It doesn’t look like it now, but 80,000 square feet of concrete along the Hudson River, between North Moore and Hubert, should become a multipurpose and eco-friendly public space in just two-years’ time.
“This pier will not just serve as a place for our community to gather, but also as an educational laboratory where visitors can learn hands on about the Hudson River Estuary,” said Citi CEO Mike Corbat.
The $31 million project is being funded by equal contributions from Citi, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, and the City of New York.
On Tuesday, a construction crew pounded the last three pylons needed to move forward with the Pier 26 project.
Community members and the Hudson River Park Trust have worked for years to create a collaborative plan for the project.
“This beautiful pier, while dedicated to our mission and teaching about the ecology of the river, will have something for everyone: lush lawns, a woodland forest, indigenous plantings, and two junior soccer fields,” said Madelyn Wils, the president and CEO of the Hudson River Trust.
A stone’s throw from the World Trade Center, the new Pier 26 will also feature an ecological “get down.” The space will be used in the trust’s educational programming.
Even the pier’s new playground has been designed to encourage public awareness of the fish living off Hudson River Park.
“This is about recreating a living laboratory, a living maritime ecosystem,” said Rose Harvey, the commissioner of the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation.
Officials told NY1 that the pier will be like no other. That is, in part, because what’s being created is the exact opposite of construction projects along the waterfront in decades past.
“We’re undoing a lot of poor decisions, poor planning decisions made in earlier generations, where our waterfronts, and our waterways themselves, were separated off from our communities,” said State Sen. Brian Kavanagh.
So instead of constructing more buildings, planners focused on ways to create more green space.
“In an increasingly congested and crowded city, this is exactly what we need to ensure that the people who live here, and the kids who grow up here, have a place where they can view the water and feel connected to nature,” State Assemblywoman Deborah Glick said.
According to the Hudson River Trust, once open, the park is expected to serve hundreds of thousands of people each year.