Almost 40 years in the making, Battery Park City is nearing its final stages of development. This 92-acre neighborhood, which was created through the deposit into the Hudson River of landfill dug out during the construction of the original World Trade Center, now has only six vacant sites. Once these remaining sites are developed, the main work of the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA), a public benefit corporation created by the New York State legislature in 1968 to oversee development of the neighborhood, will be done. The anticipated date of this significant milestone is 2009.
As families continue to discover this quaint neighborhood, with its riverfront esplanade, creatively designed parks, and abundant recreational activities for kids and adults alike, the community’s population is quickly growing. At 9,000-plus now, it is projected to swell to between 12,000 and 14,000 as the remaining neighborhood sites are developed, according to the BPCA. Plans to build more residential buildings are already well underway.
Under the leadership of Timothy Carey, appointed by Governor George Pataki to serve as BPCA president and CEO, the authority became the first agency in the city to require that all new developments meet environmental “green” standards. The Solaire at 20 River Terrace, a 293-unit residential building on the Hudson near Murray Street, was recognized as the first environmentally advanced residential building in the country when it was completed in May 2003.
“Battery Park City is one of the world’s great urban renewal laboratories,” Carey said in a statement announcing the building’s completion. “We dared to dream of a community where the built environment is in harmony with the natural environment. We achieved that dream with the Solaire,” he said. When completely built out, he continued, the Battery Park City neighborhood will include a total of 4 million square feet of sustainable construction, with even its parks maintained without chemical pesticides or fertilizers. “To sum up, Battery Park City is both a beautiful and healthy place to live, work, and play.”
The BPCA also created the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy, a non-profit arm that maintains the community’s park space. In September 2004, Teardrop Park opened in the neighborhood’s north section. A project using landscape architecture beautified the area extending from the South Cove gardens to the front area of the Museum of Jewish Heritage. On the upper esplanade, renovation of Kowsky Plaza, including the creation of a small dog run and a playground, is nearing completion. Additionally, planned renovations for a traffic median on North End Avenue include a second, 3,000-square-foot dog run, to be ready this year. A raised pedestrian crossing also will be built to link the new residential building on Site 19B to the neighborhood ball fields.
Other developments currently taking place and planned for Battery Park City include the following:
Site 16/17: In the currently vacant lot bound by Murray Street, River Terrace, Vesey Street, and North End Avenue, a 32-story, 320-unit condominium building will be developed by the Sheldrake Organization. The building also will house the neighborhood’s first public library, slated to open in 2007.
Site 18B: Construction has already begun on another 253-unit green building by the Albanese Organization, which built the Solaire. As a qualification for tax-exempt financing to fund construction, Albanese committed to making at least 5 percent of the units in each building affordable for people of moderate income. The developer received $100 million worth of Liberty Bonds to construct the new building, which should be ready for spring 2006 occupancy.
Site 19B: Construction was completed in August on the Related Companies’ 24-story residential tower, Tribeca Green. The Related Companies received more than $100 million in Liberty Bonds to construct this residential building. Designed by renowned architect Robert A. M. Stern, the 357,000 square foot tower -- located at 325 North End Avenue -- features 274 rental apartments, each equipped with a host of environmentally-friendly features. Tribeca Green will become the second Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold-certified building in the country. The Solaire, located across the park, was the first.
Site 23/24: The BPCA is finalizing plans to develop these, the neighborhood’s final vacant sites. The maximum permitted floor area is approximately 259,000 square feet for Site 23 and approximately 334,000 square feet for Site 24. A 40,000-square-foot community center, to include gym and recreational space, also will be built at the west end of the neighborhood ballfields.
Site 26: Goldman Sachs, the investment bank founded on Pine Street in 1869, plans to erect a 43-story office tower at West and Vesey Streets. The plan follows negotiations between the bank, state, and city to secure the location and finance the $2 billion building through Liberty Bonds and other incentives. The bank's new world headquarters will rise in Battery Park City's last remaining commercial plot, known as Site 26. Designed by Henry N. Cobb of Pei Cobb Freed & Partners, the 740-foot-tall tower will earn Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification by incorporating "green" building technologies, such as water and energy conservation, and use of recycled materials.
Site 2A: Here, in the southern portion of Battery Park City, Millennium Partners, which also built the Ritz Carlton Battery Park, has begun construction of a 360-foot, 236-unit residential tower. The building’s completion is slated for the end of 2006. A women’s cultural museum is also planned for the site, although no construction start date has been set.
Site 3: The Battery Park City Authority in September 2005 selected the Albanese Organization to construct a third green residential tower at Site 3.
To find out more about upcoming development plans for Battery Park City or to learn more about what the Battery Park City Authority does, please click here.