Google Anticipated to Occupy 250,000 Square Feet; Main Concourse Market to Be Run By Anthony Bourdain; New Outdoor Venue for Tribeca Film Festival
Project Will Include Rooftop Park, Outdoor Esplanades and Provide a New Funding Source for Hudson River Park Trust
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the State’s approval of a deal with a joint venture of RXR Realty and Youngwoo & Associates to transform historic Pier 57 in Hudson River Park into a dynamic, mixed-use facility through a $350 million redevelopment project. The new site will include office, retail and cultural space, along with a new public rooftop park and esplanades – all while restoring the original pier structure. The project’s anticipated anchor tenant will be Google, which is expected to sign a lease to occupy approximately 250,000 square feet, including lobby and other space primarily on the top two floors, further cementing New York as a hub of the 21st Century economy.
“Pier 57 is an iconic part of New York’s history, and I am proud the State is playing a central role in this exciting project to enrich New York’s waterfront.” said Governor Cuomo. “This action will bring jobs and new investment to the region while also creating a world-class venue for commerce and culture, and I look forward to seeing the work get underway.”
Senate Majority Leader John J. Flanagan said: "The redevelopment of historic Pier 57 will transform the area in and around this project and create significant new opportunities for the residents of our state. By putting office, retail and cultural space in one central location, along with a public rooftop and restaurant pavilion, this mixed-use facility will generate millions of dollars and bring about dynamic and positive change. While there is more work to be done, there are many exciting things happening all across New York."
Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie said: "New York will always welcome businesses that invest in the local economy and provide strong, quality jobs for New Yorkers. The development of Pier 57 is a fine example of the benefits we can achieve for our communities through responsible and inclusive partnerships with businesses. The expansion of Google’s headquarters and the addition of cultural attractions will bring hundreds of permanent new jobs, recreational opportunities and generate millions in economic activity for the state and local economy. I would like to thank Assembly member Deborah Glick and Assembly member Richard Gottfried for their dedicated efforts to ensure that the needs of residents, local businesses and other stakeholders were heard throughout this process."
Assembly Member Deborah Glick said: "I am pleased to join the Governor and the Speaker in this important announcement that will help Google to continue to grow in our community and revitalize this historic location. I'm excited about the creation of the rooftop public park to be enjoyed by neighborhoods with so little open space."
Under a 97-year ground lease with the Hudson River Park Trust, RXR and Youngwoo will invest more than $350 million to develop more than 480,000 square feet of office, market and retail and cultural space on the Pier. Google, which currently has more than 5,000 employees in West Chelsea, is expected to expand its footprint in New York City through its lease. The developers have also signed a letter of intent with world-renowned chef, author and television personality, Anthony Bourdain, to construct a large public market on the Pier’s main concourse and mezzanine, containing a mix of international and local dining experiences.
Though Pier 57 is designated for commercial use under the Hudson River Park Act, in connection with the project, HRPT and the developers have reached agreement on the creation of a nearly 80,000-square foot public park on the Pier’s roof with unparalleled views up and down the Hudson River, together with a new rooftop outdoor venue for the Tribeca Film Festival and a new rooftop restaurant pavilion. The project will also include about 34,000 square feet of public outdoor esplanades around the Pier’s nearly 900-foot-long structure, together with a new esplanade from 14th Street to 17th Street, which will link to an expanded esplanade that HRPT is currently building between 14th and Bloomfield Streets. The improved connections between Chelsea and Greenwich Village will significantly enhance the pedestrian and bicycle experience for the park’s 17 million annual visitors.
Reflecting the goals of all parties that the redevelopment of the Pier be sensitive to the historic nature of the structure, the designs for the project have already received preliminary certification from the New York State Historic Preservation Office and the National Park Service. Project construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2016.
The first full-scale commercial pier development project brought to fruition by HRPT, Pier 57 will generate millions of dollars in new revenue for the Park and marks a major milestone for HRPT, which is charged with the design, construction, and operation of the four-mile Hudson River Park. HRPT is governed by the Hudson River Park Act and operates on a premise of financial self-sufficiency, meaning that it receives no public funding for its maintenance and operations. That self-sufficiency model is heavily reliant on the few piers designated for limited commercial uses in the Hudson River Park Act.
HRPT conditionally designated Youngwoo & Associates to redevelop Pier 57 in 2008. Subsequently, redevelopment plans, including rezoning, were approved unanimously by Community Board 4, the Manhattan Borough President, the City Planning Commission and, ultimately, the New York City Council through New York City’s Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP) that culminated in April 2013. In November of that year, Governor Cuomo signed an amendment to the Hudson River Park Act to expand the permissible uses at the Pier to include office space in order to help enhance the project’s overall viability and potential for public benefit.
The project will retain the basic plans that were previously approved, including the historic preservation of the pier structure, the public marketplace with design inspiration from shipping containers and the rooftop public park. The plan will also include third and fourth floor office space geared towards the creative and technology industries, which will be built within the existing structural pier envelope, simultaneously increasing the economic viability of the project and generating new economic activity for New York.
Pier 57 is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and includes unique basement space comprising three separate submerged concrete caissons – the only pier basements in New York City. The Pier opened in 1954 as the terminal for Grace Line, and then in 1969, it became the Hudson Pier Depot for the New York City Transit Authority. The depot closed in 2003 and the Pier has been shuttered ever since.
Through its required significant action process, which is to start imminently, HRPT will administer a public review process including holding a public hearing and 60-day public comment period. HRPT’s Board is scheduled to vote on the lease in March. The public will be invited to review the proposed lease and amendment to the Park’s General Project Plan, as well as the project environmental review documents at www.hudsonriverpark.org.
About the Hudson River Park Trust
The Hudson River Park Trust is a partnership between New York State and City charged with the design, construction, and operation of the four-mile Hudson River Park. Both the Trust and the park itself are governed by the Hudson River Park Act, a 1998 law that established the park and its requirements. Guided by a vision for a magnificent waterfront park, the Trust continues to advance park construction and ensure the park’s future financial self-sufficiency by developing the remaining commercial nodes.
About RXR Realty
RXR Realty LLC (“RXR”) is a vertically integrated private real estate company with expertise in investment management, property management, development, design, construction, leasing and financing. RXR’s core growth strategy is focused on New York City and the surrounding tri-state area markets. The Company is one of the largest owners, managers, and developers in the New York Tri-State area. RXR’s operating platform manages 88 commercial real estate properties and investments comprising 23.3 million square feet, with an aggregate gross asset value of $12.2 billion. In addition, RXR has a residential development pipeline of approximately 3,000 residential units in the New York metropolitan area. For more information about RXR, visit www.rxrrealty.com.
About Youngwoo & Associates
Founded in 1979, Youngwoo & Associates (YWA) has identified and developed a variety of specialized projects in the NY metro area and throughout the United States. The firm has earned a reputation as one of the most innovative developers, largely the result of YWA’s unique ability to apply creative solutions to emerging lifestyle trends, implement bold design with new technology and, most importantly, identify up-and-coming locations ripe for creative development.
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