The Battery Park City Committee of Community Board 1 (CB1) passed a resolution at its October 5 meeting, calling upon the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) to halt its ongoing initiative to consider a possible redesign of South end Avenue. The boards of six condominium apartment buildings have also enacted resolutions calling for a similar moratorium, and asking that local elected officials intervene with the BPCA to stop the controversial project, which contemplates (among other options) narrowing the thoroughfare that functions as Battery Park City’s Main Street, and filling in the pedestrian arcades that line the facades of four buildings, in order to create new retail space.
The CB1 resolution reviews the history of a City Department of Transportation study and proposal from 2013, which was produced in collaboration with community leaders, and calls upon the BPCA to scrap its current study, in favor of an updated version of the earlier DOT proposal.
The resolution also demands that the Authority not implement any plans for South End Avenue without approval from residents, and that it disclose its goals, methods and proposed funding mechanism for the project. This resolution will next be considered by the full CB1 membership, when it meets on October 25.
The six condominium buildings that have enacted measures opposing the project are Battery Pointe, the Cove Club, Liberty Court, Liberty Terrace, Hudson View East, and Hudson View West. These resolutions were ratified in August, September, and October. Similar resolutions are expected from more buildings soon.
Although no one at either of two recent meetings of CB1’s Battery Park City Committee spoke in support of the initiative to reconfigure South End Avenue, some local residents see merit in the idea. Margaret H. Liu, who has lived in Battery Park City for 25 years and operates a real estate brokerage on South End Avenue, says, “we own commercial space here. This street is a prime location, or at least it should be. Creating more commercial space, or enlarging and making more convenient the space that already exists, would be a value for the community.”
Ms. Liu adds, “we have a very wide street, which is too wide for so little traffic. At the same time, the sidewalks are too narrow for the number of pedestrians. Some version of the plan would make the whole area more much livable. this is a huge plus for people who live here, work here, or do business here.”