Monday, February 25, 2008

Pier 40 Update

For the past year, FIERCE (Fabulous Independent Educated Radicals for Community) has fought for a community center to serve primarily Queer youth of color to be included in plans to develop the Piers.

On March 27th 2008, Hudson River Park Trust announced that the Related Companies' proposed mega-entertainment complex for Pier 40, known by many, as 'Vegas-on-the-Hudson' was no longer being considered. Related Companies wanted a 49-year lease but HRPT can legally offer only a 30-year lease.

Rather than accept the remaining proposal that was submitted during the RFP process, the Trust instead, made a formal decision to give the Camp Group, Urban Dove, and Pier 40 Partnership 90 days to come up with a viable joint proposal.

Camp Group is a private corporation owned by Benerofe Properties. It's proposal contrasted with 'Vegas on the Hudson' in that it emphasized athletics, education, and maintaining the community’s long-term pier parking. It would augment sports facilities, while adding space for high school and college academic programs. The pier’s existing sports fields would be kept where they are now in the central courtyard rather than moved to the roof as has been suggested by others. Urban Dove, a local nonprofit group helping students through athletics and other programs, supports the Camp Out proposal.

The Pier 40 Partnership has been seeking to present its own separate more community-friendly option known as Pier 40 Park -- if HPRT would reopen the RFP process.

If the groups cannot draft a suitable proposal, the HRPT could still go to Albany and inquire about a 49-year lease on Pier 40, which would bring Related back into play.

Queer Justice League will be actively working with the main players involved in Pier 40 development to help ensure a community center primarily serving Queer youth of color we be included in the final plan. Anyone interested in assisting in this effort should contact Joey Nelson via email at or phone - 973-412-7743 / 973-464-0112 cell.

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