pier40.jpgA grandiose plan to turn Pier 40 on Manhattan's West Side into a riverside pleasure-dome was killed by the Hudson River Park Trust. The Trust objected to developer The Related Companies' insistence on a 50-year lease, because it had stipulated a 30-year lease.

The Related Companies was willing to pay $625 million for the longer lease to create a permanent venue for the Cirque du Soleil as well as the Tribeca Film Festival. The Trust's chairwoman Diana Taylor said, "I would have loved to offer a longer lease but that is not within our power. It is up to the state Legislature and we have been told in no uncertain terms that it is not happening."

Any improved facility would only have to generate $6.5 million annually to financially justify any improvements--it will take about $120 million to repair the deteriorating piers. Neighborhood critics offered up their own plan, the Pier 40 Partnership, that includes schools, artists studio and green space. Now it's suggested P40P will team up with another organization, non-profit CampGroup/Urban Dove, to develop the site.