January 4, 2012 by Steven Greer, MD
Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) CEO Gayle Horwitz made a surprise appearance at the Community Board 1 (CB1) last night to deliver an update on the various BPCA construction projects underway. Recall, CB1 member George Calderaro had informed the community that Pier A renovations seemed to be going slowly and that no updates had been delivered from the BPCA.
In what was described as “overkill” by one CB1 member, the BPCA brought in a team of at least 12 people, comprised of architects and other officials involved in the Pier A project. What we learned was:
- The previous completion date estimates for Pier A were for “The season of 2012”. That has now been revised to “Late 2013”.
- The original $30 Million amount allotted to the project will be inadequate. The project is running over budget.
- The design team claimed that “natural drying” of the historic pier wooden architecture was the reason that the project was left windowless and to the elements.
- Despite the team of architects, no drawings of the proposed final project were presented. Recall, the project is supposed to have ample free access to the public and not be a space that requires fees or purchase of food to enjoy. In fact, John Fratta of the Seaport CB division wanted the location to entirely be an Italian heritage museum.
- CEO Horwitz claimed that not all of the architect and construction-experienced staff of the BPCA were fired when the 19 staff were abruptly fired late last year.
- The Poulakakos restaurant family and business partners claim that they now have an architect in place to design the proposed restaurant space of Pier A. However, as mentioned, no drawings were presented. There was a change in the design team.
- The stalled project of Harry’s Italian in the Conrad hotel/Goldman Sachs alley, another restaurant proposed by the Poulakakos group, was not discussed.
The Chairman of BPCA, Bill Thompson, was not present. Mr. Thompson is a 2013 New York City candidate for Mayor.
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