Governor Kathy Hochul, Mayor Eric Adams, Hudson River Park Trust President & CEO Noreen Doyle, RXR CEO Scott Rechler, and Google CFO Ruth Porat cut the ribbon this week for the opening of an 80,000-square-foot rooftop park at Hudson River Park’s Pier 57, a historic pier that has been successfully restored by a development team led by RXR and featuring Google as the anchor tenant.
Opening the nearly two-acre rooftop park, New York City’s largest rooftop open space, delivers on one of the original commitments made by the joint venture between development partners RXR, Young Woo & Associates, and The Baupost Group as part of the pier’s redevelopment, and its creation expands the amount and variety of public open space in Hudson River Park. Other components of the reimagined 633,000 square foot pier now open include 350,000 square feet of commercial office space for Google, the relocated original City Winery, and additional public open space around the pier’s perimeter and to the immediate north and south. The rooftop park is open to the general public daily all year, initially from 7AM to 10PM, and will also serve as an outdoor screening location for the TriBeCa Film Festival beginning this year. Other uses and amenities for the public will open in Fall 2022.
Pier 57 epitomizes how public-private partnerships can deliver significant benefits to New York State and City. Under its lease with the Trust, the development partnership led by RXR has invested $410 million to restore Pier 57, which is listed on the State and National Registers of Historic Places. The rent from the pier will also support Hudson River Park’s overall care and operations.
Additionally, to help realize the full potential of Pier 57 within its park setting, Google expanded their commitment to include 50,000 square feet of interior public-oriented space on the ground floor that will be developed and managed by Jamestown. When it opens in the fall, this area will include a new food-hall curated by the James Beard Foundation, community space with flexible layouts that will be available for booking by local organizations, and a public gathering place—called the Living Room—with spectacular views of lower Manhattan, the Hudson River, and Little Island. Google is also creating an engaging tech-oriented public classroom to be operated by Hudson River Park’s River Project team that will expand environmental education programming and inspire the next generation of Hudson River stewards and STEM Leaders.
The new Pier 57 embodies New York City’s economic and cultural staying power, and is an important milestone in the continued evolution of the far west side of Manhattan. Beyond that, Pier 57 will generate millions of dollars in new revenue for the Hudson River Park Trust, which receives no public funding for maintaining and operating the four-mile Hudson River Park.
RXR’s focus on repurposing historic assets for the 21st century is on full display here, as Pier 57 joins the ranks of other icons like the Starrett Lehigh and Helmsley buildings. The project also provides a roadmap for success for the future of New York’s commercial real estate market as the industry continues to navigate this unprecedented time.
“Hudson River Park is a tremendous example of the extraordinary things that can happen when government, the private sector and local communities work together,” said Hudson River Park Trust President & CEO Noreen Doyle. “Pier by pier, section by section, we are transforming four miles of Manhattan’s shoreline, and spaces like Pier 57 shape not only the waterfront, but also how people see and experience New York City. Today, Pier 57 becomes part of our success story. Hudson River Park thanks Governor Hochul, Mayor Adams, RXR, Young Woo, Baupost, Google, and all our elected officials and community partners for the imagination, commitment and resolve that have delivered this inspiring new public open space.”
“As Google continues to invest and grow in New York, we are committed to the type of community-oriented development that Pier 57 embodies,” said Ruth Porat, Alphabet and Google CFO. “A project like Pier 57 that offers public spaces for the local community to enjoy is a win for both New York and Google. The innovative public-private collaboration that made this project possible is one of many reasons Google believes in the future of New York, and why we are excited to invest another $2.3 billion in New York this year.”
Pier 57 was constructed in 1952 and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It originally opened in 1954 as the terminal for Grace Line, and then in 1969, it became the Hudson Pier Depot for the New York City Transit Authority. The depot closed in 2003 and was shuttered until this redevelopment. Hudson River Park began this effort in 2008 and worked closely with the State and City to reimagine this space as a mixed-use pier with office spaces, cultural and educational amenities, and public open space on the roof with views overlooking Hudson River Park and New York City.
“The rooftop at Hudson River Park’s Pier 57 is a spectacular new public park, and evidence of what is possible when New Yorkers work together,” said Congressman Jerrold Nadler. “I applaud the Hudson River Park Trust, RXR/Young Woo and Google for bringing this historic pier back to life and turning it into a great public amenity – and I’m proud that Federal Historic Tax Credits were able to help make it happen.”
RXR is an innovative investor, developer and place-maker committed to applying a customer and community-centered approach to building properties, services, and products that create enduring value for all stakeholders. Headquartered in New York with a national platform strategy, RXR is a 500+ person, vertically integrated operating and development company with expertise in a wide array of value creation activities, including ground up real estate, infrastructure and industrial development, uncovering value in underperforming properties, repurposing well-located iconic properties, incorporating cutting edge technologies and value-added lending. The RXR platform manages 83 commercial real estate properties and investments with an aggregate gross asset value of approximately $22.4 billion, comprising approximately 30.2 million square feet of commercial properties, a multi-family residential portfolio of approximately 7,300 units under operation or development, and control of development rights for an additional approximately 3,700 multi-family and for sale units as of December 31, 2021 adjusted for transactions through January 6, 2022. Gross asset value compiled by RXR in accordance with company fair value measurement policy and is comprised of capital invested by RXR and its partners, as well as leverage.
About the Hudson River Park Trust ~ The Hudson River Park Trust is a partnership between New York State and City charged with the design, construction, and operation of the four-mile Hudson River Park and Estuarine Sanctuary. Both the Trust and the park itself are governed by the Hudson River Park Act, a 1998 law that established the park and its requirements. Guided by a vision for a magnificent waterfront park, the Trust continues to advance park construction and ensure the park’s future financial self-sufficiency by developing the remaining commercial nodes.
About Young Woo & Associates ~ Founded in 1979, Young Woo & Associates (YWA) has identified and developed a variety of specialized projects in the NY metro area and throughout the United States. The firm has earned a reputation as one of the most innovative developers, largely the result of YWA’s unique ability to apply creative solutions to emerging lifestyle trends, implement bold design with new technology and, most importantly, identify up-and-coming locations ripe for creative development.
About Google ~ Google first came to New York in 2000 and has been a dedicated partner to the city and state since. With over 12,000 employees in the state, Google knows New York is one of the most important talent pools in the world because of its unparalleled entrepreneurial and creative energy. Through Grow with Google workforce development programs, local Google.org grant initiatives, continued building development and various public-private partnerships, Google intends to be a staple to New York’s economic growth, a vital member of the community and a leader of New York’s recovery.
We can’t close without a nod to the generosity of Google when the preservation group, Save Chelsea was trying to preserve and store the historic Julien Binford murals from a shuttered HSBC bank on 14th Street. Most recently, their generosity included obtaining high-resolution images of the murals, creating a digitized version, and purchasing sonotubes for storage.
Pier 57, the Rooftop Park, is located at 15th Street and Hudson River Park. It is free and open from 7am to 10pm, 7 days a week.
The new Pier 57 will also serve as an outdoor screening location for the yearly TriBeCa Festival beginning 2022.
Take a walk next door to Pier 55 – Little Island.
A short walk south will take you to David Hammons: Days End, a permanent art installation at Pier 52.