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NEW YORK CITY-Hudson River Park Trust has issued a request for proposals for its Pier 57, one of only two sites that are available for private commercial development on Manhattan’s Westside waterfront south of 59th Street. In May, GlobeSt.com reported that the RFP would be issued in a matter of months for Pier 57, along with an additional $110 million in activity to begin for piers 25, 26, 62, 63, 64, and 86 here–with the goal of completing 80% of the five-mile Hudson River Park by 2010.

Located on the Hudson River at 15th Street, Pier 57 contains 300,000 sf of built space, and could soon house a mix of restaurant, retail, recreational, educational and cultural facilities as well as other commercial ventures. Through the RFP, HRPT–the not-for-profit entity that is responsible for the design, construction, maintenance and operation of the 550-acre waterfront park–is seeking the participation of private developers interested in redeveloping the pier consistent with the Hudson River Park Act, which allows the pier to be reused for revenue generating commercial facilities that enhance the park.

Since construction of the five-mile Hudson River Park began in 1999, roughly $350 million in capital funds from the state and New York City and the federal government have been used to build 10 new piers and about 2.5 miles of upland park area. At a media briefing in May, HRPT chair Diana Taylor, said that although “commercial activities such as parking at Pier 40 and Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex generate most of the funds needed to maintain and operate the park on an annual basis; in the future however we know that those funds will not meet our entire fiscal need.” She said that that was the reason for issuing a new RFP for the development of Pier 57, adding that that, along with development of Pier 40 will help produce the money needed to maintain and operate a “great park well into the future.”

Pier 57 is being offered to the private sector for up to a 49-year period. Designation criteria include: Compatibility of proposed uses with the Park; capacity of the development team to complete the project; the design of the project, including its respect for the historic structure; and the financial feasibility of the project. Proposals are due Oct. 17, 2008.

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