Estuarium at Pier 26 set to begin construction in 2017? Really?

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Pier26onthe-hudsnwpier25_90December 5, 2014- The NYT reported on a press release from the HRPT that claims the estuarium at Pier 26 will begin construction in 2017. This is an odd announcement, being so far off. Why won’t construction begin in 2015?

BatteryPark.TV does not buy any of it. This announcement by Madelyn Wils, CEO of the HRPT, is nothing but a PR stunt mean to give the image that Pier 26 is not stalled, despite the fact that the restaurant is still going nowhere fast, etc.

The NYT article states, “The Hudson River Park Trust has selected Clarkson University to oversee a new estuarium — a research and education center with a focus on river ecology — that is planned for Pier 26 in TriBeCa.

Construction is expected to begin on the estuarium in 2017. Plans also call for a new deck and landscaping on Pier 26. The expectation is that Clearwater, which operates educational programs aboard a replica of a cargo sloop, will eventually berth at the pier. This summer a boathouse opened there, offering free kayaking to the public.

Estuaries occur where freshwater and saltwater meet, producing especially rich habitats for fish and other marine life. The Hudson River estuary extends some 150 miles, from New York Harbor to Troy, N.Y.

The announcement of Clarkson University’s role in the education center follows another major development for Hudson River Park, which is about 70 percent complete and has struggled financially in recent years.

Last month, the trust announced that the billionaire Barry Diller would contribute money from his family’s foundation toward a futuristic park-within-the-park, to be built off the shoreline near 14th Street. The space will include three performance spaces and an amphitheater.

The 2.4-acre park, to be known as Pier 55, would replace Pier 54, a narrow, crumbling structure. A spokeswoman for the trust said construction is expected to begin in 2016.

But it is Pier 40, at Houston Street, which has hurt the trust’s finances in recent years. The thousands of steel pilings that hold up the 15-acre pier, which offers athletic fields and public parking, are badly deteriorated and require $100 million of rehabilitation work. In 2013, a plan to allow the trust to sell development rights in order to help pay for those repairs was approved by the State Legislature.”

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