Pier joy: Parks Department to open two Williamsburg piers

Minh Le

After several years of construction, the city is poised to open two piers on the Williamsburg waterfront for public enjoyment, the Parks Department confirmed.

The landings — located beside the North Williamsburg ferry stop — are known as “North 5th Street Pier and Park” and are lined with benches and walkways, with the northernmost pier containing AstroTurf, plants, and sweeping views of the East River and Manhattan skyline.

The narrowness of the piers will likely prevent Parks from offering concessions for food or events vendors to operate there, and a spokeswoman for the agency did not elaborate on the department’s plans for the park space.

The piers were originally built by Manhattan-based firm Douglaston Development as part of a 2006 Greenpoint-Williamsburg rezoning plan that resulted in the construction of a 40-story rental tower at 2 N. Sixth Place.

In exchange for the rezoning, Douglaston agreed to transform waterfront property near the development into public parkland, which included the N. Williamsburg ferry stop that opened in 2013, along with the two additional piers and a surrounding park the firm says was only recently completed.

Fenced off: The northern-most pier between N. Fifth and N. Sixth streets, pictured to the left, has several levels of astroturf, as well as two walkways.
Minh Le

But locals claim that the area has appeared finished and fit for public use for more than a year, and wonder why it has remained walled off by traffic barriers and fencing.

“It’s strange,” said Minh Le, a Williamsburg resident. “The area looks usable.”

Residents also complain that the landings remain unkempt and that shabby fencing guarding entrances to the piers has not prevented people from accessing the enclosed areas — or leaving a mess.

“People use them, but don’t clean up. Nobody cleans it up,” Le said.

The Parks Department spokeswoman said that Douglaston will transfer ownership of the piers to the city by the end of July, paving the way for public access sometime later, though a specific date could not be provided.

Pier pressure: The northern pier between N. Fifth and N. Sixth streets comes equipped with walkways, streetlamps, and plants — but the area remains blocked-off to the public.
Minh Le

Reach reporter Rose Adams at radams@schnepsmedia.com or by calling (718) 260–8306.

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