Pier 54 Public Review
Project Plan and Amendment
Response to Comments Received During Public Review
In November 2014, the Trust announced that Barry Diller had agreed to make a large contribution to fund the reconstruction of Pier 54 as a public park space with performance spaces, and to offer cultural programming to the public, all pursuant to a proposed lease between a not-for-profit corporation (“Pier55, Inc.”) to be funded by the donation, and the Trust.
Because the term of the proposed lease would be in excess of 10 years, and because the proposed uses on the pier required an amendment to the Park’s 1998 General Project Plan, the Trust commenced a “Significant Action” process as required by the Hudson River Park Act. The Significant Action process requires a formal public notice, a public comment period of at least sixty days, and a public hearing before the Trust Board of Directors may vote.
The Trust noticed the proposed lease and the proposed General Project Plan Amendment on November 17, 2014. At the same time, it also made the draft lease, proposed General Project Plan Amendment, and the Draft Environmental Assessment Form and Supplemental Studies (“the Draft EA”) available for public review and comment on this website. The Draft EA comprehensively analyzed the potential impacts of the proposed project pursuant to the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and its implementing regulations and used the New York City’s City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR) Technical Manual as a general guide on the methodologies and impact criteria for evaluating the proposed project’s potential impacts on the various environmental areas of analysis.
In accordance with the Act’s requirements, the Notice of the Significant Action was published in the following places: The Trust’s website; The City Record; the New York State Contract Reporter; The New York Post; and The Villager. Additionally, and as required by the Act, the Notice was circulated to Community Boards 1, 2 and 4; to the City Planning Commission; to the Hudson River Park Advisory Council; to local elected officials representing communities neighboring the Park; and to other interested community leaders, neighbors, partners and organizations.
In addition, the Trust presented the proposed project at two meetings of the Community Board 2 Parks and Waterfront Committee, on December 3, 2014 and January 7, 2015. In both of these meetings, the Trust and representatives of Pier55, Inc. responded to questions from community board members and the general public. At a subsequent meeting on January 22, Community Board 2 passed a resolution in support of the project but with some qualifications. Additionally, the Trust presented the proposed project to the Hudson River Park Advisory Council on December 15, 2014.
On January 12, 2015, the Trust held its own public hearing on the proposed lease and the proposed GPP Amendment. Comments on the Draft EA were also accepted. In addition to the comments submitted at the January 12 hearing, the Trust received written comments by U.S. mail and electronic mail, as well as comments at the two Community Board 2 committee meetings mentioned above. In all, 100 comments were received from elected officials, organizations and individuals. All comments received as part of the Significant Action process, as well as the Community Board 2 resolution and the issues associated with it, were addressed in the Summary of Comments/Responses, which was provided to the Trust’s Directors in advance of their vote.
Subsequent to the public comment period, the Trust considered the comments and, with Pier55, Inc., made substantive changes to the draft lease reflecting some of the public input including a reduction in the pier height from 71 feet to 62 feet and establishing a maximum number of closures of the public pier (an average of 4 times per month, or no more than 5). In addition, the Trust also finalized the Environmental Assessment Form and Supplemental Studies, and then issued a “Finding of No Significant Impact and Negative Declaration/Determination of Non Significance” for the Pier 54 Revelopment Project on February 10, 2015. This determination was issued pursuant to the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act and its implementing regulations.
On February 11, 2015, the Hudson River Park Trust’s Board of Directors approved two separate items related to Pier 54:
Adoption and approval of an amendment to the Hudson River Park Multi-Purpose Project General Project Plan dated July 16, 1998, such that the existing section on Pier 54 would be replaced in its entirety as follows: “Pier 54 would be rebuilt between the currently existing Pier 54, whose pile field would remain, and the existing Pier 56 pile field. Pier 54 would remain a public pier with opportunities for diverse park activities in a green landscape setting. Outdoor spaces for cultural programming would also be incorporated into the landscape.”
- Authorization for the Hudson River Park Trust to enter into a Thirty Year Lease Agreement with Pier55, Inc., substantially in compliance with the Lease form presented to the Board in connection with February 11, 2015 meeting.
On December 24, 2014, the Trust provided notice of the proposed lease to the New York State Comptroller, the New York State Division of Budget, the New York State Senate Majority Leader, New York State Assembly Speaker, the New York State Office of General Services, and the New York State Authorities Budget Office as required. In addition, before any construction may occur, the project must secure permits from the Army Corps of Engineers and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation.
The Trust has provided copies of the approved lease, approved amendment to the General Project Plan, Summary of Comments/Responses, the Environmental Assessment Form and Supplemental Studies, and the “Finding of No Significant Impact and Negative Declaration/Determination of Non Significance” for the Pier 54 Redevelopment Project on February 10, 2015 in the links to the right on this page.