Residents of communities alongside the Hudson River Park, our elected officials, and the Hudson River Park Trust have a tough choice to make. The park is in financial trouble, primarily due to the combination of decreasing parking revenues and increasing emergency repair costs on Pier 40. Risky but appropriate prior community rejection of incompatible commercial proposals has led us to:
- A consensus that survival of Pier 40 is now legitimately in jeopardy, due both to deterioration and public calls for its dismantling, and
- a consensus that pier deterioration is accelerating in degrees serious enough to tip the balance of revenues and costs further, but also,
- a consensus that the pier must be saved to affirm and protect hard-earned youth league and recreation space, and that their efforts have provided an opportunity to also make sure future park and passive use space is built for the communities at large, and lastly,
- A growing consensus in the community that there is an oblique and persistent nod toward housing and hotel development as the only Pier 40 solution, in open disregard of firm community opposition.
This forum is intended as a tool for community members who oppose housing and feel we have found a fiscally prudent “compatible use” partner in Major League Soccer, to argue vigorously:
- For the survival of Pier 40, and
- against any form of housing, luxury, affordable or otherwise, as permanently inhospitable and incompatible use for this waterfront park, especially since it involves excessive borrowing to build, and
- on behalf of the 100% “compatible use” and far more fiscally prudent compromise being offered to the community by Major League Soccer, which seeks to spend its own money to repair our pier, and pay to build their own arena. (Developer capital is taxpayer gold!) An arena which would be available for community sporting use the vast majority of the year, outside of the approximately thirty (30) dates a year MLS requires for its use. This use would include fifteen (15) MLS home games, and approximately fifteen (15) non league games, likely to feature United States Men’s and Women’s National Soccer teams, and exhibitions. A fair bargain with reasonable impact. Housing is space lost permanently to the park-using public. With transient luxury tenancy comes a guarantee of entitlement and antagonism toward the noise, lights, whistles and early/late use required by recreational users, children and adults alike.
In order to TAKE ACTION, Pier 40 soccer supporters who live bordering the Hudson River Park can find their State Assembly, State Senate, New York City Council, and New York City Community Board Districts and Representatives here. We have provided both printable PDF and editable copy and paste text to send to your public officials. You may copy and paste to a direct e-mail link or a secure online link, or you may or print out the PDF or editable text, sign and send in the mail. Feel free to personalize, but please be respectful, and most of all, do it now! It is important your elected officials and community board members know if you are a constituent. THIS IS CRUCIAL. If you are a constituent of Assemblymember Deborah Glick, as we are, it is urgent that you e-mail her office directly, or contact her through the online form. There is no perfect solution for Pier 40, but there are wrong ones, and we share her passion for preventing them. But now, because of the threat to the pier, it’s our time to guide our elected officials, and let them know that we cannot lose this historic opportunity to develop Pier 40 properly, if it must be done. And to advance the cause of American soccer at the same time. As close to win-win as we’ll get after all these years of frustration with the Pier 40 process. A lot of you are soccer savvy moms and dads, you know the game and the economics, and you understand this is the right thing to do. If your neighbors don’t know about soccer and its consistent growth and appealing demographic, tell them about it. It’s Pier 40′s time, and soccer’s time. Put them together and Pier 40 gets done! The time is NOW!