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P. 17 - 23 Volume 25, Number 19 february 20-marCh 5, 2013 constrUctIon center to cLose thIs Year, BUt worK Goes on BY KAITLYN MEADE he agency coordinating construction at the World Trade Center and nearby sites is in its last year of operation as the work winds down — but predicts mid to high levels of Downtown construction through 2016. Lower Manhattan Construction Command Center (L.M.C.C.C.) officials are forecasting widespread public works and private development, resulting in over 2,600 units (and this is a low estimate) of residential housing in the next four years. Yet the Command Center is not planning to continue beyond its three-year extension to the end of 2013. T Continued on page 13 SNAKES & DRAGONS Downtown Express photo by Milo Hess Chinatown celebrated the Year of the Snake Sunday with its Lunar New Year parade down Mott St. See P. 16 for more photos of the parade and the firecracker celebration a week ago. Two plans pushed to save Pier 40 fields BY LINCOLN ANDERSON ith two competing proposals recently floated for Pier 40, Community Board 2 will hold a forum on Thurs., Feb. 28 on the ongoing, contentious issue of how best to redevelop the sprawling West Houston St. pier. One of the plans is by a coalition of local youth sports leagues called Pier 40 Champions. Their proposal calls for the construction of two residential towers sited just east of Pier 40 on parkland within the Hudson River Park. Revenue from the towers would help fund repairs and redevelopment of the 15-acre, three-story pier, which needs tens of millions of dollars to fix up its corroded steel support piles and eroded concrete roof. The payoff for the W youth leagues is that the pier would be opened up to increased use for sports fields, which now includes even more field space than it originally did. The field expansion could mean playing time for children in neighborhoods like Tribeca and Battery Park City, and parent leaders further Downtown are beginning to sign onto the Champions plan. The rival concept for Pier 40 is by Douglas Durst, former chairperson of the Friends of Hudson River Park, in partnership with Ben Korman, who formerly ran the pier’s parking operation. It would utilize the pier’s existing shed structure for a mix of high-tech office space and retail, along with parking. Durst is not an advocate for housing either on Pier 40 or anywhere in the park. Allowing housing in the Hudson River Park would require the state Legislature to modify the Hudson River Park Act of 1998, which prohibits residential use. Meanwhile, the Hudson River Park Trust appears favorable toward the Pier 40 Champions plan, with its residential component, as a solution for helping save both Pier 40 and the entire 5-mile-long park, yet, at the same time, is also interested in the idea of parking stackers, as contained in the Durst plan. The park is suffering a serious cash flow problem, which will only worsen in coming years, according to the Trust, as state and city 5 15 CANAL ST RE ET • N YC 10 013 • C OPYRIG HT © 2013 N YC COMMU N ITY MED IA , LLC Continued on page 24 thomPson Gets Low ratInGs From B.P.c. actIVIsts BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER one but not forgotten by Battery Park City residents, Bill Thompson, now running for mayor of New York City, served as chairperson of the Battery Park City Authority between March 2010 and May 2012 when he resigned to work on his mayoral campaign. His 26 months in Battery Park City gave residents a chance to know him better than most other New Yorkers, with their views of him ranging from harsh to non-committal. Several neighborhood activists g Continued on page 7

Downtown Express, Feb. 20, 2013

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