Stop Hudson River Privatization
September 20, 2012
By Assemblymember Debra Glick
By now you are probably aware that there are forces at work intent on privatizing the Hudson River Park by adding residential development on Pier 40 which is currently prohibited by law. If you are unaware of this development, I recommend that you read the following article published in last week’s Villager here.
Not surprisingly, the New York Times recently published an Op-Ed in support of more development at Pier 40. For the uninitiated, the New York Times has long argued for inappropriate development at Pier 40. In fact in 2008 they came out in favor of a dreadful Related proposal that would have created a permanent home for Cirque du Soleil on the ball fields of Pier 40. Feel free to read their prior pro-development editorial here. Once again the New York Times has demonstrated that they are out of step with the needs of residents on the West Side.
I believe it is vital that more people become aware of this threat to the park and the kind of development that is being proposed at Pier 40. Thus far there has been an insider discussion about the future of the Park, but by in large there has not been a strenous effort to engage the community about the future of our public space. We will need an organized citizenry to overcome the power of developers who have an inside tract with the City administration and the Hudson River Park Trust.
There are some in the community who have stated they are open to having the law changed to allow residential development, because they have been told that this is the only way that the ball fields will be preserved. Let me be clear, residential development will put in the ball fields at great risk and I will oppose efforts to change state law. Our fields would be used as a staging area while the luxury residential development is being constructed, and afterwards the hours of playing time will no doubt be curtailed by the new residents of Pier 40 who will not be enthusiastic about the prospect of ball fields in operation late into the night or early in the morning on weekends. Anyone who tells you otherwise has not clearly thought the situation through or is a developer and is being disingenuous.
That is why we need to build a grassroots community awareness campaign to educate our friends and neighbors about what is really at stake. I ask that you forward this e-mail to anyone who uses Hudson River Park and does not want to see it become walled off by development and face the loss of our precious ball fields.
While I’m willing to fight this battle on my own, I need the support of the community. If you would like to join my effort to help keep the Park free of luxury housing then please respond to this e-mail and contact my office. Thank you for your help.