Last month at the Municipal Arts Society’s (MAS) 2015 Summit for NYC, Seth Pinsky, executive vice president at RXR Realty, shared a presentation regarding the development of the long-planned rehabilitation and conversion of Pier 57 aka “SuperPier.” In addition to some new looks at the project, he revealed that the developers have largely secured financing and are finalizing talks with the Hudson River Park Trust. RXR are co-developing the project with Young Woo & Associates, and Handel Architects and !Melk Landscape Architecture and Urban Design are the commissioned designers.
According to Pinsky, the 450,000-square-foot development will invest $350 million of private capital to redevelop the structure, and in return create hundreds of jobs, generate millions of dollars of revenue for the Hudson River Park Trust, and create a new destination for New Yorkers and visitors alike. The former NYCEDC head confirmed that the project will include 250,000 square feet of office space for a major technology company [Google], a 170,000-square-foot food and retail market [Anthony Bourdain], and an elevated park with an outdoor movie and performance amphitheater on the roof to be used for screenings for the Tribeca Film Festival. He also noted construction will begin during the first half of next year, with completion aimed for early 2018.
Jutting more than 800 feet into the Hudson River, the pier is situated at the foot of West 15th Street and fronts the five-mile-long Hudson River Park. The pier was built between 1950 and 1954 using techniques developed during World War II that allows for 90 percent of its weight to be supported by buoyancy. Upon the decline of the city’s maritime industries, the pier functioned as a parking garage for New York City Transit buses for three decades until they were moved in 2003.
Since then, the pier has sat mostly unused: “a shell of its former self, succumbing slowly to the elements,” as Pinsky puts it. In 2004, the Hudson River Park Trust held a competitive bidding process where a consortium between the Cipriani Restaurant Group/Plaza Construction Corp. and the Witkoff Group were chosen as winners. Their “Leonardo at Pier 57” plan would have brought a two-story pedestrian street lined with Italian retail, crafts and a cultural center. The partnership slowly unraveled, resulting in the Trust seeking out another round of proposals in 2008. Young Woo & Associates were selected, beating out the Durst Organization and the Related Companies. RXR was brought on board Young Woo’s team two years ago.
Under the proposed Young Woo/RXR plan, the first and second floors of the pier will contain a 155,000-square-foot, $60 million food destination curated by celebrity chef Anthony Bourdain and designed by Roman & Williams. According to the Times, the food hall will have more than 100 different stalls featuring street food from around the world. “Think of an Asian night market,” Bourdain told the paper.
The upper floors of the pier will provide 250,000 square feet of office space, which is expected to be anchored by Google. According to Pinsky, the major technology company would bring 1,000 employees to the space.
A central ramp will cut through the office space connecting the ground floor to the landscaped roof deck. According to landscape designers !Melk, “The design retains the existing interior ramp connecting ground and second floor and continues it from the second floor to the roof as an open public street. The diagonal trajectory will take visitors through the building directly from the main entrance along the Hudson River Park promenade as an inclined extension of 15th street.”
The pier’s roof will feature nearly two acres of open, flexible space, four stories above the the river. It will have wooden stadium seating that Clancy described as “inspired by movie theater design,” with a lawn at its center. In the center will be a dining pavilion taking advantage of the sweeping views of the cityscape. It will be surrounded by a glass enclosure that can open and close.
Next to the restaurant pavilion will be an amphitheater that will become the new home for the Tribeca Film Festival as well as an event space for outdoor screenings and performances.
Along the pier’s perimeter will be promenade areas with accompanying cafes. A boat marina is also planned for either side of the structure.
To see more schematics and renderings, be sure to click through our gallery below.
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Renderings courtesy of Young Woo & Associates, RXR Realty, and !melk