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July 15, 2015- By Steven E. Greer
The controversial Pier A beer garden, that succeeded in winning the broadest and most powerful of liquor licenses and will become the largest nightclub by square footage in the city, is just one of many similar city properties with similar business models. The city and state managers have seen how waterfront venues can generate revenue by turning them into outdoor concert spaces, and the lure of cash is more powerful than the local residents’ concerns.
On the northern tip of Manhattan, in Inwood, is the controversial space called La Marina, co-owned by the equally controversial ex-BPCA board member Fernando Mateo. It is located on city park property and stays open long past the closing time stipulated by the community board and liquor license, but the authorities do nothing.
This past weekend, a bouncer was shot at La Marina by a patron. It was just a matter of time, because for years, the loud noise into the early morning was a constant problem.
Despite complaints, the Community Board and State Liquor Authority are not acting. Not only do the authorities do nothing about the violations taking place at La Marina, but Mayor de Blasio himself has visited the establishment in a show of support.
Farther south on the Hudson, the state/city property of The Hudson River Park has been generating revenue with large rock concerts on the piers (which BatteryPark.TV supports). A few well organized residents nearby opposed them, and the HRPT people relocated the concerts this year to a different Pier 84.
Down on Governor’s Island, for years there have been loud electronic DJ dance parties at the “Governor’s Beach Club“. The revenue generated has won the support of the city and state officials, and the loud noise that impacts Manhattan residents is overlooked.
The Pier A beer garden is part of this city/state modus operandi to turn waterfront assets into cash cows, to the detriment of the quality of life in surrounding communities. The Poulakakos family awarded the rights to the space will be allowed to use the large plaza being constructed adjacent to Pier A as an outdoor music venue that serves alcohol until 4:00 AM.
BatteryPark.TV has extensively reported on Pier A. However, with the new realization that Pier A is part of a grander plan including other music venues, such as La Marina, Pier 26, and Governor’s Beach Club being so offensive to the communities they neighbor, Pier A now poses a far more serious threat to the community than previously expected.
Editor’s note: The liquor license awarded to Pier A can be challenged in court with an “Article 78”. If only a few residents were to pitch n and hire a lawyer, the Pier A beer garden could be defeated.