WAN Jobs
News Review
WAN Urban Challenge
WAN Awards
Previous Next

Hudson River Park, New York, United States

Friday 16 Aug 2013

Park Rescue Plan may mean towers along NY's Hudson River

Hudson River Park by WAN Editorial in New York, United States
Getty Images 
Hudson River Park by WAN Editorial in New York, United States
Your comments on this project

No. of Comments: 1

Add comments | More comments

22/08/13 Cameron, Toronto
Come on folks. New York City has a history of rapid development/redevelopment. More high rise buildings seems a reasonable trade-off to preserve the piers. Or is NYC to succumb to the disease that has afflicted too many other cities: NIMBYism?

A little-known clause in the agreement between the City and Hudson River Park could mean air rights are sold to developers 

As WAN gears up to celebrate World Architecture Day in New York in October with an all-star global cast that will share ideas about housing the next generation, New York's housing question got a bit more interesting this week, sparking a debate over whether saving the cash-strapped Hudson River Park, which stretches along the Hudson River on New York's West Side, will mean having tall residential towers there. 

Today, a little-known clause in the agreement between the City and the Hudson River Park that could allow the entity to sell air rights to developers across the street means that luxury high-rises could populate the Hudson River waterfront on New York's West Side, from Battery Park to 59th Street.  

As was reported earlier in WAN, the Park's maintenance expenses far exceed revenues and the air rights idea is a way to get the revenue needed to make repairs to the piers, estimated at $100m, without adding commercial development.  But critics, like the Greenwich Village and Chelsea neighbourhood groups, which are located in the affected area, fear it will forever change the face of the neighbourhoods along the river, blocking views and leading to overdevelopment.

In an article in today's New York Times about the Park's plan to sell its air rights, Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society of Historic Preservation said, "We, as well as other groups in the affected communities, were taken completely by surprise. Most of us hadn't heard about it until the day before the vote. We're concerned about overdevelopment on the waterfront blocks, which are the visual face of the neighbourhood. Knowing that this potential Pandora's box has been opened is very worrisome to us."

The Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT) which manages the park, is asking for an amendment to the bill that established it in 1988 that would allow it to sell development rights.  Madelyn Wils, president of the organisation, told that Times that what they are asking for is nothing unusual.  "It's not unlike many precedents out there, and there is a good public purpose."

The legislation, passed by lawmakers in June, that would allow the HRPT to sell its air rights, is awaiting signature from the governor of New York. 

Sharon McHugh
US Correspondent 



WAN Editorial

More projects by this architect

Tech Spot #112 Climate Tile

Genoa bridge collapse

Bridge collapse

Festival collapse

Lost 20th century buildings illustrations

More Projects

Reinventing Cities

Click here to view the NEWS IN PICTURES tablet site