FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 20, 2007
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND COMMISSIONER KELLY CUT RIBBON ON NEW STABLES FOR NYPD MOUNTED UNIT
New Home for Mounted Unit Clears the Way for the Expansion of Hudson River Park
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly today opened new stables for the NYPD Mounted Unit at Pier 76 on Manhattan's West Side. The new 22,500 square foot stables include a 6,500 square foot heated training ring, spacious box stalls, locker rooms and office space for both Troop B and the Mounted Unit citywide headquarters. The construction firm Skanska USA completed the Pier 76 construction project in less than six months. The vacancy of the Mounted Unit's old home at Pier 63 paves the way the continued expansion of Hudson River Park during the upcoming warm weather months. The Mayor and the Police Commissioner were joined at the announcement by Hudson River Park Trust Board of Directors Chairman Charles E. Dorkey III and Friends of Hudson River Park President Albert Butzel.
"A year ago we didn't know where we were going to move our mounted unit," said Mayor Bloomberg. "Through a real team effort and a lot of hard work we are putting our officers and their mounts in this spectacular new facility built in just six months. Not only do they stay in the same neighborhood, their move also paves the way for the expansion of Hudson River Park so we can continue to open more of our waterfront for New Yorkers."
"Their impressive visibility make our mounted police officers and their horses great crime fighters and outstanding ambassadors to the public," said Commissioner Kelly. "It is only fitting that the horses have the best accommodations possible in Manhattan, close to the action, where they are often needed."
"This achievement could only have been possible with the close working relationship between the City and state that the Trust board and staff have developed over the past eight years," said Hudson River Park Trust Chairman Dorkey. "The Mayor's staff, the Department of Design and Construction, the Trust's Construction Manager, Skanska USA, and the Friends of Hudson River Park all worked to ensure that Hudson River Park's Chelsea Cove would be able to move forward as planned."
"We are very grateful to the Mayor for helping to find and build a new home for the mounted troop so that Hudson River Park can move forward," said Friends of Hudson River Park President Butzel.
The new Pier 76 facility will have 28 box stalls that measure 10' by 10' and are more spacious than traditional straight stalls. There is also a hay loft, a horse shower stall, a saddle room, an entry lobby with police desk, administrative office space, and separate locker rooms for police officers, police supervisors and hostlers - civilians who care and feed for the horses. The separate shower stall and a hay loft are improvements over the Mounted Unit's old home at Pier 63. The covered and heated 6,500 square foot exercise ring will allow for training and workouts for the horses even when weather conditions do not permit the horses to go out on patrol.
The new stables were constructed on an underused portion of the Police Department's Manhattan Tow Pound. Thirty hydraulic lifts that can hold two cars in a single parking space were installed in the tow pound so that there is no net loss of parking spots there. A separate newly constructed parking lot provides 40 new parking spots for Mounted Unit vehicles and horse trailers. The project also creates improved facilities for the NYPD Parking Enforcement Division, replacing offices and storage space that were displaced to accommodate the Mounted Unit. The NYPD Mounted Unit has 120 uniformed officers and supervisors and approximately 80 horses in its ranks. The Mounted Unit's Troop B, when fully staffed, has 30 uniformed officers and supervisors, and their 28 mounts. The Mounted Unit also includes troops stationed at Pelham Bay Park, Fresh Meadows, Coney Island, and at the 1st Precinct in Lower Manhattan.
The Mounted Unit's former home at Pier 63 will become part of three new public park piers that comprise a 9.2 acre expansion of Hudson River Park. This new section of the park, called Chelsea Cove, will stretch from 22nd to 26th Streets along the waterfront. The park will feature three new green public park piers, including a public garden, a carousel with Hudson River animals, a skate park and a boulder garden designed by landscape artist Meg Webster. Chelsea Cove has an estimated construction cost of $61 million that is being split by the City and the state. The park is being designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.
The accelerated construction timetable allows the reconstruction of Pier 63 to take place during the warmer weather months, outside of the Army Corps and DEC annual pile driving moratorium. Had the construction not been completed so quickly the Chelsea Cove section of the park could have been subjected to a months-long delay. The design of the new $8.7 million Mounted Unit facility was managed by the Department of Design and Construction. Construction costs will be paid for by the Police Department and facilitated by the Hudson River Park Trust and their contractor Skanska USA. Further, Skanska USA subcontracted over half of the construction to local minority and woman owned construction firms. Works-in-Progress Associates served as Skanska USA's Women's Business Enterprise partner and sub consultant and provided project management and field supervision.
Stu Loeser/Jason Post (212) 788-2958
Paul Browne (Police Department)
Chris Martin (Hudson River Park) (212) 627-2020
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