Plan to expand Hudson River Park at Pier 76 tow pound site moves forward

November 6, 2019

The waterfront park on Manhattan’s West Side is set to grow again. City officials are in talks with the New York Police Department to relocate a tow pound at Pier 76 to make way for a new section of Hudson River ParkTHE CITY reported on Wednesday that while nothing has been approved yet for the site, which sits adjacent to the Javits Center, officials last month presented a preliminary proposal to Manhattan Community Board 4, signaling the beginning of the long-awaited plan to incorporate the pier into the park.

Map data © 2019 Google

Since 1977, the NYPD has used the lot at Pier 76 as a tow pound. When the New York State legislature passed the Hudson River Park Act in 1998, officially designating four miles of the waterfront as park space, lawmakers included the relocation of the tow pound in their mandate.

“Subsequent to the relocation of the tow pound, the city of New York shall convey to the trust a possessory interest in fifty percent of Pier 76 for passive and active public open space use…,” notes the Hudson River Park Act, enacted 21 years ago.

In 2013, the legislature added an amendment to the law that requires the city to give the pier to the Hudson River Park Trust, an entity comprised of state and city officials who operate the park, for commercial usage. According to THE CITY, the Trust’s 2020 financing plan says the group will seek proposals from developers following an inspection of the pier’s piles. In the plan, the Trust says “removing the tow pound from this part of the waterfront will add enormous value to the Park and its growing neighborhood.”

The relocation of the NYPD’s lot falls under a study that is looking into how to better use city tow pound lots, including one in South Bronx, set to become a new jail as part of the Rikers Island replacement. The study, developed by Dattner Architects, began in February and has not yielded results thus far.

According to a presentation obtained by THE CITY, officials are considering dividing the tow pound into multiple smaller sites, possibly utilizing an automated parking system or garage parking. The Trust said it has no plans for the site, telling the website that any project would require “extensive planning and public input.”

“The tow pound is an inconsistent use for the park and once it is relocated, will provide much needed open space for the people of New York,” Johnson told THE CITY in a statement.

There are at least $900 million in capital projects currently under construction or proposed for the remainder of Hudson River Park, which is about three-quarters complete. In February, the Trust approved a proposal from James Corner Field Operations to design a “beach” for the Ganseevortt Plaza, currently used as a parking lot by the city’s sanitation department.

Other projects include privately-funded initiatives like the Barry Diller-funded Pier 55 and the RXR Realty and Youngwoo Associates’ commercial pier at Pier 57.



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