Public Hearing: South Street Seaport – Pier 17 & City Planning Commission of the City of New York
South Street Seaport – Pier 17
City Planning Commission of the City of New York
22 Reade Street, New York, NY
To Chair Burden and the members of the City Planning Commission:
Thank you for the opportunity to speak here today in support of the redevelopment of Pier 17. I am Connie Chung, Planning Analyst with the Alliance for Downtown New York, which manages the business improvement district for Lower Manhattan south of Chambers Street.
Pier 17 is located outside our district boundary; however, we want to voice our support publicly here today, because the success of Pier 17 will be a benefit to our entire business district. It will create more open space, more retail opportunities, more jobs and increased local sales tax revenue.
The redeveloped pier will be a compelling new destination for Lower Manhattan’s 310,000 workers, 60,000 residents and an estimated 12 million visitors a year—but that’s just a start.
The new Pier 17 will connect people to the entire Lower Manhattan waterfront experience, complementing the necklace of esplanades, green space and pavilions that now stretches along the East River down to Pier A in the Battery and the Hudson River waterfront park. It will give visitors even more reasons to come to Lower Manhattan and more reasons to stay.
The benefits will reach beyond our waterfront. A revitalized Pier 17 will drive foot traffic into the Water Street corridor, giving the area a much-needed consumer boost, particularly given the effects of the recent Superstorm Sandy.
Anchored by the Seaport to the north and Battery Park to the south, the Water Street corridor is Lower Manhattan’s premier commercial boulevard, with 70,000 workers, 19 million square feet of office space and 12,000 nearby residents. But if Water Street is to keep up with the rest of the district’s metamorphosis as a 24/7 live-work-visit neighborhood, it must develop more dining and retail options and a street life that bustles beyond business hours.
A revitalized Pier 17 and a more pedestrian-friendly Water Street will create the foot-traffic that can make this happen. So will redevelopment of the Battery Maritime Building near the south end of the Water Street corridor. Current plans by the the Poulakakos family and the Dermot Company will create a boutique hotel, a specialty-foods market and a rooftop restaurant.
Meanwhile, the redevelopment plans for Pier A just west of Battery Park will give Battery Park City residents, in particular, increased dining and leisure options, and will give visitors to Ellis Island and the Statue of Liberty more reasons to stay in the district.
The Downtown Alliance believes the plans for Pier 17 will provide a strong economic benefit for Lower Manhattan and New York City and become an important link in a reconnected East River Waterfront. We are happy to support this project in front of the Commission today.