood, our streets and our park. The Hudson River Park adds value to all buildings on the west side, and the city is obtaining a huge benefit from this. It would be destructive to bring this intensity of commercial use to the park.

I do not want to lose the safe and quiet atmosphere of the current fields in the courtyard of Pier 40. I am opposed to modifying the structure for commercial use. It would compromise the safety of our community and our children to create a “Hudson River Mall”, rather than preserving our Hudson River Walk. The demolition of pier 40 would be a symbolic demolition of our community in favor of commerce.

PLEASE SAVE PIER 40

Linda Olszewski

Anonymous said...

I am deeply disappointed that the Hudson River Park Trust would even consider the Related Companies’ proposal for Pier 40.

The community has been quite clear that the sort of development Related is proposing is not wanted. We don’t want the congestion, the noise, the traffic (vehicular and pedestrian) and the additional pollution and garbage it would bring to the entire West Village. We finally got a park on the Hudson River and we want it to remain a park. We want the safe and quiet atmosphere that the courtyard on Pier 40 provides.

As a parent, I was heartened that once my child turned 13 he would not be banished from the neighborhood, as would have been the case prior to the fields opening at Pier 40, because he wanted to remain an active baseball player. I certainly hope that the young families that have moved here in the past few years will also be able to have their children remain in their own community as they grow up. These babies and toddlers will become teenagers and taking away a means of healthy activity by turning Pier 40 into an entertainment complex would cause terrible harm.

Please do not allow the Hudson River Park to be ruined by such excessive commercial use as proposed by Related.

fat bob said...

> I'll get to the point. The Related plan for Pier 40 is absolute insanity. Ever try driving down the West Side Highway in the evening? It's already a parking lot. What are 2.7 million additional people annually going to do to it? I'm actually in favor of creating a revenue stream from the pier, but Cirque du Soleil? Ever see it? If you've seen it once, you've seen it a gazillion times. And I really don't want a bunch of clowns (literally) accosting me every time I take my kids to soccer practice. Anyway, the
> circus will primarily attract people from outside the city-- which means, cars, cars and more cars. Which in itself seems antithetical to the the
> mayor's anti-congestion initiatives. This project is way wrong in scale for the infrastructure. And it's way too large for the adjoining neighborhood.
> What next, a Robert Moses highway bisecting the village to accommodate the traffic? This project belongs in Jersey where the car is king. There has to be a better way.
>
>

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

To Whom It May Concern:
>
> My family, along with about 1,500 other Downtown people, went to the
> public hearing at PS 41 last month. Our concern was and still is, how
> Pier 40 is to be developed. We are interested in keeping our fields
> but equally important is to have a safe, quiet place to play for our
> families, adults and kids! Right now the kids can use the bathrooms,
> buy a hot dog, or run to the opposite side of the field without the
> supervision of an adult. If you introduce the Related proposal, all
> of this will be lost. It is the only space in the Village that the
> kids feel such freedom and it is critical to their development.
>
> We live in the Village because it is out of the hubbub of the rest of
> the City! The peace of our neighborhood is at risk with the Related
> proposal. We don't need more tourists taking pictures of our homes
> and littering our streets.
>
> PLEASE, it is not just about the number of fields, its our the quality
> of our lives!!
>
> Help to save the West Village by not agreeing to the Related proposal

Anonymous said...

as parents of a keen recreational soccer kid who has played with DUSC for years, we are not against change so long as it is good for the majority of folks affected.

the Related Companies' plan to develop pier 40, however, is patently NOT good for the thousands of children who rely on the safe, sheltered environment we currently pay good money for them to enjoy in the hole of the giant concrete donut that is pier 40.

if they are permanently relegated to the roof, they will be subject to the vagaries of weather swirling around the hudson after being obliged to force their way across congested streets and through crowds intent on partying and being entertained -- not a safe or conducive atmosphere for neighborhood kids who have to travel to an environment and location that's already tough and remote enough.

we need more open space for the growing number of kids being raised in manhattan, not less; easier access, not harder. where do your kids go to play outside, if you live in manhattan? ask them.

all the youngsters who now play at pier 40 will grow up in a few short years and may want to bring friends and family back to a place with happy memories. do you want to choke off a constituency that isn't old enough to vote so as to maximize short-term revenues? how hard would it be to get all the visitors you want for your planned attractions while at the same time fostering a whole new generation of would-be attendees?

if you don't have a heart we can appeal to, maybe it's your wallet we need to talk to.

please think about it.

thank you.

sincerely,

james dalgleish and heather dilbeck, parents of a 12-year-old DUSC rec soccer kid.

ps: if you want a new home for cirque du soleil, how about tubby hook - the spit of land at the end of dyckman street in washington heights? pier 40 isn't the only place for them to pitch their tent.


**************************************
See what's free at http://www.aol.com.

Wayne Kimbell said...

Wayne Kimbell wrote:
> Gentlemen and women,
>
> I am a manager in the Greenwich Village Little League. My son also
> participates in the Downtown United Soccer Program.
>
> By this time, my guess is that you have heard from a lot of people
> that they simply don't want to lose the fields that our community
> lobbied so hard to obtain.
>
> In reality, what we really don't want to lose is a safe place for our
> children to play.
>
> The Related companies proposal creates a destination location that
> would bring a significant flow of people to Pier 40 that are NOT
> children and their families.
>
> In its current state, kids of all ages move freely around the Pier 40
> complex and most parents feel pretty confident that the complex is a
> protected and safe area because the people who come here are focused
> on sports. period.
>
> When you introduce a retail enviroment you invite the outside
> influence that does not exist today (pickpockets, sexual offenders etc).
> These elements would have a better screen to move with and the sheer
> volume of people that would pass through Pier 40 would simply be a
> very effective setup for these types of offenders to operate in.
>
> This proposal attempts to include everybody and everything in the pier
> complex. Despite the best efforts of the HPRT, there is very little
> greenspace in lower manhattan. This plan relocates the fields to an
> upper deck. It is clear that no one at related has been to a game of
> any kind on the second story of Pier 40. In the dead of June there is
> a constant prevailing wind off the Hudson. The proposal to add 20 foot
> windscreens to the proposed fields is simply ridiculous. Pop fly balls
> can travel a hundred feet in the air. It is the reason that very few
> ball fields exist above ground level. Unless they are willing to build
> 100 foot wind screens, relocating these fields will only be an
> accommodation to Related companies and not the community.
>
> The HRPT needs to remember that the Greenwich Village community fought
> for ten years to give our kids a place to play.
> It is unrealisitc to assume that any of the proposals will not face
> delays in execution (as all building projects do) and that our
> community will suffer the loss of use of the fields during
> construction and that the real losers here will be the children of our
> community.
>
> If you want the support of the community ask the developers to go back
> to the drawing board and come up with a less ambitious proposal.
>
> Instead of creating 5 or 6 commercial ventures to compete with our
> children, downsize it to one and bring the focus back to pier 40 as a
> facilty for our kids. The scope of this proposal is simply a
> steamroller to the community and if you approve it without community
> support all I can say is shame on you.
>
> Sincerely,
> Wayne Kimbell

Jackie Liotto said...

I hear about the changes that are being proposed for Pier 40. I am sure that you've heard much opposition to this. And for good reason. I hope you can empathize with us, please!

Pier 40 has come to be something cherished and an asset to us neighborhood folks. Finally, NYC is in a state that we can be proud of (take that suburban people -- we have trees, parks and places for our kids to play in organized sports).
Just when we got NYC to be where we adore it (although I can do away with the high costs associated it with - hey, my neighborhood was once a low income neighborhood, well not any more), now come major changes that we can do without.


If you take away Pier 40, you will take away the assets we draw from it. Our children will suffer. The area will become less of an neighborhood. The city was all about neighborhoods and neighbors at one time. When people moved to the area, that was one attribute that stood out from the rest; many times it was why they moved to 'the' neighborhood. I am a native New Yorker, native to the area; I've seen changes. We could argue if most of the changes were for the better. The changes made along the waterfront have been for the better, but now comes the whammy!!! Building a concert hall, entertainment complex, etc... is taking what we feel as being the good (and ours) and making it worse. We suffer already with a heavy influx of tourists;, this would worsen the foot traffic, the congestion, the etc. It would take away much of what we like to think is 'ours'. I like what we have. We have a park, our park. Please, do not make any changes that take away the park atmosphere. Let us have something that is a charm. Let us have safety, a quiet beautiful area, a park, a place to play, a place to watch the sky, the sun, the water -- but let us do this in a non-rushed, tourist trap area.

Thanks for allowing me to address you.

Regards,
Jackie Liotto

Anonymous said...

Dear Hudson River Park Trust,

As a downtown parent, I'd like to express my strong desire that as much of Pier 40 as possible be dedicated exclusively to youth sports.

For me the bottom line is: there is virtually no other space (except for the Battery Park City fields and a few fields on the East River) for kids downtown to play soccer, baseball, or other organized sports. There are a lot of kids downtown, and there's currently a boom of residential construction and new families starting or moving in.

I give a lot of credit to HRPT's conversion of the riverfront to a delightful park for recreational use. Along with excellent schools and low crime, lower Manhattan has become a great place to raise children. Instead of moving to the burbs, more and more families are deciding to make lower Manhattan their home.

As publicly owned land, Pier 40 should be dedicated to the needs of the community. Tax revenue, surely available with all the new development downtown, should be budgeted for parks, just as for school construction and other essential infrastructure.

Given all the other theatrical and commercial attractions in the city, our priority should be to give our city kids a little more space to run and play. Rather than helping to make Manhattan a fine place to raise families, building an entertainment complex on Pier 40 only caters to adult tourists and suburbanites, whose kids of course have their own ballfields to play in.

I understand that the Related Companies proposal includes some provision for playfields. But there are three critical problems in this regard.

First, playfields and commercial development do not mix well together. The relative isolation of Pier 40 provides a safe and healthy environment for kids to play. Many parents feel it is secure enough to drop off their older kids for practice and games, but this will change if there are large numbers of adults using commercial facilities at the site. The additional taxi traffic will create other dangers.

Second, the Related proposal will preclude maximizing eventual expansion of field space, that would be allowed with smaller scale conversions. In addition, the entertainment complex plan includes 227,000 sq ft which is a reduction from the current 300,000 sq ft of field space. Field space should be expanded not contracted. The People's Pier plan calls for 385,000 sq ft with much less impact during construction. Even if this plan is not currently viable, it suggests what might be possible for the park to do in the future with public funding.

Third, massive development will close the fields for a few years. Major construction projects often fail to meet anticipated deadlines. This would be a major loss to the welfare of the children using Pier 40 now. I know my kids will be deprived of any chance to play organized sports for the duration.

Sincerely,

Peter Liberman

Duncan said...

Respectfully, I want to ask, What’s wrong with leaving Pier 40 exactly the way it is? Why is there a need to make it into a space for development, commerce and over-regulation? Do we need another sterile, hyper-new architectural statement? Why does every inch of free space in NYC need to be turned into a part of some grasping scheme? What is our tax money paying for, anyway? Forget both the plans, please.

Here’s what I like about Pier 40: It’s a breath of fresh air. When you pass by on bike, foot or car, you get a glimpse of green. Unexpected, startling, uplifting. It’s good for the human spirit; don’t undervalue that. A few years ago, I was passing by in a cab and out of the corner of my eye caught a glimpse of perfectly manicured green shining in sunlight. It was magical. I was happy just to know that a place like that could exist on the West Side Highway. What’s more, it’s green untrammeled by ticket booths and lines-waiting-to-get-in and chain stores. You feel like you can roam in and out on your own time, not somebody else’s.

Since then, my son has joined DUSC soccer at the pier, and we have regularly used it for two years. Yes, the sports fields are important. What’s more important, though, is preserving a sense of place where you can wind down, where the atmosphere is not all tidy and hyperorganized and geared for profit – think about how if feels to walk around the Winter Garden area in Battery Park: it’s too formal, you don’t feel like you can relax there. At Pier 40 today, you can go and decompress, and feel like you are walking on sidewalks that are not set up for turning a profit. Where else can you can sit in the shade and watch people play sports – whether it’s Little League baseball or adult rugby or aerialists – and listen to the tides lap against the pier. That’s cool. There’s an abundance of sun and shade and little nooks and crannies where you can be by yourself and read, or hang out with friends and play catch. That’s what you can’t get ANYWHERE else in Manhattan. Think about it.

Please, let well enough be.

Thanks for considering my opinion.

Duncan Bock

P.S. I live in Brooklyn, not the West Village – that’s how much this matters to me/the wider community. You are not only affecting the lives of the West Villagers with your decision.

Anonymous said...

To Whom it May Concern,
Every Saturday and Sunday this spring I have passed many hours at either Pier 40 or J.J. Walker. The over-riding feeling I have each time I sit in one of these parks, besides how great it is to watch my kids play baseball, is how nice it is, in the middle of Manhattan, to have green, open space without any other focus. At J. J. Walker you sit in the stands and stare out at the trees lining St. Luke's place. At Pier 40, while a huge structure, the expanse of the open space dedicated only to sports and the freedom to run without fear of being hit by a bicyclist, lost tourist or hot dog vendor, is unique. If The Related Company's plan succeeds, the focus of Pier 40 will no longer be sports, open space and freedom, it will be consumerism, tourism and traffic. Our children will not feel safe and sports will feel confined. Don't the residents who have decided to live and work in downtown Manhattan deserve to have a dedicated green space for running and playing and watching their children make a double play or perform a hat-trick rather than worry about how to dodge the oncoming traffic or whether the wind on the roof-top fields will be so inclement that the game is better not played. Think of children, residents and parents first. We're the ones that are in need of the open space. The tourists and the people from uptown have their own fields, but if you build this project, they will come to our neighborhood for food, movies and shows that they can get uptown after they've enjoyed an afternoon in their neighborhood park (or Central Park) with their children's teams. It just doesn't seem fair.
Alison Gerson
Greenwich Village

Anonymous said...

Dear Hudson River Park Trust-

I am 10 year resident of the West Village with an 8 year daughter who is going on her 4th year participating in Downtown United Soccer Club. I have coached her team 4 times and there is neither time nor space to list the benefits, enjoyment, and accomplishment that playing a team sport has provided to her and her teammates.

In reviewing the posts, I was trying to identify and express my concerns with the proposals and two things came to mind. First, if we allow this to happen, our children and their recreational needs will be secondary to commercial interests. Their needs are an accommodation to the proposed development. That doesn’t seem right or fair. No one would dare propose something similar for Central Park. Why should Pier 40 be any different? It is Downtown’s Central Park and it is beautiful and essential to us and our children.

The primary purpose of the location will be radically changed forever. If done, there will be no going back tearing down the development and enhancing or expanding the park. It reminded me of the song ironically titled, Big Yellow Taxi, by Joni Mitchell. In a few words it captures the commercialization we all fear and what we will lose. Here are the first few verses.

They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot
With a pink hotel, a boutique
And a swinging hot spot

Don't it always seem to go
That you don't know what you've got
Till it's gone
They paved paradise
And put up a parking lot

They took all the trees
Put 'em in a tree museum
And they charged the people
A dollar and a half just to see 'em

The only difference between this song and the proposed development at Pier 40 is we are very clear t“We know what we got and we don’t want it gone”.

Buddy Altus

Rich said...

To Whom It May Concern,

Pier 40 is a unique asset to our community. I don’t think we really imagined how great it would be when development of the existing courtyard fields was approved, but since it opened, it has proven to be better than we could have hoped.
The existing layout of the courtyard really fosters community. On the field at any time you will see different ages, different skills, and different sports being played side by side. On the raised, covered sides of the fields, neighborhood families interact as they watch their kids play on the field below.
The Related proposal claims that the amount of field space will be preserved, but that pledge misses the point. It’s not a question of losing fields – it’s the loss of the environment, the experience and the atmosphere – that concerns the community. Large fields on the courtyard are the key – what exists at the Pier now is unique to our neighborhood and they simply cannot be replicated on rooftops of an entertainment complex.
What we really lose if the Related bid is approved, is the potential to create a truly great facility for active recreation on the pier.
Please don’t approve the Related proposal – we can all do better.

Anonymous said...

> To whom it may concern:
>
> I live just across West Street from Pier 40. Once, sometimes twice a week, weather permitting, there is a party boat that leaves from the pier in the evening, returning after midnight. Before the boat leaves, there is traffic congestion, crowd noises, and music blasting as people board. When the boat returns, everything is repeated, and the hub-bub invariably awakens me.
>
Otherwise, I love Pier 40. It is a neighborhood place that many families who live in the area bring their kids to play sports. As a neighborhood resident with children, I would very much like to see Pier 40 retain this aspect, and not become a
commerical/retail/tourist attraction. In a city
already burdened by congestion to the point that the mayor is considering congestion pricing, it seems ridiculous to develop the pier in the way being proposed. The people who live here do not want and do not need all the commercial venues proposed, and the neighborhood cannot bear the traffic these venues would cause.
>
The issue goes far behind merely retaining the playing fields. The proposed development seems to me to be designed expressly for attracting out-of-town tourists. Such tourists are already everywhere in Manhattan, so I assume the idea is to cash in on them. But what about the character of Manhattan that attracted the tourists in the first place? The development is distincly un-Manhattan-like. A home for Cirque du Soleil? Cirque du Soleil has homes in Disney World and Las Vegas. Is that what Manhattan should turn into?
>
A multiplex movie theater--is this the best use of
valuable riverfront space? There are already plenty
of movie theaters in Manhattan much closer to public transportation. The pier has beautiful, sweeping vistas up and down the river; these should be showcased, not shut out of people's view by putting them inside dark theaters. Likewise for shops--Manhattan already has many famous shopping districts. Why should more shops be built on Pier 40? Who, pray tell, would go shopping there? I can tell you for certain I would never spend a single penny there.
>
Greenwich Village needs park space. The people who live here crave it. The Hudson River Park has brought a beautiful new aspect to Lower Manhattan. Every day many residents go there to jog, bike, skate, play and relax. Whatever is built on Pier 40 should serve those residents--perhaps a couple modest recreational facilities, a couple casual eating spots, green lawns, benches, trees, gardens--while retaining the safe, family atmosphere of the fields for children's sports.
A pier with some of these elements is what I want, and what every Village resident wants; unless there are Village residents who are only interested in making money off tourists, at the expense of the true value of our neighborhood and our borough.
>
I am realistic: This is New York City, and to live here one must put up with a certain amount of noise, traffic and inconvenience. The party boat, while annoying, is something I can endure. However, it is despicable to increase noise and traffic in a residential neighborhood in order to give tourists more to do in a crowded city that already has more than enough attractions? Why not build a beautiful new park that the city can be proud of, and that will be used happily by both
> residents and visitors?
>
Please reject the Related proposal. Thank you for your consideration.

Sincerely,
Susan Marples

Anonymous said...

To Whom It May Concern
My name is Manuel d'Almeida, known to many as simply "Manny" or "coach Manny". I coach many groups and individuals and also referee for youth as well as adult games at Pier 40. There are so many who come to Pier 40 and look for any little areas not already occupied by teams and groups, so that they may scrimmage and have some fun. As you well know, playing areas are in such great demands in the city, that we really need many more such facilities as Pier 40. It is impossible to build another Pier 40 and I hope that if there is any change, it would be to increase playing space for the thousands who come to Pier 40. I have refereed for teams who come from New Jersey and Westchester, Long Island and Staten Island, and have heard wonderful remarks about Pier 40. Undoubtedly, it is a unique and special sports facilities unmatched anywhere in this country and perhaps in the world. In addition to all of this, the indoor facility is in such demand for all seasons except 2 or 3 months. With air-conditioning, it will be used all year round. In fact, if another indoor facility is added, it would be greatly appreciated and used by all who come to Pier 40. If there is to be any change, I beg the Board of Directors, to increase rather than decrease the playing areas and to consider adding another indoor field. It is possible and only you can make this happen.
Respectfully,
Manny (Manuel d'Almeida/dalmeidam@aol.com)

Anonymous said...

Dear Hudson River Park Trust,
Please do not turn our beautiful park and pier into a bustling, oversized entertainment complex. Downtown New Yorkers need a respite from these kinds of activities and are in desperate need of more parkland and purely recreational areas. We need a place to relax, play and take in the seabreeze, not to be bombarded by tourists, buses, more cars, trucks, shops and noise. Pier 40 serves a real community and from what I can see, the People's Pier seems to be more in touch with what the community actually needs and wants.

And it is more than just about plunking some fields on top of an entertainment complex, but how that complex does or does not suit the neighborhood. Just because this Park is on the other side of the West Side Highway does not mean it isn't part of a neighborhood. Planners seem to oftentimes overlook the people who live there and what their needs are.

Other locations are much more suitable for these types of activities, such as the World Trade Center site which is planned to be a major destination for tourists and residents alike looking for cultural venues.

Please don't inundate our beautiful, peaceful Hudson River Park with gross overdevelopment where we could have something much more attuned to the neighborhood's needs. Let's not forget that it does say "Park" in HRP.

Thank you,
Susan Kramer

7 East 14th Street
20-O
New York, NY 10003

Anonymous said...

Dear Board of Hudson River Trust

As a 15 year resident of Greenwich Village, I would
like to express my appreciation for the wonderful
improvement in quality of life that the Hudson River
Park has brought to date. It has increased both the
beauty and the peacefulness of a neigborhood under
onslaught from developers and chain stores.

All of this is at risk, if Pier 40 is turned in to a
"destination" drawing thousands from outside the
neighborhood, bringing traffic, noise and security
risks to the families trying to live a peaceful life
in a residential area. Yes we want safe ball parks
for our children to play in, but we also want to
preserve the neighborhood and the quality of life
which the Hudson River Park has, so far, done so much
to enhance.

We recognise that Pier 40 needs improvements and also
must generate resources for maintaing the Park
overall--however, it is hard to imagine that it needs
the massive resources which can be anticipated by
plonking a tourist destination in the middle of a
residential part of town.

Thank you for taking the views of residents into
serious account during your deliberations.

Sincerely,

Elizabeth D. Gibbons
509 Hudson Street, Apt. 3N
New York, NY 10014


____________________________________________________________________________________

Anonymous said...

To Whom It May Concern,

My twin boys play little league baseball at pier 40 and so I have discovered what a resource it is for downtown families. As it is now it is a quiet refuge totally available for children's sports activities. Like many other downtown parents, I not only do not want to lose the fields for my boys to play sports on, but I don't want to see the character of the pier change. I don't like the idea of the children playing in the midst of commercial activities and all the tourists that an entertainment complex will attract. There are so few areas available for children 's sports in the city that it is important to preserve one of the nicest areas we have.

Sincerely,


Susan Patterson

Anonymous said...

Pier 40 has been a wonderful place for the residents of Manhattan to enjoy peace, fun, family and open air in a way that so few places in the city offer it.
I am a single mother and native New Yorker, working hard just to keep a roof over our heads in New York City that is swiftly becoming to expensive to enjoy. The Pier has always been a safe haven for my nearly teenage son and I to enjoy miniature golf, sand, sprinklers, a wonderful barbeque stand, volleyball, sun, a quiet place to read or spend with family and friends without spending an outrageous cost that surely Cirque Du Soleil, plus an 1800 seat concert hall, a 3500 seat banquet hall, 12 movie theaters, 5 large restaurants, and 40,000 square feet of retail would mean. Please do not do this!
We, the people that live here, work here, survive here, don’t need this, don’t want this and oppose it! We don’t need another Starbucks, we don’t need more movie theaters (there is one a five minute walk away!) We don’t need fancy lawns that no one is allowed to sit on, we don’t need restaurants – the City is full of them, we don’t need any of this. We need a beautiful, natural, open air, place to get away from the tourist traps, the overpriced restaurants, the combustion of cars and high rise buildings….please please please don’t do this.

Concerned Resident, Native New Yorker & Mom

Anonymous said...

Dear Hudson River Park Trust,

I am writing this letter as a local parent. I have three children (boys ages 12, 5 and 3) who all have been or soon will be involved in sports at Pier 40. Their main sport is soccer and I have coached my oldest son’s team for the last 6 years.
Raising boys in the city is not easy – they need space to run, and time to be free to just play. We love the fields at Pier 40 and the other open spaces on the river and congratulate you on the transformations you achieved in this area. Please do not change this. In these times of sensory stimulation, I would love for my boys to be able to play soccer without any more distractions – the candy machines are bad enough already!
I heartily oppose the Related plan. Maybe my family would visit the Cirque du Soleil once every 5 years. Maybe. We do not need more restaurants and shops downtown. We need open space instead. And if you are planning for the future, why invest in Cirque du Soleil? Who knows if anyone will be interested in Cirque du Soleil 15 years from now? What then? For sure, children will play sports in 150 years time.
I think the day camp plan is much better and much more suited to the downtown spirit. Is it good enough? I do not know – if not, please take the time to find other developers. This decision will impact New York in a big way. I love living in the city, but it is difficult with a young family. With more commerce and tourists at Pier 40, I predict another wave of suburb-headed Manhattanites looking for peace and space for their families. Thank you very much for taking the time to read this letter.
Yours sincerely,

Justin Blau

shoestringpix said...

To Whom It May Concern, 06/13/07

I have a seven year old boy named Harry, who plays both Greenwich Village Little League and Downtown United Club Soccer at the Pier 40 courtyard fields. The fields at Pier 40 are a very big part of his life. Not only do we enjoy playing games there, we often go there on weekday afternoons just to play catch, or organize a pick up game with whatever kids are there. It is a safe and quiet open space devoted solely to the encouragement of athletic play, in a city with few like it. It would be shameful of those responsible for protecting such a place to allow it to be transformed into anything that would shift the aim of the place from that of encouraging and educating children in the valuable lessons of community supported athletics. Any plan that would take the fields from these children and send them to the roof of a proposed entertainment complex designed to attract thousands of tourists would be a tragic and cynical misuse of the trust we put in our public officials to safeguard the shrinking number of safe harbors our children need so badly in a city like ours. Our families need this unadorned park atmosphere, and we object to the impact this entertainment complex would have on our neighborhood, our streets, our park, and most importantly our children. Please think of my son Harry, and the thousands of children whose lives would be forever diminished by this plan.

Respectfully,
John Slattery
304 Spring Street #3W
NY, NY 10013

Anonymous said...

Hudson River Park project threatened

A cash crunch in the development of Pier 40 is in limbo, with no one at the helm.

By: Julie Satow
Published: June 17, 2007 - 6:59 am

The Hudson River Park Trust is responsible for creating a unique waterfront esplanade that will stretch five miles from Chambers Street to West 59th Street, with winding car-free paths where New Yorkers can run, bike or Rollerblade and public piers or lush lawns where they can enjoy sunsets over the water.

But nine years after its inception, the trust is facing a crisis. The city and state, which finance the trust and jointly appoint its board of directors, have awarded it just $10 million this year--the smallest amount in its history. Short on cash, the trust lacks the financing to complete construction of the TriBeCa segment of the park. In addition, one of its most critical projects, the creation of an income-producing development at Pier 40, is in limbo.

These problems come as the trust drifts leaderless. Its chairman, Charles "Trip" Dorkey, is a lame-duck George Pataki appointee with little power. Gov. Eliot Spitzer has yet to appoint a successor.

"This is a particularly bad time," says Albert Butzel, president of Friends of the Hudson River Park, a nonprofit advocacy group. "The amount of money the park has been allocated isn't even enough to keep construction going next year."

The 550-acre Hudson River Park, created in 1998, is the largest open-space development in Manhattan since Central Park. The trust has so far been allocated some $263 million. Only 40% of the park is complete, and another $130 million is needed to finish it, according to Friends of Hudson River Park. Moreover, once completed, the park is meant to be self-sustaining, with revenue generated from the maritime district at West 42nd Street, Chelsea Piers at West 22nd Street, Pier 57 at West 17th Street and Pier 40 at West Houston Street.

"I have been quite clear that I think authorities are not necessarily the most cost-efficient methods of operation," says Assemblywoman Deborah Glick, a critic whose district includes the park.

On reason for the cash crunch is escalating construction costs. The TriBeCa segment of the park has the most urgent need for funds. Last year, the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. awarded the trust $70 million to complete the section around North Moore Street, but now the project is expected to cost as much $100 million.

Neglected facility

Pier 40 is also in trouble. Built 45 years ago for the Holland America Line, it was abandoned as a shipping facility shortly thereafter and has been used for warehousing, parking and sports, but generally has been neglected. Some $14.2 million is needed to repair a leaking roof, according to a letter written earlier this month by the president of the trust, Connie Fishman, to Mr. Butzel. Some $7 million is needed immediately to repair dilapidated concrete and steel piles that hold up the pier.

Other repairs include replacing part of the facade on the eastern wall, fixing part of the perimeter and overhauling systems.

Pier 40 is pivotal because it is expected to generate enough income to cover 40% of the park's maintenance costs, which could be as high as $19 million a year.

Choosing a plan for the site has been difficult. In 2003, the trust rejected three plans to build a cultural complex, an aquarium or a superstore. Now the trust is considering two drastically different bids.

Options for improvement

Cash-rich Related Companies is proposing a $626 million complex that would transform the pier into a permanent home for the TriBeCa Film Festival and a theater for Cirque du Soleil while preserving the existing sports fields for the community. The second option, dubbed the People's Pier, is led by nonprofit group Urban Dove, which serves at-risk youth, and summer camp operator The Camp Group. It calls for the creation of additional park space, sports fields and a high school, all for $145 million.

"The Related bid will throw off more money, but the People's Pier has the support of the community that sees Pier 40 as a neighborhood treasure, not a tourist destination," says Fredric Bell, executive director of the New York chapter of the American Institute of Architects.

No action is expected until a new chairman is chosen. A spokeswoman for the governor said the search for a new chair "is in progress" but declined to comment further.

Despite all these difficulties, the trust says its projects are on track and that a new chairman could tackle its problems.

"As soon as there is a new chair, which I'm guessing will be before the end of July, one of the first things that person and the vice chair, [Daniel] Doctoroff, will do is make a decision on Pier 40," she says.

SINKING FEELING
Combined state and city allocations to Hudson River Park Trust. In millions.

2004 $42

2005 $20

2006 $30

2007 $33

2008 $10

For fiscal years ending March 31. Source: Hudson River Park Trust

Comments? JSatow@crain.com

Anonymous said...

I am writing to oppose the Related Companies’ proposal to turn Pier 40 into an entertainment center. We do not need Cirque du Soleil, plus an 1,800 seat concert hall, a 3,500 seat banquet hall, 12 movie theaters, 5 large restaurants, and 40,000 square feet of retail space.

We do not want to lose the safe and quiet atmosphere of the current courtyard and send children onto the roof of the garage of a huge entertainment complex attracting thousands of tourists. Our neighborhoods already have significant tourist and nightlife activity. Our families want a park atmosphere where we can go to play.

We live in this community and we object to the impact this entertainment center will have on our neighborhood, our streets, and our park. The Hudson River Park adds value to all buildings on the west side and the city is obtaining a huge benefit from this. It would be destructive of this value to bring such intense commercial use to the park.

The Perry family, Battery Park City residents since 1991

Anonymous said...

We are writing to express our deep concern that the Trust may be losing sight for what truly matters to Manhattan residents living on the West Side. We have lived in Manhattan for 20 years and in Chelsea for over 15 years; we are parents of an 8-year old.

We want the ball fields preserved. We equally want to keep the west side calm and quiet and free of excessive consumerism that is found all over the place. Why must there be "retail" everywhere? It's like kudzo! Everyone knows that 6th avenue is the pathway for retail, and it is close to subways etc.

Do you really think it is a good idea to bring all or even part of that congestion to the river's edge? If you do, I am sorry to tell you that you are mistaken in your thinking.

Can't we leave the area much as it is, and allow the children and families on the west side a place to enjoy peace and quiet and sporting games -- free of retail 'splendors'? This is a day-and-age where everyone bemoans the loss of "traditional values" due to crass consumerism, and here the Trust is -- with a perfect chance to preserve the ball fields in a calm and quiet setting!

So, please resist the temptation to build yet another mall. We just don't need another mall, and we don't want another mall displacing our traditional, family-centered way of life.

If a developer wants a mall, we suggest the other, far shoreline of the Hudson.

JWistman

Anonymous said...

I think one reason European cities feel so much more civilized is that in their municipal planning priority is given to the life styles of their city dwellers. The beauty, and calm open spaces that those cities’ parks and pedestrian walkways offer their city dwellers is testament to their values. If the fields at Pier 40 are conceived as an addenda to a large commercial venture which will attract the same hustle and bustle from which New Yorkers clearly need respite, then once again, a major American city is selling out livability for revenue. What ever happened to concerns about quality of life? Must commercial concerns always supersede them in our city? Why not spread these commercial venues out a bit along the waterfront? Why cram them in together causing congestion in one dense spot??



Claudia Catania

70 East Tenth Street

New York, NY 10003

Anonymous said...

June 11, 2007

To Hudson River Park Trust:

As a local resident, I want to express my concerns about turning Pier 40 into an entertainment complex. Is this really appropriate for a neighborhood with so much traffic? The bike pathways, the playing fields, the West Side Highway are already oversubscribed. Why add more?

And who will benefit from development of Cirque du Soleil facility, banquet hall and movie theaters? Certainly not local residents. We already have movie theaters downriver at Battery Park. And there is more than enough entertainment downtown. This development project - far from the subway or any bus route -- is an attraction for people in cars and cabs. It is ironic that while Mayor Bloomberg is trying to lessen traffic congestion in Manhattan, here is a project that wants to exacerbate the situation.

A far more sophisticated approach to urban planning would involve thinking about Pier 40 as a park or library or even a public school, rather than a commercial complex. We don't need more entertainment and car traffic. We need more havens for healthy recreation and education.

Thanks for your consideration,

Bob Morris

Bob Morris - 131 Barrow Street - 3B, NY NY 10014 - 212-243-7965

GVBlogger said...

Ladies and Gentlemen of HRPT,

Thank you for the opportunity to comment on this very important project at Pier 40.

Over the last 5 - 10 years the Pier 40 Facility has come to be an integral part of the Greenwich Village, Tribeca and Downtown communities. It is a significant component of downtown families' recreational options. In the ever more densely populated downtown, Pier 40 has become an oasis of sport and activity that put the community in touch with the river, physical activities and relaxed enjoyment. It is a true family resource providing activities year round to children as young as 5. It is supporting a rapidly growing population of families. Families that require and look for activities for their kids. The Related Partner's plan turns the clock backwards for this community by reducing the usefulness of the current facility and creating an out of scale inappropriate use in a growing family oriented community in NYC.

I attended the Community Board 2 meeting to hear the presentations by CampGroup and Related Partners. CampGroup is attempting to leverage what is already a good facility that is serving NYC well in terms of revenue (significant Parking fees) while finding solid ways to expand and enhance options for an interested, committed and enthusiastic user community. CampGroup will leverage the public facilities and make them better. The CampGroup plan is focused on what has made Pier 40 important and vital to the downtown community. The CampGroup plan also does not significantly impact the downtown environment. Certainly the user population will increase, the potential for students to be using the facility during the day and winter will provide a good "off-peak" use countering the heavier use on weekends and evenings.

The Related Partners plan uses the footprint for a totally different purpose that is not present in the downtown area in terms of concentration and scale. The plan brings to downtown thousands of users at peak times. The Related Partners plan does not provide any enhancement for the downtown population already using the facility. In fact it simply moves the existing ball field facilities to a rooftop location that would be unusable for most of the year due to wind and cold. The square feet may be the same but the functionality is severely curtailed and year round use reduced. Non ball field benefits of the current Pier 40 are swept away in the Plan.

The plan removes the current use, and value to the community from the facility's central purpose. Sports, family fun, connection with the river are of no importance to the success of the Related Plan. It will depend upon live entertainment and dining/shopping to be declared a success for Related. The community is of no importance in their plan accept to achieve control of the property.

Once operating the Related Plan will have significant impact on the community yet offer far less to the community.

Related's Pier 40 site will be less safe: Today people are at the pier in the sports areas for one thing: Playing sports, watching sports, coaching sports. Loads of parents around to add to the level of safety and security. Related will bring people for drinking, partying, live entertainment and shopping. Incompatible with a family oriented facility. The sports area will be harder to get to, and likely exist in a protective ghetto to be forgotten about. The Related Partners facility purpose is changed from serving the community to serving those outside the community.

Related's Pier 40 will not be for the community: The focus of the facility, and the revenues will target those outside of the downtown community. The downtown community can't financially support the Related Partners plan, as it does today's Pier 40. Thousands of people will have to be drawn to the facility to make it successful. While the community opposition rallying cry has been "No Vegas on the Hudson" it should really be No Atlantic City on the Hudson. The Related Partners plan will result in a facility separate, uncaring, and unconnected with its community. Just like Atlantic City has become: A strip of casinos effectively walling off the ocean from the rest of Atlantic City. Pier 40 will create a zone that is unconnected, restricting access to the river for those living in the area.

HRPT's support of a facility that is unconnected to the community is counter to all other development that has proceeded on the river since HRPT came into existence. Piers have been renovated, Chelsea Piers has been a boon to the community on a scale that fits with its environs, and Battery Park City has continued to focus on access. Commercial activity inconsistent with the connection to the river has been pushed to the other side of West street. The Related Partners Plan is counter to all that HRPT has done successfully over the years to enhance the river for community use.

HRPT has guided development along the Hudson River to enhance the river communities, Manhattan and New York City. The Related Partners Plan will result in a break with HRPT's highly successful stewardship of this great river and its shoreline.

Anonymous said...

Please preserve Pier 40 as a family and community sports center for the growing population of families who choose to live in lower Manhattan. We do not need or want the nightmare of Vegas on the Hudson! We want a safe FAMILY environment where our children can PLAY without worry of commercial interests and unsavory characters roaming around a congested area. I have three young children and live in the neighborhood, and the athletic resources provided at Pier 40 are INVALUABLE to the community. No one wants to see our children relegated to the roof of yet another entertainment complex that will have no positive benefit for those who actually live in the area, and present a danger to our children who have grown up relying on Pier 40 as a safe community resource.



'Erica Duignan'
Executive Director

Golden Seeds

Anonymous said...

I would like to express my support for the proposed expansion of playing fields at pier 40 and against the proposed development of an entertainment center at this site.

Downtown Manhattan has a dearth of playing fields and our entire community suffers from the caged-rat syndrome. The existing fields in this neighborhood, including pier 40, are heavily booked and there is every indication that increased capacity would be fully utilized by the population. On the other hand, an entertainment center would bring unwanted traffic and an increased level of out-of-neighborhood visitors.

Already we are besieged by outside visitors. Contrast a walk in the village with a walk through Harlem. In Harlem one sees local residents sitting on stoops, strolling the avenues, shopping in local stores. Here residents have to fight our way through busloads (literally) of tourists, shoppers and party-seekers. Development of an entertainment center at Pier 40 will only add to this mayhem. The Hudson River greenway is meant to be a PARK, not more commercialization. The park is already crowded beyond capacity. Witness the ugly confrontations between cyclists, skaters, joggers, dog-walkers, and baby strollers along the bike path. This does not reflect the native ugliness of New Yorkers, rather the caged-rat syndrome. Put too many people into a small space and tempers inevitably flare.

Please do not increase the congestion through development of an entertainment center at Pier 40. Follow the common sense applied to the Jets Stadium and reject development meant to bring more people to an already overcrowded neighborhood. Develop a park meant to improve the quality of life for local residents.

Sincerely yours,
David Stokes
3 Washington Square Village
Apt 6I
New York, NY 10012

Anonymous said...

Dear HRP Trust; Please do not pile up on top of us more cement blocks, traffic and congestion and then place one tiny ball field on top of it and say after the long wait..."You can all now go play!" There will not be enough space or breathing room for anyone to enjoy that park. We need as many fields and open areas for the NYC communities to have access to, as the HRP Trust can create. Please don't close Pier 40 down for our student's short High School life, but create wonderful refurbished fields and playgrounds where everyone can come and join in playing or watching the games they'll remember for the rest of their lives! NYC needs their playing fields and park on the beautiful Hudson River where we can all look out and see all around us and be proud of what we've done. Please leave those skyscrapers behind us... Sincerely, Betsy Lind (NYC/Stuy Mom)

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Like most households in New York City, we live here without a backyard or weekend escape to a country house. We need our local parks to provide open space and fresh air---a quiet escape from the traffic, noise and commercial world we live amidst.

Like an increasing number of households downtown, we are a family with school age children who need to play outside--- either in an organized fashion in league and school sports, or just romping around with their pals. We need our local parks in order to raise healthy children.

Like all families with young children, we are concerned about safety. We need our local parks to be places where our children are surrounded by the familiar faces of the neighborhood and league sports community, not thousands of visitors to adjoining entertainment and retail venues.

Like all households, we strive to build community. We need a our local parks to be places that foster community by being is accessible to all without buying a ticket or paying a fee.

Pier 40’s transformation from a parking garage is already amazingly successful at providing what we want from a local park. A strong sense of community has grown amongst Pier 40 users. We come for league sports and pick-up games on the courtyard field or just stop by to catch up with neighbors; others come for the boating or fishing, or a chance “fly with the greatest ease.” Some days we all just need to sit quietly on a bench and watch the river roll by.

Please do not pursue development that will take this away, keep Pier 40 a “local park.”


Jeanne Vass and Tom Tuggle

Anonymous said...

As a native New Yorker and parent, I am writing to advocate for the protection of the safe and quiet atmosphere of the current
Pier 40 couryard, roof and indoor fields. It is not merely about protecting the fields, but protecting the fields as part of a community resource. New Yorkers like people
everywhere should be able to expect a real park where we and our children can play. In fact families in New York need this amenity more
urgently that families in other cities.

The strength of New york has always been the community. All of us are members of this community and feel that there are already plenty of entertainment complexes in
this city. Do not endanger another amenity of middle class life in New York.

Sallie Slate


-------------------------------
Sallie Y. Slate
Associate Director of Media Relations
American Museum of Natural History
Central Park West at 79th Street
New York, NY 10024-5192
slate@amnh.org
Telephone: (212)496-3303 Fax: (212)769-5006

Anonymous said...

I am a 9 year old kid who loves pier 40!I think that hving pier 40 makes life eazy for lots of parents pecause it gives them a place to bring there kids i the kid just wants to thow a pall around or just kick a socer ball.ISA

Anonymous said...

To Whom it May Concern:

My family and I have lived in the downtown community ever since we moved to Manhattan in 1985. Downtown is an oasis from the hustle and bustle of midtown and other busy areas in the city. We stay here because we can raise our family in a pleasant and friendly community environment.

There are innumerable venues for entertainment and shopping in this city. We have always been the city that doesn't sleep. We don't need more overdevelopment downtown. We need to preserve the family friendly, lower key areas of this city for for the enjoyment of its residents - not "suburbanize" or "mall-ify" it for the benefit of tourists and shoppers.

The reason we moved and stay downtown is because we enjoy the smaller community within the city feeling. We are opposed to the rampant overdevelopment of critical community facilities all over the city, but especially downtown.

Please preserve pier 40 as a park. We do not need or want a further commercialization of the few areas that truly serve a community need. Families are the fabric of the community. If we destroy the features that have attracted families and others to the downtown community, and that keep it together, we destroy the community.

The Community Board must understand that it is not enough to keep the fields open (which is critical to my family as an intensive user of those fields). But, we must maintain the nature of our downtown community. When private interests do not benefit the community it is time for the government to step in and take a stand. As community leaders - you must LEAD, not follow the money. Your role as civic leaders is to do what it right for the community that you serve.

Greg Pryor

Anonymous said...

I write as a parent and concerned citizen and also as a local business person regarding the fate of Pier 40. In particular, I write in opposition to the proposal by Related Companies to build a massive entertainment complex on the site.

As a parent of two children residing in the West Village, we have used the fields within Pier 40 for almost six years now. We have been involved with DUSC and GVLL and have practiced soccer and baseball and played games on the rooftop field and indoors. The renovated courtyard has made our experience even better by expanding the amount of playing fields and providing a better overall playing experience. The courtyard—as opposed to the roof—provides an open experience without the overexposure to the elements of wind and heat (depending on the season or even the day). I cannot overemphasize the value of the courtyard green space to the community. The courtyard is safe. The courtyard is quiet in a way that the enjoyment of games is not lost in the din of other activity. The courtyard does not attract transient, tourist attention the way an entertainment complex would. The courtyard provides a welcome environment for sports players without the distraction of the circus-like atmosphere that the Related Companies want to create. In short, the courtyard enhances the neighborhood feel of the community.

The reality is that having a safe area for sports at Pier 40 is one of the attractions of living in Greenwich Village. Based on the continuing residential development and continued high resale value for residential properties in the neighborhood, I believe that more families are continuing to choose to live in this area. Families come to a neighborhood for many reasons, which include good schools and the availability of recreational facilities. There is no doubt that the green space at Pier 40 is one of the reasons to live in our neighborhood. While the Related Companies proposal does provide entertainment, it does so at great cost: the commercial facility will increase traffic and transient visitors to the area with the potential for more traffic, more pollution and more crime. I would not move my family to Times Square or Las Vegas and I would not want those places moved in next to my family. At a time when the Mayor is proposing to reduce traffic in Manhattan and increase conservation of our environment, how could a massive project like the one proposed by Related even be seriously contemplated? We already have plenty of entertainment and tourist attractions in Manhattan and we do not need more of the same. We can and should do better for our community than allow a redundant entertainment complex at the expense of the precious resource of safe, park-like field space.

I also write as a business person with strong professional roots in New York City. As such, I am in no way opposed to development or growth. However, I understand the need to provide outdoor park space for significant outdoor recreation to attract and retain employees. My current firm has sponsored teams at DUSC and GVLL because we recognize the value to the community that local youth sports programs provide. In addition, employees want to join recreational leagues (for which there is already a lack of space) and they want their children to participate in after school and weekend recreational activities. Without places like Pier 40, we might lose employees to jobs with competitors in the suburbs. Why sacrifice the opportunity to make Manhattan as attractive as possible for employees and their families when a bit of park can help keep them?

Please do not allow the park-like sanctuary of Pier 40 to be sacrificed for a redundant complex by Related.

Very truly yours,

Bruce H. Goldfarb
Senior Managing Director and General Counsel
Georgeson Inc.

Anonymous said...

Dear Sirs,

I will be brief as I am sure you understand the arguments against the Related Company’s proposal for Pier 40. Whilst I understand why a commercial venue might seem appealing, the reality for the residents who live near Pier 40 will be very detrimental. The congestion, parking problems, noise, litter, and general mayhem are unsustainable on the surrounding neighborhood which has already had drastic redevelopment with many new buildings. The neighborhood cannot handle thousands more people without destroying all that everyone enjoys around here.

The Hudson River Park itself is packed with people who enjoy the tranquility and the patch of green in the urban landscape of NY. If you add a huge Times Square element to this neighborhood with entertainment complex’s and shops. You will change the parks environment and the parks function. It will go from being a crowded park which everyone loves to an unpleasant extension of all that is not positive in New York. Do we really need more The Gap’s, Banana Republics and Lattes especially when playing in the park.

Please reconsider your objections. No one locally wants the Related company’s proposal.

Yours sincerely

Claire Mosley
West Village Resident

villager said...
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Anonymous said...

To whom it may concern:
I have 2 small children who use Pier 40 frequently for soccer. We walk to the Pier and enjoy the quaint facilities which are not crowded, and are safe, family friendly and characteristic of a New York City pier. Neither I nor my children would have the same pleaseant experience if Related is permitted to turn the Pier into an entertainment mall. Moreover, my husband and I relish the fact that we live in a place where we do not have to tangle with huge, monolithic mall-like places for our family's entertainment; this is one of the particular charms of Manhattan. Related's proposal ejpitomizes the corporatization of family entertainment. Such a huge complex would completely destroy the charming, small-town feeling that is prevalent at Pier 40.

We do not want to lose the safe and quiet atmosphere of the current courtyard at Pier 40 and send our children onto the roof of the garage of a huge entertainment complex attracting thousands of tourists. Our neighborhoods have intense tourist and nightlife activity and our families want a park atmosphere where we go to play.

We live in this community and we object to the impact this an entertainment center will have on our neighborhood, our streets, and our park. The Hudson River Park adds value to all buildings on the west side and the city is obtaining a huge benefit from this. It would be destructive of this value to bring this intensity of commercial use to the park. Please reject the Related Company proposal for Pier 40.

Thank you,
Karen Wolff
110 Bleecker St., Apt. 6A
New York, NY 10012

Anonymous said...

I am writing to protest your projected plan to turn the Pier 40
area into what will only become a tragic disaster of commercial enterprises, overdeveloped,crowded, traffic congested nightmare! The residents of this part ofManhattan have already been subjected to 9/11 trauma: now, here
again, good tax-paying, loyal Americans are being subjected to the
onslaught of greed and a disruption of neighborhood. Our children who are being
denied the benefit of a safe and wholesome environment. They are the ones
who are destined to suffer from this onslaught of power-hungry,
profiteering, uncaring individuals--people whose only interests are
focused on themselves and their insatiable, insensitive hunger for more
and are not really concerned about the future of
our beautiful Lower Manhattan Area. I do protest the denial of such
interests to build a conglomerate of, "only-for-profit" commercial
congestive enterprises for self-gain without regard for concern,
the future and its ramifications to create another horrible mess!

Anonymous said...

Hi,
I wanted to make a few comments about my families experience playing soccer on the Pier 40 fields. I play in a weekly woman's league on the roof (I am almost 50) and my three girls, 7, 9 and 11 play year-round on the various fields. I also coach two teams. I spend a lot of time at Pier 40.

Playing soccer on the roof is a very different and inferior experience to playing on the lower fields. Okay, the view is nice, but in general it is very cold and often windy on the roof. It gets uncomfortable for little kids to play on the roof half way thru October and it is miserable by November. In contrast, the lower fields seem to stay tolerable right thru the end of the fall season. It is also great not to have the wind be a big factor in the games.

On the rooftop fields, families play and leave right away because it is so exposed to the sun and wind. On the lower fields, kids play and then families hang out afterwards, often for hours. It is a great community resource the way the town park is for the suburbs. Because so many other families also stay on Saturdays and Sundays, it becomes one of those rare places in NYC that you can go and know your kids will run into someone they know, or meet and make new friends. It is nice to have a place to "hang" without the artificialness of "playdates." I think part of why this happens is the extra strip of room around the fields that kids can run around in after their games. The inside fields also feel pretty safe because almost everyone there is part of a family and there to play sports. With the bike path, it is also very easy and safe to get to in a way the gives the kids even more exercise.

I hope that you might take these observations into consideration in making your planning decisions.

Thank you,
Laura Kane
42 West 15th Street
NY, NY 10011

Anonymous said...
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Anonymous said...

Dear Sirs:



It's been brought to the attention of residents and parents that the Trust responsible for developing Pier 40 feels that the only thing opponents to their plans are concerned about is "saving the fields" and that if the survival of the fields is guaranteed then everyone should be satisfied. I want to add my voice to those who are stating passionately that that simply saving the fields is not enough.



There is a world of difference between fields that are basically a local site, primarily for kids, parents and other sport players and fields that are situated (incarcerated, you might say) within a site that features an 1800 seat concert hall, a 3500 seat banquet hall, 12 movie theaters, 5 large restaurants, and 40,000 square feet of retail. I wonder if any parent would feel comfortable allowing their children free range to head to baseball practice alone or with their friends if their destination was a seething mass of tourists, shoppers, and related thrill seekers?



Living on the busy streets and thoroughfares of Chelsea, SoHo and, the increasingly congested, Tribeca, our kids are resigned to the fact that we can't give them much freedom to roam and play. Pier 40 is where we go to play and to let our kids hang out. It's not just the space of the fields themselves that we need, it's a place where our cooped kids can relax without having to navigate and negotiate the hoardes. That's what you're about to take away from us. A local place where our kids can be given a bit of freedom. I think it's desperately sad that you're planning to replace somewhere that unusual with another mall.



So, just to make sure there's no mistake. It's not "just the fields" we care about.

Sincerely,

Andrea Shallcross

Tobi Bergman said...

Dear Pier 40 Decision Maker:

Every once in a while, public officials get to make a decision of great importance. Saving downtown and Washington Square by ditching the Fifth Ave. extension expressway. Saving Central Park and the pride of our city by ditching the plan to build public housing in the northern ten blocks of the park. Saving the west side and the striped bass by ditching Westway. Saving an architectural and cultural treasure and one of the world's great indoor public spaces by ditching the plan to tear down Pennsylvania Station. Whoops! Yes, we can make mistakes.
The Related proposal is an outpost of mass global culture in a place that is revered world wide for the individuality of its creative expression. I truly believe if the Related proposal gets built, you will soon come to understand the damage you have done and you will have to salvage your pride by convincing yourself there was nothing you could do to stop it. But it won't be true and it's not a good thing to look forward to. Can you handle the opportunity and responsibility to make the right decision when it's really important? Or will you retreat to the world of small explanations for big mistakes.

This decision is about the future of New York. The future of our great city, my friends. Will we be able to retain our special character? Will real lives continue to flourish here? Or in the quest for more and more will we become simply more and more the same as everywhere else and thereby less and less important as a world city? Will a child have the chance to learn to kick a ball and a parent have a chance to look on in pride in a place that's right for learning to kick a ball and right for looking on in pride.
Please listen hard to what people are saying about protecting something special and fragile and remember humpty dumpty cannot be put back together again.

(By the way: I'm sure you've now got the point that it's not just the fields we care about.)

Tobi Bergman
58 Watts Street

Anonymous said...

As long-time residents of the Village with a school age child, we have carefully followed the debate about the proposed redevelopment of Pier 40. We have read the proposals submitted by each developer, considered what each has to offer and have attended the public hearing at PS 41 earlier this summer. As with the majority of our neighbors, we have significant concerns about the potential changes being contemplated by
the Trust that would impact our life in a very negative way.

We recognize that the Trust needs to consider ways to fund the
significant cost of maintaining the Hudson River Park, and also
appreciate that the last development of Pier 40 was intended as only a short term fix. But we feel that the Related Companies proposal to develop a multi-level tourist entertainment center at Pier 40 will damage the neighborhood, and interfere with residents such as ourselves enjoying the Park.

Mayor Bloomberg has gone on record as saying that the City must expand
green space and provide additional opportunities for all residents to
enjoy recreational facilities. Every NYC resident with a school-age child knows about the current challenges of finding playing space. The last Pier 40 redevelopment was a good first step in starting to alleviate that challenge. The Related Companies proposal to have our children play in exposed conditions on the roof of a 10,000 seat, multi-story entertainment complex frequented primarily by out of town tourists significantly detracts from their ability to play in a safe and quiet parkland environment.

Many of our neighbors have commented that playing space must be preserved during any renovation and we too have this same concern. We understand Related have said they will maintain the field during
construction if practical; however we have severe reservations about
the safety of children playing in the midst of a gigantic building site.

The Hudson River Park is an excellent example of what New Yorkers can look forward to in the future to increase the quality of life in this city. *We urge you not to turn communal parkland into a commercial complex, which will clog our streets with unwelcome traffic, noise and strangers, and will irreparably and negatively change our childrens’ opportunities to play team sports.*

Maureen & Colin Gibson

Anonymous said...
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Bill Tsapalas said...

To whom it may concern:

I am a parent of 2 children who attend PS 234. Being a Lower Manhattan resident for the last 11 years, I have seen this neighborhood go through significant change--some good, some not so good.

As the city's baby boomers mature and have families of their own, they are challenged with what to do when their children become of an age when they are ready to experience team sports and outdoor play. Many Manhattan parents leave and head to the suburbs just before this period, believing that Manhattan cannot offer their children these things that are so basic and fundamental everywhere else. They also leave this period, in anticipation of certain elements being exposed to kids. Elements like over-commercialism, noise, pollution, crowds.

We have been blessed living in Lower Manhattan, because it's always seemed like there has been an emphasis by city planners on making the area family-friendly.

Just as Manhattan is seeing more families than ever, it seems there is a push to turn every patch of grass and every parking lot and every potential space into a luxury hi-rise condo or Starbucks. It seems like a contradiction.

My son just started playing baseball at the Battery Park City Ballfields this spring and now, they're threatened by the new Goldman Sachs behemoth being built next door. A quarter of the fields have been appropriated as a construction staging area. The noise from the construction is non-stop on the field and I doubt audibly safe.

My son got to go play at the fields on newly reopened Governor's Island this spring. I understand that those fields are being threatened by commercialism, as well.

And now I signed my son up for soccer summer camp at Pier 40 and I understand, that, the although the fields will be preserved(for now), the children will be exposed to crowds, noise and pollution that is not necessary or helpful to this neighborhood.

I ask that you please reconsider your plans. I am not naive and I know it's about money. But this kind of short-term thinking is going to drive out the largest population of families this city has ever seen. And think of the capital lost there.

Sincerely,


Bill Tsapalas

Anonymous said...

Dear Hudson River Park Trust,

Over the course of the last three months, I have spoken to dozens of people about the proposals for Pier 40. What has crystallized after all of these conversations is that Related’s proposal, while it may arguably not violate the letter of the RFP or the HRPT Act, it violates the spirit of the Act and more importantly violates the trust of the community. We feel betrayed. We have no desire for more entertainment, banquet venues, retail, and traffic! We live in the Village for goodness sake, not a small town starved for cultural and entertainment outlets.
We thought the Hudson River Park Trust was the steward of a Park, not the owner of valuable acreage for development.

We need green, not greed.
Pier 40 is our park, our community center, our treasure, our backyard. Please do not put a mall and more theaters outside our back door and relegate our toddler t-ballers to the inclement roof! We who reside in high-rises rely on the oasis of our ground level fields and open green space.
Believe ME, a jogger, a bike rider, a neighbor, a voter, the parent of two avid soccer and baseball players who are also devotees of the just hanging out at Pier 40, and believe US, the hundreds who showed up at the hearing and the hundreds who couldn't make it that night but feel just as strongly about the park, WE the mother of a short stop, the father of a goalie, the dog owner, the sister of a striker, the brother of a pitcher, when we say NOT IN OUR BACKYARD!!!

Jill Hanekamp and Ron Zier
East Tenth Street

Anonymous said...

Dear Hudson River Park Trust,

From Pier 40, the towers of the World Financial Center -- a huge shopping and entertainment complex -- are clearly visible, within easy walking distance. All of lower Manhattan is blanketed with theatres, auditoriums, nightclubs, shops and restaurants. What Lower Manhattan lacks, and what the Hudson River Park has, until now, so beautifully provided, are spaces free of the intense commerce of the rest of the city -- spaces where the minds of children and adults alike can relax and be refreshed in an atmosphere of peace and beauty.

The playing fields at Pier 40 are, right now, one such space. Spending Saturday mornings there with the fellow parents of my sons' Little League team is a pleasure because the playing field is no more than a playing field -- it's not a hassle to get there, and once you're there, there are no crowds to fight, and no one is trying to sell you anything. You can relax from the non-stop battle of negotiating with everything that the city is constantly throwing at you. I don't mind having to walk to the Starbucks two blocks away to get a cup of coffee -- in fact, I enjoy the walk.

My two sons are completely mystified by the Related Companies' plans for Pier 40. "Oh right, mom, I get it," says my sarcastic IS89 7th-grader: "The problem with Manhattan is that there are TOO MANY DARN BASEBALL FIELDS and no theatres or shops for anyone to go to." They'd love to see the fields fixed up a bit, but can't understand a plan that calls for turning them into a little postage stamp bit of social conscience pasted on top of a vast shopping mall/entertainment complex. That's not the Manhattan they, or I, want to live in.

The Hudson River Park is, for many of us living in Lower Manhattan, a place of refuge. Please don't turn Pier 40, one of the most spacious parts of the oasis that the Hudson River Park provides us, into yet another onslaught of commerce, jammed with traffic, crowds from elsewhere who could care less about the place they're visiting once they've got the photos they wanted, and callous megabusiness.

Respectfully yours,

Esther Allen
Assistant Professor, Baruch College CUNY

W. 12th St. #1-D
New York, NY 10011

Anonymous said...

First of all, I love the Arts. I love that Cirque de Soleil comes to New York every year. (I can’t always afford to take my family to see it, but I love that it comes, just the same.) I love that, living in New York, I have more galleries and museums to visit than I’ll ever be able to make time for. I love that there’s more music and theater--for adults and the whole family--than anywhere else in the world. I love that if there’s hardly a film made that isn’t shown here. I love that there’s nearly always a festival to take advantage of at any given time…and free concerts and events to keep me busy all summer long. And I love that these are things that are everywhere and that they will never go away.
But I also love that in addition to dragging my kids kicking and screaming to museums and concerts (and believe me, I do!) I can also provide them with what they really want: the chance to play outside with their friends in a safe, peaceful welcoming, neighborhood environment. I love that to live in the greatest cultural city in the world I don’t have to entirely sacrifice my children’s recreational opportunities and experiences. And I hate that this could very soon go away.
New York City, as we all know, has no shortage of culture, shopping and dining, too. It does not, however, have a wealth of green space and commercial-free recreational fields. To have development, even in the name of “culture” (a thinly veiled pseudonym for profit), come at the expense of the only sizeable recreational space the West Village has would be a terribly blow to our community and the city as a whole. Far from adding value to the neighborhood, I fear the Related Companies’ project will only end up driving away all those families and who’ve come to define the neighborhood and who were drawn to the low-cost, child-centered, pure recreation Pier 40 offered. It is the last thing the community needs and is, in addition, horribly out of keeping with the pastoral Hudson River Park that it will share.
The Hudson River Park is an oasis in our wonderful, over crowded, over stimulating city, and we beg you to leave the tourist-oriented shopping plazas and theaters for those parts of the city with adequate mass transportation and fewer culture-loving, tax-paying residents just looking for a place to relax and escape and play.
Thank you for considering the interests of these residents.

Anonymous said...

I do not live near Pier 40. But I am VERY concerned about losing these fields and losing the safe and quiet environment that the current courtyard has.

My 10-year old son has played baseball at Pier 40 last summer and fall and is returning this summer. We live on the upper east side and it takes about an hour via mass transit to get there. That means we have to leave before 8:00 in the morning to get there and spend 4 hours a day travelling time to get him back and forth. We take him there despite the onerous travelling time because it is the the only baseball program in Manhattan available all summer on a week-by-week basis and it is also an excellent program in a quiet safe environment.

There are already too few baseball fields. Ward's and Randalls Island are under renovation and years from now when the fields are finished the new water park there will drastically negatively impact the safe environment. Wards and Randalls are also not as easily accessible by mass transit as Pier 40 is. Central Park is virtually impossible to get baseball permits at plus the fields are regularly closed for maintenance and repair or the slighest threat of rain. Also, all these locations do not afford the possibility of indoor facilities that Pier 40 has - batting cages, areas for pitching and fielding drills.

If the Pier 40 program is moved even for a short time, budding baseball players like my son will not have as much opportunity to develop their skills.

If the pier is taken over by a huge entertainment complex, the safe enviroment of the park will be threatened. It's bad enough that Randall's Island will turn into a circus when the water park opens. It is deplorable that another safe family sports park, Pier 40, is similarly threatened.

The Related Companies has a history of promising public facilities to get building concessions and later renegging on those facilities. The Related Companies built a park with a tennis court and basketball court for public use on 93rd Street, apparently to allow concessions for residential buildings they built nearby. However, access to the tennis court became virtually impossible when the president of the company gave his personal trainer unlimited access to the tennis court. And the Related Campanies could build on the space and eliminate the park in a few short years when their agreement expires. The prospect of giving more concessions to Related is unacceptable.

Now that my son has played travel ball with 2 leagues and has attended several baseball camps I would also concur with the many who believe Francisco Perez runs the best baseball program in Manahattan. Let Francisco Perez run his program without interuption at Pier 40. Karen R

Carol said...

I am writing to OPPOSE the Related Companies proposal for Pier 40. I do understand that they will provide for ball fields in their plan, but that is not the real issue.

The real issue is the atmosphere and the intended use of the Hudson River Park. Currently it is a rather peaceful, easygoing place which the residents of Lower Manhattan deserve. It should stay that way. The intrusion of crowds, tourists and cars that will be the result of turning Pier 40 into an entertainment complex should be rejected! The intention of the Park is NOT to serve tourists and commercial companies like Cirque du Soleil, but to serve as open recreation space for area residents.

The week after attending the public hearing at P.S. 41, I was in Brooklyn at Prospect Park. That visit to Brooklyn really put it in perspective for me. Brooklyn residents have the wonderful Prospect Park and uptown Manhattan residents have Central Park, neither of which has huge commercial entities invading the park. DOESN'T DOWNTOWN MANHATTAN DESERVE THE SAME????

We need peaceful, calm places for our families, not huge commercial entities turning our park into a place that will be less safe for everyone.

Please SAY NO TO THE RELATED PROPOSAL. The Village has enough tourist and nightlife activity. PLEASE save the peace of the Hudson River Park.

Sincerely,

Carol Poticny

Candy said...

To whom it may concern:
>
> My daughter has been playing soccer at Pier 40 for 7 years. I have
> been a member of the downtown community for more than 30 years, both
> as a co-op owner and a professor of writing at The New School. I am
> writing to voice my opposition to the current proposal by Related to
> build a large entertainment complex at Pier 40.
>
> We have very few recreational facilities in downtown Manhattan and
> there are more parents than ever living downtown. We need quiet areas
> where our children can play sports--but without a bustling
> entertainment complex, which would have a negative impact on our
> neighborhood, our streets, and our park. I am strongly opposed to
> such intense commercial use of Pier 40, which would seriously
> compromise our children's use of parks and fields in downtown
> Manhattan. We need to retain our fields and play areas for our
> children. I urge you to vote against Related's proposal and save our
> play areas for our children.
>
> Sincerely,
>
> Candy Schulman
> Greenwich Village Parent

Anonymous said...

Dear Hudson River Park Trust,

I am a resident of lower Manhattan where I have lived for 20 years. I have a 12 year-old-daughter who plays soccer at Pier 40 with Downtown United Soccer Club (now Gotham Girls) and whose school, the Village Community School, uses the Pier 40 fields several times a week for PE classes. Those fields, that Pier has become a central part of our lives in this city as they have for so many downtown families.

In the last several years, with the Mayor's encouragement, residential development has been booming in lower Manhattan. I count no less that 20 huge new residential buildings going up within a 5-10 block radius of our home in TriBeCa. This means 100's of new families moving downtown. What we need is MORE open park land and MORE field space for children and adults to play on, NOT a commercial development that will be a magnet for tourists and others from around the city. The Related Proposal is out of proportion and totally contrary to the needs of this community. The traffic congestion, the crowds will lower the level of safety for children walking or biking to the Pier and take away the much needed oasis the courtyard of the pier provides in the what has become an already very busy, crowded part of town. There is no other open space like it downtown and developing it in the manner proposed by Related will have a profound impact on our quality of life to say nothing of the desirability of living in this area.

That you, a Trust formed to create and manage PARK LAND is threatening to take a necessary sanctuary for the downtown community and turn it into a for-profit commercial development is unconscionable.


Sincerely,

Judy Kuhn

Anonymous said...

To whom it may concern,

We strongly object to the plans for pier 40. The loss of parks and
playing fields for the children of our neighborhood would be very
unfortunate. Even the possibility of including the fields in the midst
of a huge commercial and entertainment complex is very negative. It is
not appealing or safe for children to be playing in such a setting.
New York City needs to preserve such spaces for our children much more
than it needs more entertainment and commercial space. There is plenty
of that already. Our children are the future of the city and their
ability to grow up playing sports in their own neighborhood should
take precedence.

Sincerely,

John and Maria Lupiano

Coornel Pringles said...

Please preserve pier 40 as a park. We do not need or want a further commercialization of the few quiet areas in this community. I live here. I have watched commercial ventures overrun the community for thirty years now. Why are you unable or unwilling to give equivalence to the voice of the families in the community when they are opposed by commercial interests. Families are the fabric of the community. Without that fabric it's Las Vegas. Mark Margolis