Hudson River Park Celebrates 10th Anniversary, Looks to Future

The Hudson River Park Trust held a press conference yesterday to celebrate the park’s 10th anniversary and discuss future improvements. The press conference, which commemorated the tenth anniversary of the Hudson River Park Act, was used to update the public on the park’s progress and the agency’s vision for the future. The park will undergo a great increase in construction in the coming years, with $110 million of additional construction activity set to commence shortly to complement the $170 million of construction currently underway in the park. The park is currently 40 percent complete, and the Trust expects to complete another 40 percent by 2010. The newest section of the park will open in Tribeca by July 4, the Trust announced. The $70 million improvement, funded by the federal government’s assistance in 9/11 recovery, spans from Laight St. in Tribeca to Houston St. The improvements include nature areas and recreational facilities, as well as a boathouse and a café. The addition of revenue generating commercial areas in the park will help finance future development, augmenting government funding. The park currently hosts 17 million visitors annually, who use Chelsea Piers Sports and Entertainment Complex, the park’s ten piers for boating, and the various natural and recreational areas the park is home to. At the media session yesterday, HRPT president Connie Fishman announced, “We all look forward to the completion of this construction and to the day when millions more New Yorkers will take advantage of the wonderful waterfront activities that will be offered. We are proud of the fact that our model of a public /private partnership in building and maintaining the park is not only working here but also being duplicated around the region.” Regarding the Tribeca expansion, Fishman noted, “[The Tribeca segment’s] design emphasizes the environment, active recreation and boating opportunities. It also focuses on the Hudson River itself.” The Hudson River Park is the 2nd largest park in New York City, behind Central Park. The park began as community activists began to respond to Westway, a proposed superhighway that was ultimately defeated in 1985. The park spans from Battery Park in the south five miles north along the Hudson River on Manhattan’s West Side to 59th Street.