Saturday: Input Wanted on Inwood Waterfront Esplanade

scgrab.jpgPhoto via NYCEDC

For years, the New York City Economic Development Corporation intended to have the Sherman Creek area in eastern Inwood rezoned for higher-density residential and commercial development. That effort was ultimately abandoned when stakeholders couldn’t come to terms, but as the Manhattan Times reports, plans survive for a waterfront esplanade along the Harlem River between Academy and W. 208th Streets.

East of 9th Avenue the five blocks between W. 202nd Street and W. 206th Street fall into the river. It is here that the Parks Department has built small pockets of green space with access to the river, barbecues and benches.

"The idea is to develop a feature that connects them," Alejandro Baquero-Cifuentes, EDC vice president for development told the Community Board 12 Parks and Recreation Committee Tuesday night.

[The project], if it ever becomes a reality, represents a significant amount of new public space in Northern Manhattan, where potentially someone could walk half the length of Inwood from Swindler Cove Park via a pedestrian trail and then the esplanade to the [University Heights] bridge.

Though a funding source for the project has yet to be identified, this weekend NYCEDC will hold a public workshop on the esplanade master plan. Details follow the jump.

WHAT: Public Workshop, Sherman Creek Waterfront Esplanade Master Plan

WHEN: Saturday, March 20, 2 – 5 p.m.

WHERE: Manhattan Christian Academy, 3816 Ninth Ave between W. 204-205th St.

RSVP: Barbara Patrick, 212-312-3673 or via email. Space is limited.

  • James

    That can’t actually be the name of the EDC VP who spoke to Community Board 12, could it? Looks like a typo.

  • Right, James. Corrected.

  • jeremy

    as someone who has some knowledge of this project (i consulted on an earlier iteration of the same idea), i have to say that there is a clear contrast between the vision of the EDC and those in the sherman creek and inwood area. the EDC has mostly been trying to re-purpose the waterfront (both in sherman creek and all over the city pretty much) as something that provides public space, but also private (most high-end) residential development. if you ask people in the community what they want they say jobs and affordable housing, yet EDC continues to push for a plan that will displace functioning (albeit non attractive to armchair activists in the EDC) businesses and storage lots for city purposes with what will likely be a sweetheart deal to a private developer who’ll seed some market-rate residences (gentrification) along with the lowest percent of “affordable housing” that can be negotiated. the design feasibility of a continuous esplanade, as outlined in many master plans, is also somewhat difficult. ultimately, the mission of EDC is to develop the city (read building tax revenue), and not necessarily fulfill the needs of a mostly minority community tucked away in upper manhattan.

  • Brad, is there any discussion about the esplanade supporting a bicycle path? I have seen those pocket parks and thought that they could provide “anchor points” for a cantilevered structure that would continue the East Side Greenway north. I have also seen stated on the Parks Department website that their vision is to have the Greenway encompass around *all* of Manhattan’s waterfront, whereas at present it stops at Dyckman St.

  • I haven’t heard of anything like that, Urbanis, but I don’t know for sure.

  • I posted some links to interactive maps of the area via the OASISnyc.net website, to provide some visual context and detailed property-specific data. See the comments section at http://www.manhattantimesnews.com/real-estate/50-real-estate/1103-edc-seeks-community-input-for-sherman-creek-esplanade.html?lang=en Hopefully this will help with the conversation.

  • Kathy

    There is something beautiful in undeveloped, raw and unadulterated landscape in our neighborhoods. Besides preserving a glimpse of the past, leaving some spaces open for nature to take its course is part of our urban history. It’s so unfortunate that we look at ‘progress’ as a phenomenon that must include the destruction of what is representative of time. At some point, development of these spaces reduces them to plastic renditions of their gritty and spicy counterparts. What about fixing what’s broken like the potholes on Seaman Avenue that are yielding some serious craters worthy of some attention?!

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