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Hudson River Park Trust postpones Pier 40 decision.

It looks like New York might be in for another case of public discussion stalling public development. After months of deliberations on what should be built at Pier 40 - the 16-acre waterfront area stretching from Leroy Street to Charlton Street the Hudson River Park Trust decided to postpone the decision for another half a year. "We wanted to look in more detail at all of the proposals, so we asked for a 140-day extension," announced Alex Dudley, the spokesman for the trust, a day after the group was supposed to make its decision.

The setback might have something to do with the local community's reluctance to welcome retail to the site. The two principle contestants for the development contract include C&K Properties, which proposes a 120,000-SF hardware store for the Pier, and IDEA, Inc., which hopes to build New York's largest aquarium.

But Greenwich Village residents oppose big box stores because they will take away space from playing fields for their children, while Brooklyn borough officials grumble about the aquarium competing with the one at Coney Island.

"Basically, we haven't made a decision on what we want to be built, but we wanted as much park space on Pier 40 as possible and last December we voted unanimously to oppose any big box store," said Aubrey Lees, chair of the Community Board 2, which includes the pier. "We are going to discuss the aquarium, but right now we passed a resolution opposing it too."

According to published reports, however, the C&K proposal is the most likely to be accepted. It has already been endorsed by Pier 40 Working Group, which is made up of neighborhood officials.

"We endorse the proposal by C&K Properties," said a spokesperson for Christine Quinn, the councilwoman for District 3. "The councilwoman feels that limited retail is okay, as long as it's as little as possible. On the other hand, she's very much opposed to the aquarium because it would serve as an anchor for about 280,000 SF of retail space, and it would kill the aquarium in Coney Island."

Other applicants for the development include Forest City Ratner, which envisions several big box stores at the site, and TEC-PMC Associates, which would like to build a cluster of smaller-sized stores.
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Author:Misonzhnik, Elaine
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 5, 2003
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