NYC reveals design for esplanade and new 107th Street pier in East Harlem

April 16, 2024

Aerial rendering of proposed 107th Street Pier. Courtesy of NYCEDC

Plans to rehabilitate a 20-block section of bike and pedestrian paths and reconstruct a decrepit pier in East Harlem are moving forward. In a presentation to Manhattan Community Board 11 this month, the city unveiled its preliminary design to rebuild and rehabilitate the East River Esplanade between East 94th and East 107th Streets and East 117th and East 124th Streets, as well as construct a new pier at 107th Street, as Streetsblog first reported. Construction is expected to begin on the $294 million project in the later part of next year and wrap up in 2027.

NYCEDC presentation to Community Board 11, April 2024.

Funding for the project comes mainly from former Mayor Bill de Blasio, who allocated $284 million in 2021 to make repairs along the East River Esplanade, according to amNY. The project is being managed by the city’s Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC).

Much of the East Harlem waterfront has deteriorated over the years, with the walkway full of potholes and many areas off-limits to the public.

The proposed esplanade will feature separate corridors for cyclists and pedestrians when there is enough room and a shared corridor where the path narrows. City officials also plan to raise the esplanade between two and three feet to account for sea level rise.

The project also calls for landscaped overlooks at 101st Street and 119th Street.

Tip of 107th Street pier.

As part of the revitalization, EDC will demolish the crumbling 107th Street Pier and rebuild it into a new “forked jetty.”

Stantec is serving as the lead designer on the entire project, while the pier is being designed by Marvel. The new pier integrates with the esplanade with two access points and various zones, including a “picnic bridge,” with shaded dining opportunities, stepped seating in the center, and an overlook at the tip of the pier with suspended beach seats and sun loungers.

A shade structure inspired by the natural forms of wind and water will be at the center of the pier, with seating oriented to the river for the most scenic views.

Conceptual design for “Water Table” by Jerome Haferd.

The pier will feature “Water Table” by area architect and artist Jerome Haferd, an art piece inspired by the Harlem Creek. The steel and precast concrete piece is designed to “activate a crescent-shaped micro plaza” for people to gather. The artwork will feature etched contributions by cultural and community actors from East Harlem, according to the artist.

Other improvements include an outdoor fitness area on 104th Street and a garden at the northern end of the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge. The pathway will eventually connect to another greenway project that will lead north to Inwood, which the city is expected to break ground on in June.

The proposed redesign will be presented to the Public Design Commission on April 15 and another update will be provided to CB 11 this fall.

In 2021, De Blasio announced a $723 million investment in closing the gaps of the 32.5-mile greenway loop around Manhattan, which included portions in Midtown, along the Harlem River, in Inwood, and on the Lower East Side.

The NYCEDC in December unveiled the East Midtown Greenway, delivering nearly three acres of public open space, a new pedestrian walkway, a pedestrian bridge, landscaping, and a separate bike lane stretching from East 53rd Street to East 60th Street along the Harlem River. The $197 million investment fills a significant gap in the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway.

Expanding beyond Manhattan, Mayor Eric Adams in October announced plans to fill in the gaps in the existing greenway network with 40 miles of new greenways. The project, which would feature protected bike lanes and pedestrian-friendly infrastructure, would bring the citywide total of greenway corridors to 60 miles.


All renderings courtesy of NYCEDC.

Get Insider Updates with Our Newsletter!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *