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November 14, 2013- Governor Cuomo finally signed A8031. The Villager reports, “On the same day that around 200 Lower West Side residents gathered to discuss their fears about a bill that would allow the transfer and sale of Hudson River Park’s air rights, Governor Andrew Cuomo finally signed the bill into law. Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, had just finished his introductory speech at Wednesday’s meeting, around 7 p.m., when word came that Cuomo had signed the bill. (It was The Villager that alerted Berman by e-mail after having been informed by a spokesperson for the Hudson River Park Trust that the governor had approved the bill. Assemblymember Richard Gottfried also confirmed to The Villager that the governor had O.K.’d the bill.)”
June 21, 2013- By Steven Greer, MD
BatteryPark.TV exclusively began reporting on the stealth development at Pier 26. However, nowhere in the previous CB1 resolutions over the years, or during Hudson River Park Trust (HRPT) meetings, had this type of elaborate building been discussed and approved.
After our stories,CB1 members approached us off-the-record to confirm that the restaurant building seemed to be violating previous designs approved by the CB1. They also warned that the management of the restaurant could fall into the hands of a member of the CB1 who is intertwined with the lower piers of the HRPT.
At the most recent meeting of the Tribeca division of CB1, the HRPT presented an update on Pier 26, but the CEO of the HRPT, Madelyn Wils, was a no-show. Moreover, no details on the Pier 26 restaurant design, and related resolutions, were mentioned.
This week, the state legislature passed Assembly Bill A8031 which allowed the HRPT to raise revenue by selling air rights. Buried within the bill was a section that seems to have retroactively made the Pier 26 construction legal. While not mentioning the restaurant, the bill states: “EXCEPT THAT AN ENCLOSED, TWO STORY STRUCTURE WITH A COVERAGE LIMITATION OF 12,000 SQUARE FEET THAT IS BUILT FOR — — USE AS AN ESTUARIUM FACILITY IS PERMITTED at Pier 26, AND THE COVERAGE LIMITATION AT PIER 97 SHALL BE NO MORE THAN A TOTAL OF 12,000 SQUARE FEET.”
Sources tell us that the section of the bill was inserted “recently”.