With Delaware riverfront plan adopted, now comes the hard part

The Delaware River has long been lined with water-polluting chemical plants and refineries, according to Forbes.

After years of crafting, the master plan for a six-mile stretch of the Delaware River waterfront was adopted by a unanimous vote yesterday from the city’s Planning Commission.

The plan calls for creating a network of parks and trails to encourage pedestrian access and leverage private investment between Allegheny and Oregon avenues over the next 25 years. It also identifies land uses that would make the corridor a prime attraction for residents and tourists.

When considering future development, the Planning Commission will be required to see how the proposed development fits in with the master plan, although it is not bound by the plan, which was commissioned by the Delaware River Waterfront Corp.

Some developers objected to the plan, insisting it relies on city funding that has yet to be allocated or would infringe on privately owned land or looks too far out, but commissioners said the plan appropriately lays out a vision — something the waterfront has long been missing.

“I think that one of the strengths of this plan is the fact that it is incremental, it does allow multiple steps, time along the way to make it more perfect as it is implemented, so I think it’s a terrific plan — not perfect — really terrific,” said commissioner Nancy Rogo Trainer.

The plan is divided into near-term, midterm and long-term proposals. Some of the public improvements have already been completed, including the Race Street Pier, Washington Avenue Green and a trail between Pier 70 and Washington Avenue.

The total price tag for the public improvements included in the plan is $750 million. DRWC executive director Tom Corcoran said the organization is not simply relying on city funding, citing a state grant and charitable donation DRWC recently received to purchase several parcels.

“It’s going to be a combination of federal, state, local programmatic dollars, as well as these types of innovative financing techniques,” Corcoran said.

Privately held problems

Some challenges that remain for the master plan:
Land acquisition: Nearly 90 percent of the land along the central Delaware is privately-owned, so DRWC must negotiate purchases and right-of-way leases for some of the parks and trails it has planned.
Capital markets: Due to the uncertainty of financing for developers, it is hard to say whether some of the land uses envisioned will ultimately develop.
Public funding: The $750 million needed for all of the public improvements is no small thing, but DRWC points out, that is spread out over decades, making it more achievable.


Mutant worms stay sober, even on alcohol

U.S. researchers have developed "mutant worms" that do not get drunk by alcohol, a breakthrough that could lead to new treatment for people trying to quit drinking


K-9 nose helps capture $150K in cocaine at…

A furry, four-legged security agent helped authorities stop an illegal cocaine shipment from sneaking past JFK customs.


Minnesota man asked to leave Southwest flight after…

A man and his two sons were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight after the man sent a tweet complaining about being treated rudely by a gate agent.


Man sues hospital after surprise penis amputation

An Alabama man who went in to a hospital last month for a circumcision awoke after surgery to find his penis had been amputated, his lawyer said on Thursday.


Review: Brett Ratner's big 'Hercules' movie is small…

The latest "Hercules," starring Dwayne Johnson as the half-god beefcake of Greek myth, strips its hero and tale of most of its fantastical elements.


Scientists recreate world's smallest Monet copy

Scientists have reproduced a famous Impressionist painting using nano-printing, to create what has been described as the world's smallest work of art. Reworked at the…


Jerry Seinfeld is ambidextrous, and other Reddit AMA…

See some of the weirder highlights of Jerry Seinfeld's recent Reddit AMA.

Going Out

Grab a pedestrian and start dancing at What…

As a New Yorker, I’ve mastered the art of focusing my gaze straight ahead. Though it occasionally piques my interest, the absurdities that play out…

U.S. Soccer

Orlando City takes shot at NYCFC over Frank…

Orlando City reminded the world how big a signing Brazilian star Kaka earlier this month with a photo of Kaka mobbed by fans juxtaposed against Lampard.


Jeremy Lin says 'Linsanity' is over as he…

Jeremy Lin lit up the NBA two years ago with his play for the Knicks but he has no desire to recreate "Linsanity" in his new career with the Lakers.


2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player…

2014 NFL Fantasy Football Top 100 overall player rankings

U.S. Soccer

NYCFC announce signing of Frank Lampard

The tease of a big signing Thursday by new MLS side NYCFC ended up being one rumored for weeks. England midfielder Frank Lampard agreed to…


Forget Wi-Fi: Li-Fi could be the future

Li-Fi technology – developed by Mexican company Sisoft – is wireless internet connectivity using specialized LED light.


Weather app Climendo might be the most accurate…

The wait for a truly accurate weather forecast could finally be over thanks to a nifty new app called Climendo.


Napkin Table puts focus off the phone and…

Michael Jan, a design student at Tunghai University in Taiwan, has invented a serviette-picnic blanket hybrid called the Napkin Table.


Essie's new Color Boutique

Essie launches high-tech kiosks at major airports and malls across the country.