A Pair of Public Meetings to Mull Resiliency Plans, Tonight and Tomorrow
The Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) will host a public meeting about its North/West Battery Park City Resiliency Project this evening (Wednesday, March 15) at Stuyvesant High School (345 Chambers Street), starting at 6:30pm. All interested persons are invited to attend.
The session will give participants an overview of evolving plans for the creation of a flood-risk management system stretching from a point near First Place and the Esplanade in the neighborhood’s southern section. Here, the project links up with the BPCA’s South Battery Park City Resiliency Project, now beginning construction. From this southern anchor, the North/West Battery Park City Resiliency Project (NWBPCR) proceeds along the Hudson River waterfront to the north side of Stuyvesant High School, before heading east into Tribeca, where it will terminate at a highpoint on Greenwich Street, north of Chambers Street.
With early budget estimates pegging construction costs at approximately $630 million, the Authority’s plans for resiliency along the Esplanade divide the scope of the project into seven “reaches”—discrete stretches of waterfront and adjacent upland acreage. Tonight’s session (the 11th in a series of public discussions dedicated to NWBPCR) will focus on Reach Five, the area surrounding North Cove Marina.
Preliminary plans call for North Cove to be surrounded by a flood wall situated on the upper platforms that skirt the edges of several buildings in the Brookfield Place complex. This wall is slated to be approximately five feet, six inches tall, although some of this height will be camouflaged by seating built alongside the structure.
Multiple interruptions in this wall will be sealed during storms by deployable barriers. These gaps will remain open under ordinary circumstances, allowing pedestrian access and views of the waterfront.
Two parts of the Esplanade will need to be rebuilt entirely, near the two inland corners of the Marina. This raises the prospect of reconfiguring the portion of the walkway closest to Brookfield Place with terraced platforms that would allow visitors closer access to the water than is currently the case.
Initial ideas for North Cove include the creation of small islands within the Marina, dotted with artwork or plantings. In one scenario, an island is shown as the location of a performance stage, surrounded by an amphitheater of stepped seating. Several renderings appear to show the removal of the fountains that now occupy the edge of the upper platform on the east and north sides of the Marina.
In its December meeting, Community Board 1 examined these plans and prepared a detailed response to the BPCA’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement for the North/West Resiliency project. This response was enacted as a resolution by CB1.
Among the concerns that CB1 voiced about Reach Five were the potential for “impacts of the flood wall on known bottlenecks/pinch points for pedestrian and bicycle circulation on the Esplanade,” and “the light, sound, and circulation impacts of the Plaza being reconfigured to be an event space.” CB1 also expressed reservations about whether the reconfigured marina would impose “impacts on the sailing club and whether any new dock configurations would preclude the offering of this service to the community.”
Tonight’s meeting will begin with a brief overview of the project, following which participants will be invited to join small group discussions with BPCA planners about design options for the North Cove Marina.
For more information about NWBPCR, please visit bpca.ny.gov/nwbpcr/ or email: email@example.com.
Tomorrow evening (Thursday, March 16), CB1 will host a Lower Manhattan Resiliency Town Hall meeting, which will review the broader context of all resiliency measures currently planned for the area south of Canal Street on the west side and south of the Brooklyn Bridge on the east side. This session will be held in the office of Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine, at One Centre Street (near the corner of Chambers Street), in the 19th floor conference room, starting at 6pm.
The meeting will be co-moderated by CB1 chair Tammy Meltzer and Congressman Dan Goldman. All are welcome; anyone wishing to attend is asked to RSVP in advance here.