Brookfield Properties are set to release their plans for updating the World Financial Center tomorrow, according to the Wall Street Journal.
We’d heard rumblings of these changes, including the plannedÂ removal of the Winter Garden Stairs. In a Batteryparkcity.com poll, an overwhelming 90% of you were in favor of saving the stairs, a sentiment shared by 32BJ SEIU, a local union whose members work at the World Financial Center. City Planning Commission chairwoman Amanda Burden and Battery Park City community board members also question the removal of the stairs, an unintended icon of our post-9/11 reality.
Brookfield maintains that the stairs need to be removed to allow for an expansive street level entrance that will connect with new PATH and subway stations at the World Trade Center.
Stairs or no, expect to see more retail offerings in the World Financial Center. Citing the population increase in Battery Park City, Brookfield would like to offer more to residents who frequent the property on nights and weekends.
Construction could begin as soon as the end of this year, with completion scheduled for 2013.
5 thoughts on “Plans to Overhaul World Financial Released Tomorrow”
As a resident of BPC before, during and after September 11th
I think it a terrible thing to do…
the stairs are a significant part of the WFC
I’m sure they can figure out a way to connect the path & subway stations.
Brookfield has been incompetent to do retail for ~20 years, so anything they say about improving their retail should be completely discounted. (They are also the main reason the restaurant choices in BPC are so pathetic.) I am not surprised that they think destroying the staircase will magically solve their problems because they are just not in touch with reality. Please stop parroting their PR about the retail without doing any analysis, because it is painful to have to read this after watching their cluelessness for so long.
Removing the staircase will also eliminate the restrooms under the stairs, which are heavily used by tourists and people who use the seating in the Winter Garden. The restrooms in the food court are often closed for “cleaning” (the maintenance staff hangs out in there and doesn’t want to be disturbed) so there will be even longer lines for these facilities than there is now.
There are probably dozens of ways they can reconfigure things without removing the staircase, but they are just not smart enough to figure it out.
I am open to ideas about removing the stairs. Given that their originally intended destination is now gone, they only serve to further isolate us from the rest of the world. Oh, and I have did live here before 9/11, but I also live here now and want our neighborhood to be more connected to the rest of Manhattan.
Stacy, the overriding attraction to residents of Battery Park City is that it is NOT connected to the rest of Manhattan.
Alan – I think that for most the overriding attraction of Battery Park City is the amazing access to the waterfront and gorgeous parks. The isolation is a negative that most folks endure given the other benefits of our spectacular neighborhood. Prior to 9/11, we WERE connected to the rest of Manhattan via the staircase. Now the staircase leads nowhere – how can that possibly make sense? Given that the pedestrian walkway is not coming back, I prefer that the staircase is removed. Obviously, there are many viewpoints on this subject, but I think it is important for both sides to have a voice.
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