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A blog from CityRealty (Links below will take you to the 6sqft site)

Carter's View

The chairman of the Hugh L. Carey Battery Park City Authority, Jim Gill, was quoted in an article by Josh Rogers in this week?s edition of the Downtown Express that his agency would like to take charge of the 8-acre Greenwich Street South project that would deck over the Manhattan entrance to the Brooklyn-Battery Tunnel, create a new park and a new automated, green-roofed, bus garage and five residential towers.

The plan was initiated by Mayor Bloomberg in late 2002 and an urban design study for it was prepared last year by H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, The Olin Partnership, Environmental Simulation Center, Weisz+Yoes, URS Corporation and Hamilton, Rabinovitze & Alschuler.

That study envisions a new, curved pedestrian bridge over West Street to connect the southern part of Battery Park City to Greenwich Green, a new park between Morris and Edgar Streets between West and Greenwich Streets. The multi-block development is located north of Battery Park and several blocks south of the 16-acre Ground Zero site.

The Greenwich Street South proposal calls for the sale of five residential development sites to provide financing for the new park and street changes. The five sites conceivably could support, according to the Mayor?s Vision for Lower Manhattan report, issued in 2002, about 900,000 square feet of residential space in five towers, four of which would be clustered around the new park, which might be called Greenwich Green.

One site would be the northeast corner of West Street and Morris Street. Another would be the southeast corner of West Street and Edgar Street. A third site would be the southwest corner of Greenwich and Edgar Streets. The fourth site would be a triangular block between Greenwich and Rector Streets and Morris and Edgar Streets across from the eastern end of the new park. The fifth site would be the north side of Edgar Street between Washington and Greenwich Streets.

?Greenwich Street, once the best residential address in Lower Manhattan, is today a forlorn and forgotten neighbor of the Financial District,? declared a March 2005 report by the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and the city?s Department of City Planning. The report?s study area on Greenwich Street south of Ground Zero ?has the potential to be brought back as a thriving residential neighborhood that links TriBeCa ? one of New York?s most desirable residential neighborhoods ? Battery Park,? it continued.

?The demolition of the outmoded Battery Parking Garage will restore view corridors and improve air quality,? it maintained, adding that ?2.7 million square feet of residential development will create a critical mass and generate revenue for the MTA? and ?the ground floor spaces of the new residential buildings will allow for new cultural uses fronting onto the park.?

The Downtown Express article noted that Governor Pataki last year ?set aside $80 million toward the project - $40 million from the Lower Manhattan Development Corp. and $40 million from federal 9/11 transportation funds,? adding that ?the money was to help pay for the bus garage, which was estimated to cost $125 million.?

The Greenwich Street South project is also designed to improve access from Battery Park City to subway lines, and improve the problem of idling commuter buses in the area.

A phone call to the Battery Park City Authority today from CityRealty.com was not returned.
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Architecture Critic Carter Horsley Since 1997, Carter B. Horsley has been the editorial director of CityRealty. He began his journalistic career at The New York Times in 1961 where he spent 26 years as a reporter specializing in real estate & architectural news. In 1987, he became the architecture critic and real estate editor of The New York Post.
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