When the Bloomberg administration rolled out a 400-page proposal to better climate-change-proof the city, by far the sexiest part of the plan was Seaport City, an analog of Battery Park City for the east side of lower Manhattan. The sexiest, and also the most difficult to accomplish. But now it looks like Seaport City might actually happen: The administration has announced a Request For Proposals for a feasibility study for the development.
Emphasis here on “feasibility.” The study is not really about how to best build a housing complex above sea level–that comes later–but about about how one might best storm-proof it in the very likely possibility that another Sandy comes along.
The RFP wants potential contractors to consider all the dimensions of a new levee to protect the site, including its financial, technical, and environmental impacts.
All of which is to say: The gleaming glass-and-steel towers at the base of Manhattan will have to wait until the city is sure they have a plan that a strong storm won’t utterly destroy them.
The New York City Economic Development Corporation is hosting an optional pre-proposal session next Wednesday, August 7. The final proposal is due Aug. 22. So get cracking, environmental-engineering types!