New waterside development to include its own park and beach
A proposal for a new East River waterfront park — with its own beach — has been unveiled by Two Trees Management, the developer of Domino Park.
River Ring would be built to the north of Domino Park and the overall Domino Sugar site, according to the company. It would double the amount of open space at the site and would be developed in tandem with two new residential buildings nearby.
In line with today’s concerns about rising sea levels and flooding, River Ring would create a “soft edge” shoreline, featuring a series of berms and breakwaters for “taking the energy out of a storm surge, reducing flooding and limiting the impact of water that does get through.” River Ring, like many projects nowadays, would also incorporate green technology.
During Superstorm Sandy, parts of Williamsburg and DUMBO experienced heavy flooding. The storm-resilient “soft edge” system, which can already be found in more than 500 inland properties, is designed by James Corner Field Operations. Among Field Operations’ best-known projects are the High Line on Manhattan’s Lower West Side and the aforementioned Domino Park.
The nearby residential component, consisting of two towers, is slated to have 1,050 new homes, including 263 affordable housing units, designed by Bjarke Ingels Group.
The beach and the park will both be available to everyone, not only residents of the new buildings. “River Ring beach will not officially be a swimming beach. The hope is that as the water quality continues to rise, it will soon become one,” a spokesperson for Two Trees said.
The spokesperson explained that “under current conditions, many places along the East River have water quality that is generally “swimmable,” as defined by the Department of Health standards for beaches, except during and within 48 hours of heavy rainfall.” For example, Pier 4 Beach in Brooklyn Bridge Park has met “acceptable” Department of Health swimming standards 89 percent of all testing days.
Finally, the park and development would include a new, custom-designed YMCA for the local community with a youth swimming program.
The River Ring plan has begun the Uniform Land User Review Procedure, and its developers expect it to be completed within seven years. The plan is for the first tower and the waterfront park to be built first, and then the second tower.
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