Last month, Douglas Durst walked away from the Friends of Hudson River Park advocacy group over a disagreement with the trust that runs the Manhattan watefront park. The key dispute had been over what to do with Pier 40, the libertarian park‘s former cash cow that has become a drain as its pilings deteriorate and the parking garage cum ball fields ever so slowly sinks into the river.
The trust believes that housing should be among the options considered for shoring up the pier’s finances, and by extension its pilings, a move that would likely require a major overhaul of the pier. Meanwhile, Mr. Durst insists housing is undesirable and unnecessarily expensive, and the better option is to keep the pier largely as is, adaptively reusing the space to more efficiently house the roughly 1,400 cars that park on the pier, freeing up room to create commercial space, likely occupied by tech firms, art galleries and other decidely downtown tenants.
Last night, Mr. Durst presented his plan at a public meeting, where it was warmly if cautiously received.