Lower East Side Waterfront Getting a Makeover

Officials break ground on $148 million project

By Hasani Gittens
|  Tuesday, Aug 18, 2009  |  Updated 12:45 PM EDT
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East River Waterfront Artist Renderings

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Artist rendering of East River Esplanade

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The mayor and the governor today broke ground on the first stage of the East River Waterfront Esplanade and Piers Project in Lower Manhattan.

This beginning stage is expected to cost $148 million, as it creates 400 jobs and transforms two miles of underused waterfront -- from the Battery Maritime Building to Pier 35 – into a Hudson River Park-like walkway.

“Our vision for Lower Manhattan as a diverse, mixed-use neighborhood is coming to life, and opening up more of the East River waterfront to residents and visitors is the next major step in creating a more livable downtown community,” said Mayor Bloomberg.

“The project is the result of an extensive collaborative effort that included two community boards and other community groups, as well as local, state, and federal officials. I thank them all for helping us improve the quality of life for the entire Lower Manhattan community, " he said.

The project, expected to be completed by the end of 2011, is part of the larger “Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan,” which has the grand aim to create jobs, “implement a vision for long term economic growth, and build affordable, attractive neighborhoods.”

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