Volume 20, Number 46 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | November 10 - 16, 2010
Downtown Express photo by Aline Reynolds
Manhattan Youth will be in charge of the new mini-golf course (above) at Pier 25.
Manhattan Youth wins vending contract for Pier 25
There’s a small contingent of residents out there, clinging to nostalgia, that sorely miss their old, funky Pier at the end of North Moore Street in Tribeca. However Bob Townley, President of Manhattan Youth, the organization that ran the pier before it was demolished and that recently was awarded the vending contract for the newer version isn’t one of them.
“I’m past the old funky pier,” said Townley. “I loved it. But I’m really excited about its rebirth and I’m also very excited that a new generation of kids downtown are going to enjoy it.”
The Hudson River Park Trust chose Manhattan Youth last week from a “short list” of applicants to operate the pier’s concession stand, beach volleyball courts and the mini-golf course. Nine different organizations applied to the Trust’s Request for Proposals, which was released last July, and four made it as far as visiting the site.
“We wanted someone who would feel like an extension of the park,” said Noreen Doyle, the vice president of the Trust.
Townley said the main difference between his organization’s role at the pier now and when the pier was owned by the City Department of Transportation is the fact that Manhattan Youth will not be “in charge.” Previously Manhattan Youth had to handle the pier’s upkeep in addition to operations.
“We used to have do the plumbing, the cleaning — it was exhausting,” said Townley.
That might have factored into the Trust’s decision. While Manhattan Youth will not be in charge of cleaning the entire pier, they will have to maintain the concession area and the mini-golf course.
“If 50 little kids, or adults, go tramping through the plants looking for lost balls, we wanted someone who could maintain it,” said Doyle.
Another major distinction is the contract. When the pier was under the D.O.T., Manhattan Youth was on a month-to-month contract. Under the new agreement with the Trust, Townley has a three-year lease with two additional one-year renewal options.
Townley promised that much would change beyond the specifics of the contract. There will be slight price increases. In 1995 a round of mini-golf cost two dollars for a child, whereas, now it will cost four.
“You’re still going to be able to spend a day at the pier and not have to take out a loan,” said Townley. “That was always our intention.”
— John Bayles