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About Us > Press Releases Printer Friendly Version

May 11, 2004

Michael Sherman/Janel Patterson (EDC) 212-312-3523
Rachaele Raynoff, Press Secretary (City Planning) -- (212) 720-3471


New York City, May 11, 2004 – New York City Economic Development Corporation President Andrew M. Alper and Director of City Planning Amanda M. Burden today announced that a series of public meetings will be scheduled beginning in June to present several preliminary concepts and alternative visions for redevelopment of the East River waterfront and to solicit input from various stakeholders. The schedule and locations for the meetings will be announced and posted on the website The City selected an international design team to produce a comprehensive Master Plan for the development of the East River Waterfront from Battery Park to the Lower East Side. These public meetings will be the first public presentations of the preliminary plans that will lead to the Master Plan. This is the next step in the implementation of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s Vision for Lower Manhattan, which includes enhanced access to and along the water’s edge, new waterfront uses and amenities, and increased open space for the business community, visitors and residents. The lead consultants for the design team are Richard Rogers Partnership and Sharples, Holden and Pasquarelli Architects (SHoP).

"A bold new vision for the East River Waterfront is a critical component of our efforts to revitalize and transform Lower Manhattan," said EDC President Alper. "We’ve selected one of the world’s foremost design firms, the Richard Rogers Partnership, and the dynamic architectural firm of SHoP to help us realize our vision of Lower Manhattan as one of the world’s best places to do business, as well as a great place to visit and live. By holding public meetings early in the process, we ensure that all the stakeholders – community leaders, local elected officials, business owners and residents – will play a role as this important project moves forward."

Amanda Burden said, "The revitalization of the East River Waterfront is an historic opportunity to shape the future of Lower Manhattan for generations to come. This team represents the world’s best planners, urban designers and architects who will work over the next year to reinforce the Mayor’s vision for the world class waterfront with enhanced access, new uses and expanded public open space. This project is the next step in completing the transformation of New York’s waterfront for a sustainable, accessible and pedestrian-friendly future that will enhance the area’s attractiveness to its corporate and residential neighbors. We are ensuring that this stretch of shoreline will be among the highlights of Manhattan’s Greenway for all to enjoy."

The plan, which is expected to be completed in early 2005, is intended to create an innovative design for the waterfront between Battery Park and the East River Park. The plan will include the diverse communities of Lower Manhattan such as Wall Street, the Seaport District, Chinatown and the Lower East Side, and finally connect them to the East River waterfront. Although Lower Manhattan is surrounded by water on three sides, currently there are few opportunities to enjoy its proximity to the East River waterfront. Together with the City’s other initiatives, this project will help strengthen the financial district in Lower Manhattan. The scope of work includes generating a design for the water’s edge, for waterfront uses, as well as a sustainability plan, analyses of transportation, open space, buildings and neighborhoods.

The consultants were selected as a result of Requests for Proposals issued by EDC. In selecting the consultants, EDC worked closely with the Mayor’s Office of Lower Manhattan Development and the Department of City Planning, as well as Lower Manhattan Development Corporation, the City’s partner in redeveloping downtown. In addition, funds for the study are being provided through LMDC from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

"Richard Rogers Partnership and SHoP are extremely happy to be awarded this important commission by Mayor Bloomberg and the City of New York," said Lord Richard Rogers. "Our challenge is to synthesize the opportunities of the existing communities with the untapped potential of the magnificent East River waterfront. From ecology to economics, the design and development of this project raises key issues faced by all great cities of the world. A cohesive master plan will create a new high-quality dynamic and economically viable urban waterfront by building on the social, physical and environmental characteristics of the area. It is both bold and appropriate that New York City is carrying the banner and raising the bar on issues of growth and sustainability in a dynamic world," he added.

"New York City, then New Amsterdam, began on this section of the East River waterfront," said Robert W. Balder, Director of the Mayor’s Office of Lower Manhattan Development. "We have an eminently qualified team of consultants to help us develop a plan for the future of this waterfront. With the team’s blend of experience, enthusiasm and creativity, I’m confident that we will create a dynamic, new urban design for the waterfront, including new and traditional uses, aesthetic improvements, and enhancement of the ecological habitat."

The project area is bounded by East River Park to the north; the U.S. Pierhead Line to the east; Battery Park to the south; and Water, Pearl, Madison, and Cherry Streets to the west. It includes a number of notable features, such as the FDR Viaduct, the Battery Maritime Building, the South Street Seaport and the Fulton Fish Market, as well as the traditional slip spaces including Old, Wall Street, Burling, Peck, Catherine, Market, Pike and Rutgers Slips.

"SHoP Architects is honored to have the opportunity to work with Richard Rogers Partnership to begin an inclusive design process that brings the best models of urban waterfront design from around the world and transforms these solutions into a vision that is uniquely New York City," said Gregg Pasquarelli. "As part of the Mayor’s Vision for Lower Manhattan, we believe that our generation of New Yorkers can be bold and give a gift to future generations of New Yorkers who will make the waterfront a daily part of their urban lives."

With over 25 years of experience, Richard Rogers Partnership has offices in London, Barcelona and Tokyo, and is one of the world’s foremost design and planning practices. The firm has completed London’s Millennium Dome, a master plan for the Greenwich Peninsula in East London, the Pompidou Centre in Paris, Lloyd’s of London, and the Bordeaux Law Courts. Lord Richard Rogers is a world-renowned architect and advisor on urban issues. He is a member of the Mayor of London’s Advisory Cabinet, Chief Advisor on Architecture and Urban Design to the Greater London Authority and also a member of the Mayor of Barcelona’s Urban Strategist Advisory Council.

Sharples, Holden and Pasquarelli Architects is a dynamic, emerging New York City design practice with five partners whose education and experience encompass architecture, fine arts, structural engineering, and finance and business management. The firm was selected for this challenging project because of its demonstrated ability to link concepts and theories with the tactile fundamentals of design and construction. Projects range from academic buildings, public parks, public art installations, museums and multi-family housing.

Other consultants retained for the project include Lawler, Matusky & Skelly Engineers LLP, based in Pearl River, N.Y. With over 40 years experience, LMS will provide marine ecology, engineering and construction services. Buro Happold Consulting will provide sustainability and structural engineering services. Traffic engineering services will be provided by URS Corporation, one of the largest design and transportation planning services in the country. Sive, Paget & Riesel PC, the oldest environmental law firm in the U.S., is the consultant team’s environmental and regulatory counsel. Landscape architecture will be designed by Ken Smith Landscape Architecture.

City Planning
The Department of City Planning is responsible for the City's physical and socioeconomic planning, including land use and environmental review; preparation of plans and policies; and provision of technical assistance and planning information to government agencies, public officials, and community boards.


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