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East Midtown Waterfront Project Moves Forward

east river waterfront skyline

For years, MAS has been advocating for the development of a vibrant and active waterfront that attracts both local residents and visitors to one of New York City’s greatest and most abundant resources. Recently, our efforts have focused on the East Midtown Waterfront, a stretch along the East River that spans from 38th Street to 60th Street. The transformation of this portion of the waterfront into a publicly accessible open space will close a significant gap in the Manhattan Waterfront Greenway.

In May 2012, the City organized a community working group, which MAS has the honor of sitting on. The goal of the meeting was to begin to think about the design approaches that would most benefit the community. The group discussed their ideas for the types of uses that can be included in the new open space, and also identified potential points of access.

The City and AECOM will take the information gathered at the first meeting of the community working group, and form initial design concepts. Subsequent meetings will be held to further flesh out the future design of what is expected to be a thriving new open space for the residents of East Midtown and New York City as a whole.

With the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) in October 2011, which provides a framework for the United Nations to expand its campus located in East Midtown, a funding mechanism for the East Midtown Waterfront Project began to take shape, and the East Midtown Waterfront project was able to move forward.  For more information on the MOU and the United Nation’s proposed plans, visit East Side Open Space.

MAS is pleased to see this project coming to fruition. In July 2011, MAS, along with Manhattan Community Board Six, held a charrette for the former Con Ed Pier, a section of the East Midtown Waterfront located between East 38th and East 41st streets. The charrette was attended by representatives from NYC Parks & EDC, Community Board Six, the United Nations Development Corporation, NYU, in addition to residents of the surrounding neighborhood. You can read The New York Times event recap here.

MAS synthesized the discussions from the day-long charrette into a report, New York’s Next Great Waterfront Park. Working with noted architect, Barbara Wilks, and her firm, W Architecture & Landscape Architecture, MAS outlined seven principles for the transformation of the former Con Ed Pier into a new waterfront park. The report was shared with NYC EDC and AECOM, who will use it to inform the future design of this new open space.

You can read more on the East Midtown Waterfront project here.