Pay-To-Play. Prominent real estate developer Douglas Durst and the non-profit he runs, Friends of Hudson River Park (FHRP) want area residents and businesses to pay a special tax to pay Hudson River Park's upkeep instead of the City and State allocating funds. Last week NY State legislators refused to introduce a bill which would have allocated $15 million in emergency funds and approximately $7 million annually from cruise ships and water taxi fees. (Photos: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on image to enlarge.
The tax proponents hope to generate $10 million annually from the funding scheme. The Park Improvement Area (PID) area could include 1,700 properties.
A similar Park Improvement District (PID) proposal supported by Mayor Bloomberg to pay for maintenance and operation (M&O) of the High Line esplanade in Manhattan was quickly scrapped after strong public criticism emerged. A similar scheme to fund Brooklyn Bridge Park was also not warmly received.
Mr. Durst is on the Board of Directors of the Bryant Park Corporation BID. His building, One Bryant Park, generates $150,000 of the BID's gross annual revenue. Bryant Park is a public park which the city allows to be run privately.
Dedicated funding streams from non-government sources create enormous disparities.
Durst is a director of the Real Estate Board of New York, The Trust for Public Land, and Project for Public Spaces. He is also the co-chair of Friends of the Hudson River Park. Durst Fetner Residential (DFR) hopes to begin building West 57, a 600-unit building on across the street from the park in 2012, and boasts, "courtyard open views towards the Hudson River." Mr. Durst's distinctive bright yellow New York Water Taxi fleet are a familiar sight along the park.
- Geoffrey Croft
The gist: Hudson River Park needs a lot of money. Not that this is news or anything. The proposed Business Improvement District (BID) or, as it's now being called, Neighborhood Improvement District is, apparently, the largest-scale BID (or NID) ever proposed, and would tax residential properties 7.5 cents per square foot (median assessment: $99) and commercial properties 15 cents per square foot ($499) in order to raise a Total Amended First Year Budget of $10, 000, 000, which is around one tenth of what the park actually needs for day-to-day operations/development/integrating the park with the community/other things. And once the park is finished (it's currently at 70%) it will be generating more money from its commercial entities except maybe it won't and maybe those entities will even lose money because who knows? Not us. Confused yet? So were we.
Hudson River Park Needs Money, Is Asking The People
Curbed - June 14, 2012 - By Jeremiah Budin
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A Walk In The Park - June 20, 2012
A Walk In The Park - June 7, 2012
A Walk In The Park - April 5, 2012
Reliance On Self- Sustaining Hudson River Park "Model" Continues To Plague Project
A Walk In The Park - January 28, 2012
A Walk In The Park - December 14, 2009