Locals Advocate for New Amenities, Including Food Stalls and Kayak Launches, at Sunset Park Pier 6

Sunset Park residents give feedback on design plans for Pier 6 at Bush Terminal Park.Photo: Christopher Edwards

By: Christopher Edwards

Sunset Park residents said they wanted an area for food vendors, and canoe and kayak launching pads, to be part of the city’s redesign of Pier 6 at Bush Terminal, an area that has been inaccessible for decades.

The project is headed by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), the agency responsible in developing the Made in NY Campus at Bush Terminal into a manufacturing, film and TV hub that is expected to open later this year and add more than 2,000 jobs.

Nearby Bush Terminal Park was redeveloped in the past few years, which includes a baseball field and soccer pitch, as well as walking paths.

The five-acre pier, which has views of the Statue of Liberty, will be turned into a public park with walkways and an industrial forest. The budget for the project is approximately $25 million and the design and engineering will be handled by Arcadis.

NYCEDC says the design is around 30% finalized, with the final design slated for fall of 2024. The agency estimates that with construction beginning early next year, the park should be open by summer of 2026.

At a recent town hall meeting about the project, following one in February, residents suggested the park include a place for local food vendors to set up, signage about the pier’s history, and a boat ramp for canoes and kayaks.

Residents at the meeting welcomed the creation of the park, but expressed concerns about its safety and upkeep.

“The park is going to be open 24/7, so we just want to make sure that it’s safe for anybody to walk down,” said Damaris Santiago, a longtime resident of Sunset Park. “We want to make sure that not only is it beautiful, but it’s safe for us to actually use it at any time.”

Sunset Park residents give feedback on design plans for Pier 6 at Bush Terminal Park. Photo: Christopher Edwards

The land on Pier 6 has been vacant since the 1980s when a warehouse on the pier burned down. Since then, it has become neglected and overgrown with plants and debris. Today, the lot is only used for construction staging and parking.

“We want to design a pier that is going to be an important and useful amenity to the community. So, something that’s going to provide space for recreation, for hanging out, and enjoying the beautiful views of Manhattan,” said Christine Paglialunga, the executive director of Sunset Park at NYCEDC. “There’s also a lot of vegetation that has just kind of naturally occurred on the pier and we’re trying to retain as much of that as we can.”

The agency said it is working on a sustainable redesign of the pier, which will include elements found on the lot.

“There’s a lot of items that are on the site itself that we’re going to incorporate either into restabilizing it, or for aesthetic elements,” said Waverly Neer, vice president of asset management at NYCEDC. “Reusing those old historic remnants is really important.”

Over the past several years, the city has been putting much effort into revitalizing the Brooklyn waterfront. Further south, the city on Monday started construction on an offshore wind port hub in South Brooklyn Marine Terminal.

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