At last year’s State of the State, Cuomo allocated $50 million in funds for the waterfront park, which has been under segment-by-segment construction for more than two decades, and this year he is kicking in $23 million more to help finish it. As WestView reported in 2016, it will cost taxpayers $40 million to build two causeways to Diller Island, and the new pier attraction contributes nothing to the cost of ongoing maintenance of the park.
Madelyn Wils, the C.E.O. and president of the Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT), said in a statement “With approximately $900 million in design or under construction through public and private partnerships, the finish line is now within reach.” The Trust says that, even with Cuomo’s latest pledge, an additional $23 million is still needed for capital projects for portions of the park’s esplanade between 29th and 35th Sts., and between 39th and 44th Streets, but does not include the open space portion of Pier 40, the commercial redevelopment of Pier 76, or Pier 26’s capital maintenance projects.
HRPT will manage Pier 55, and Mathews Nielsen Landscape Architects, P.C. is designing landscaping for the Thomas Heatherwick’s 2.7 acre park atop 425 piles in the Hudson River at 14th Street.
In related news, two other projects have been designed by Thomas Heatherwick Studio since the Pier 55 was unveiled, namely “the Staircase” (formerly the “Vessel”) the bright copper-toned centerpiece recently opened at Hudson Yards courtyard, and a pair of residential towers adjacent to the High Line at 511 & 525 18th Street in Chelsea. Related Companies is the developer behind both these projects, and the towers are expected to open later next year.
—Brian Pape, AIA