Letters, Week of Dec. 18, 2014

Frustrated, but not angry

To The Editor:
Re “C.B. 1 angered by Battery Park City Authority” (news brief, Dec. 4 – Dec. 17):

 At the monthly meeting of Community Board 1’s  B.P.C. Committee earlier this month, we heard a presentation form Tom Berton who operates the Shearwater sailing boat in the North Cove Marina. He came to us because he is concerned that the service he has offered on his historic ship for the past ten years, may be affected by the choice of an operator for the new lease on the marina.  His presentation spurred a discussion about the request for proposal for the marina including some of our frustrations with the request for proposal process.

We had previously heard from the current operator who has received very positive reviews but not any of the other bidders.

Your article seemed to highlight a troubled relationship with Battery Park City Authority and I want to correct any misimpression. While we were disappointed that the B.P.C.A. was not represented at our meeting, Robin Forst, B.P.C.A.’s V.P.  for external affairs, has worked very closely with us over the past year and has been extremely responsive. Further, B.P.C.A. management including President Shari Hyman and the V.P. for real property, Gwen Dawson, have appeared before us presenting future plans and answering our questions. Communication is much improved with this new leadership but the committee did express concern that an R.F.P. covering parkland probably should have been discussed with us. A dialogue about how this community asset will be managed under this new lease would have been desirable.

We have repeatedly called on the Governor to increase the resident representation on the seven person board.  Of the five current members, only one is a resident.  There are currently two openings and we hope the governor will hear our request.

B.P.C. is a wonderful part of New York City and like all neighborhoods, it is the positive involvement of everyone that leads to a better place to live and work. We look forward to discussing this and other issues.
Anthony Notaro
Chairperson of Community Board 1’s Battery Park City Committee

“NEWS ANALYSIS: Elbows Sharpen In Seaport Tower Fight”

(POSTED, DEC 4):

One can favor schools and affordable housing, yet not want them implanted in a commercial tower that does not belong between a historic district and a world-famous landmark bridge. This “Hobson’s Choice” is an artificial construct of the Howard Hughes Corporation, an attempt to pressure vulnerable families who should be offered other choices by the city in which they pay taxes. 

Diane Harris Brown

Whether the “friends” are a real or astroturf group is not the point — it is clear that Hughes is manipulating the community to pit neighbor against neighbor. Who wants to send their child to a middle school built over water? Why is NYC giving away its public property is the real question — for a few apartments of affordable housing and a middle school? We citizens and taxpayers should have our elected officials take responsibility for our public infrastructure and make these improvements, not beg the Hughes corporation for its “benefits.”

Andi Sosin

What is not being openly acknowledged, is that Hughes has little-to-no real leverage in this discussion. Long before a Pier 17 rebuild was approved, Hughes planned (but did not convey) their full intent to build an accompanying tower. 

Now, they are in a position where Pier 17 cannot succeed, unless they are able to build a residential component. They will never admit this, but if forced, they can and will accept a “Plan B” — an alternate site, inside the FDR, south of the Seaport.

Local interests should continue to lean heavily on Hughes, because ultimately, Hughes will take what they can get. HHC will ultimately accept terms (incl school, pier rebuild requirements), because they are already committed to the new Pier 17.

Developer

Schools and affordable housing …will be built with funding by HHC. This is completely privately funded. No subsidies. 

Let’s play out the other scenario. The tower does not get developed. Then you get no school and no affordable housing. Better yet, the piers will continue to fall into the East River. Will all of you show up at a community meeting demanding they get repaired, that NYC needs to foot the bill for more housing and a school? And even if you did, do you suppose the money will be available? 

Many of the opponents of this project don’t even contribute to the tax base (they take from it). I live and own at the Seaport. The fact that these individuals would rather see the neighborhood crumble (and it will…because no public funds have been set aside for its development) is a complete mockery. People want all the benefits… but don’t want the single piece of infrastructure that will pay for these benefits. 

Taking away someone’s picturesque view when they live in a rent controlled property is a sacrifice politicians should be willing to make.

Seaport Dweller

The South Street Seaport Historic area is not just any area, Schermerhorn Row is not just any strip of buildings, and the views of the Brooklyn Bridge are not to be carved out for the privileged few. 

– I want public spaces to remain in the hands and control of the public. 

– The New Market site is public space, and it and the Tin Building that it is adjacent to are inter-woven components of the original Fulton Fish Market. 

I want the city to step up and meet its responsibility to provide baseline support for public services that are a community’s right – schools, community centers, museums…

FriendofSStSeaport

“Authority Will Take Control of North Cove Marina As Operators Days Appear Numbered”

(POSTED DEC 10):

The BPCA should be ended ! They are a waste of State taxpayer money, a history of political patronage and a long list of horrible decisions.

Mike

This looks a lot like another nudge, nudge, wink, wink insider sweetheart deal between a city entity and a huge developer. When will the taxpayers get a chance to survive unmolested by patronage paying megacorporations who decide that the little guy is in the way?

Richard Dorfman

North Cove Marina is a great community resource 

The Manhattan Sailing Club runs community focused sailing programs, an adult sailing school and children’s sailing camp, The kids have an amazing chance to do something very special in NYC , sail in the harbor in the shadow of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island

McNeally

“The Never-ending & Rocky Road To Fixing

A Historic Street”

(POSTED, DEC 4):

They must have chase the rats further west onto Hudson and Greenwich streets, because I see rats on those streets all the time.

KP*

I have a feeling there is also a water leak somewhere under the end closer to Varick, as I have seen sinkholes open up from time to time. I think they need to do more than just a resurfacing…

robertripps

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