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Yesterday, the City announced the official $150 million East River redevelopment plan. The 2 mile esplanade will connect East River and Battery Parks, and have a new "waterfront esplanade with new plantings, benches, tables, repaving, improved lighting and a widened bike path," community space at Pier 15, commercial and cultural pavilions along South Street, new park and open spaces and a new public plaza in front of the Battery Maritime Building; the Fulton Fish Market will be razed, in order to be a pleasure marina. The money comes from Lower Manhattan Development Corporation funds, to provide, as new LMDC president Stefan Pryor said, "year-round recreational oasis for Lower Manhattan families." However, the money for the Battery Maritime Building part, about $65 million, has yet to be secured. Nor is there a timetable yet. Nonetheless, there's a lot of bipartisan enthusiasm for the plan: Democratic City Councilwoman Margarita Lopez, whose district includes the Lower East Side, said about Mayor Bloomberg, "People, this is why I love this man!"

Gothamist loves the Lower Manhattan website's slideshow of images of what the imagined park will look like, because what esplanade is complete without a dojo! And overall, it is an exciting, ambitious project that we hope will be a thriving part of lower Manhattan. Now, for esplanades in the other boroughs!