Basketball City to build six courts on part of Pier 36

City to lease portion of East River pier that had housed an OEM facility. The Department of Small Business Services proposed to lease to Basketball City, LLC a 64,000- square-foot portion of the one-story shed building located on Pier 36 along the East River, at the base of Montgomery and South Streets. In 2006, plans for the Hudson River Park forced Basketball City to vacate its former location on Pier 63 along the Hudson River at West 23rd Street. The plan caused great controversy at the time when school groups and local officials sought the Hudson River Park Trust’s agreement to stop or at least delay the loss of Basketball City’s facility.

Basketball City would convert the shed building into six indoor basketball courts, locker rooms, and 75 at-grade parking spaces. The Department of Sanitation, the NYPD, the FDNY and the Office of Emergency Management currently occupy portions of Pier 36. Under the proposal, OEM would vacate its space to make way for the indoor basketball facility; the other City uses would remain.

The lease to Basketball City triggered requirements under the zoning code necessitating a 60,625- square-foot public waterfront access space. Instead, Basketball City proposed a 15,600-square-foot waterfront viewing area, arguing that the waterfront access requirement was infeasible and inapplicable since it would only lease a 64,000-square-foot portion of the pier. Community Board 3 opposed the plan, seeking the City’s agreement that Basketball City be required to build open space running the full length of the pier.

The Planning Commission approved the plan, noting that the City’s intent to retain most of the pier space for use by other agencies made a larger public open space infeasible. The Commission emphasized that the waterfront viewing area and the indoor recreational facility would enhance the City’s East River Esplanade and Piers project, a plan to revitalize the East River waterfront from Pier 15 to Pier 35, which recently received Commission approval. 4 CityLand 105 (Aug. 15, 2007).

ULURP Process
Lead Agency: DSBS,Neg.Dec.
Comm.Bd.: MN 3, App’d, 35-2-3
Boro. Pres.: App’d
CPC: App’d, 9-0-0
Council:No review

CPC: Basketball City / Pier 36 (C 070046 PPM – disposition of City property); (N 070047 ZAM – public access requirements) (Aug. 8, 2007). CITYADMIN


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