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Presentation at the National Institute for Coastal and Harbor Infrastructure, Business Summit, May 7, 2014; New York Academy of Sciences.

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  1. 1. Battery Park City Authority The Success of Battery Park City: A Model for Urban Waterfront Development NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR COASTAL & HARBOR INFRASTRUCTURE
  2. 2. Our History NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR COASTAL & HARBOR INFRASTRUCTURE •Created in 1968 as a New York State Public-Benefit Corporation, the Battery Park City Authority (BPCA) was tasked with developing and maintaining a well-balanced community on the lower west side of Manhattan where rotting piers once stood. •While faced with much adversity throughout the past 46 years, many consider Battery Park City a success story.
  3. 3. Elements for Success Creation of a NY State Authority • As a State Authority, BPCA was empowered to make decisions and act quickly with minimal interference, while still requiring City/State oversight and approval of such matters as the financing of its capital expenditures. • Since its inception, BPCA has had the authority to issue debt, invest funds, engage contractors, and take necessary action to plan and develop the 92-acre site of Battery Park City. • The Authority is governed by a 7 member board, appointed by the Governor. • Both the corporate and governance structures contributed to an efficient and effective operation. NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR COASTAL & HARBOR INFRASTRUCTURE
  4. 4. Elements for Success Initial Capital Investment from the State of NY • Early on, the State guaranteed the payment of 200 million dollars of tax exempt debt issued by the BPCA, which was essential as BPCA had no regular source of income until the early 1980’s. • BPCA used this money to knock down dilapidated piers, install landfill and begin to build public infrastructure, including roads and civic facilities. • Master Plan for the entire site was approved allowing for “as of right” development by private sector. • BPCA infrastructure was built out in stages attracting development. NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR COASTAL & HARBOR INFRASTRUCTURE
  6. 6. NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR COASTAL & HARBOR INFRASTRUCTURE 1970’s: Battery Park City begins to take shape as landfill is formed.
  7. 7. NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR COASTAL & HARBOR INFRASTRUCTURE •By 1988, the World Financial Center complex was completed. •Complemented the existing World Trade Center. •Solidified Lower Manhattan as a premiere business hub.
  8. 8. Elements for Success NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR COASTAL & HARBOR INFRASTRUCTURE BPCA’s Master Plan called for a well balanced mix of residential, commercial and retail space alongside 35 acres of reserved public parks and open spaces. Today, this diversity makes the area an attractive draw to its 48,000 workers and 13,500 residents.
  9. 9. BPC: A Masterful Mix NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR COASTAL & HARBOR INFRASTRUCTURE • Battery Park City is encompassed by 10.3 million square feet of office space, 8,500 residential units, and over 230,000 square feet of retail space. • Additionally, our campus offers an eclectic mix of educational and cultural institutions: -Stuyvesant High School, P.S. & I.S. 276, Battery Park Montessori. -Museum of Jewish Heritage -Skyscraper Museum -Irish Hunger Memorial • Led by experienced professionals, our Parks Conservancy maintains one of the best park systems in the world.
  10. 10. Elements for Success NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR COASTAL & HARBOR INFRASTRUCTURE Public/Private Partnership • While the BPCA owns and manages the land, it competitively bids out long-term leaseholds to the private sector, obtaining compliance to Master Plan design guidelines and the best maximum value for the land. • This has attracted some of the leading names in business and development to invest. – Today, Brookfield Properties is in the midst of a $250 million renovation which will bring a wide array of retail and restaurants to the area.
  11. 11. BPCA’s Fiscal Standing & Capital Projects • BPCA has not lost sight of its public purpose mission notwithstanding its financial success. BPCA helped lead the rebuilding of Downtown by developing 10 buildings within a decade after the Attack. • BPCA currently has approximately $1.1 billion dollars outstanding debt. – Rated “AAA” by every major credit agency across the board, higher than our US Treasury. – Low leveraged, low cost of capital. • Capital Projects – While Battery Park City is substantially built out, much work remains to maintain its infrastructure and landscape. – 2014 Capital Projects include: • Pile Remediation/Seawall Reconstruction • Esplanade Lighting • Electrical Repair and Maintenance NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR COASTAL & HARBOR INFRASTRUCTURE
  12. 12. Past Challenges Superstorm Sandy NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR COASTAL & HARBOR INFRASTRUCTURE Case Study: Pier A •Given Pier A’s vulnerable location, rising sea water flooded the structure causing significant damage. •Utilizing the experience and expertise of BPCA Board Members, a sub-committee was formed to expeditiously review the damage and ensure reconstruction costs were appropriate. •Resiliency measures were implemented wherever possible during its rehabilitation.
  13. 13. Resiliency Measures: Pier A • Elevating electrical equipment. • Using polished concrete, which is resistant to damage from water exposure. • Installing additional fire alarm box on the 2nd floor, to be used in the event of a future flood. • River Water Geothermal System – Uses the Hudson River as a thermal exchange resource for the heating and cooling of the building. It is a “closed-loop” system which circulates a glycol mixture through an array of marine keel coolers located under the pedestrian promenade surrounding the Pier. The keel coolers operate as the heat exchangers which transfer heat to/from the River. This innovative system allows for increased energy efficiency and avoids the need for a cooling tower to be placed in the Pier A Plaza. NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR COASTAL & HARBOR INFRASTRUCTURE
  14. 14. Model to Consider • Throughout its history, BPCA has provided the City of New York with over $2.8 billion dollars of excess cash profits, including hundreds of millions in State/City budget relief and lower income housing funding. • The development of this “mini City” along the water has helped fuel the NYC economy, while allowing for the reinvestment of funds generated back into the Authority’s mission. • Ideal example of the private/public sector working together with common interest to preserve a regional economy. NATIONAL INSTITUTE FOR COASTAL & HARBOR INFRASTRUCTURE