The Battery Park City Neighborhood Association (BPCNA) has praised the Battery Park City Authority’s willingness to engage with of the resiliency process for the north and west portions of Battery Park City for showing heightened levels of concern for residents.
Portions of the Battery Park City Authority’s plans to construct areas of the neighborhood were originally in a matter that residents said would threaten the livelihood of Wagner Park, a recreational area beloved by the community.
While a formal plan has not been finalized, BPCNA leaders said the conversations had with the Battery Park City Authority’s design teams SCAPE Studio and Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) welcomed less intrusive and disruptive alternatives to the neighborhood.
“We are pleased to see the BPCA incorporate the design principles that the community has been calling for in Wagner Park to the new resiliency project segments of Battery Park City,” said Kelly McGowan, BPCNA Board Member on Sept 21. “We look forward to seeing how the designs are implemented in the ultimate plan.”
Some concepts presented have included alternatives offering minimal impact and disruption to operation of the neighborhood, preservation of existing parks space including trees and green space, leveraging nature-based solutions as much as possible and other opportunities for enhancement.
“The BPCNA commends the new design approach the Authority is applying to these phases,” McGowan said. “Additionally, we would like to recognize the efforts of our elected officials, Community Board One, and local volunteers for participating and voicing the importance of these principles.”
Design principles for the South Battery park include maximizing protected areas, maximizing public spaces, maintaining design legacy, maintaining views and access to the waterfront and creating an adaptable space.
“The Authority should see that the same principles that make sense for the rest of Battery Park City would also make sense in Wagner Park,” said Britni Erez, another BPCNA leader. “They should move expeditiously to modify their highly disruptive, destructive and extremely expensive plans that include the removal of 112 mature trees. It is not too late. We want a resiliency project – just not this one.”
According to a Battery Park City Authority spokesperson, the entire project area is 7.6 acres with estimates showing the project costing $221 million – approximately $29 million per acre. The protected area is 73.4 acres with 21.6 acres inside Battery Park City and 51.8 acres outside. The project within the protected area will cost $3 million per acre.
“We’re pleased the community’s excited about early concepts for the North/West Battery Park City Resiliency Project, and invite all to participate as our robust public engagement process – which includes Walkshops, interactive town hall sessions, and more – continues,” said Nick Sbordone, a BPCA spokesperson on Sept. 23. “Our approach here mirrors the approach we took for the South Battery Park City Resiliency Project, which began with an array of options and initial concepts to prompt feedback, rather than any specific plans, and evolved over the course of the past six years to the world-class design it is today. We’re confident this approach ultimately will yield the same for the North/West Project, and welcome our community’s partnership every step of the way.”