Envisioning the East River Esplanade: New Master Plan and Investment from Public/Private Partnership with the Hospital for Special Surgery

Council Member Ben Kallos announced a new vision for the East River Esplanade including a new master plan and investment from public/private partnership with Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) has agreed to invest in the East River Esplanade as part of a ULURP voted on by the New York City Council Thursday, that was negotiated between his Council office and HSS. This investment follows $35 million that Council Member Kallos negotiated into last year’s final budget, $8 million in investment and a $1 million trust to care for the Esplanade in perpetuity provided by Rockefeller University as part of a ULURP he voted on in the New York City Council last year.

Council Member Ben Kallos, Co-Chairs the East River Esplanade Taskforce with Congress Member Carolyn Maloney, with both sitting as Ex-Officio Board Members of Friends of the East River Esplanade, a conservancy to which the Council Member has directed over $170,000 in funding and brought on Board Members from Rockefeller University and HSS.

 In working with Council Member Ben Kallos, HSS agreed to:

  • Master Plan – Work with key community stakeholders to develop a Master plan for the East River Esplanade from 62nd Street to 78th Street, in partnership with Rockefeller University, led by the Council Member, kicking off with a community visioning session;
  • Noise Barriers - Noise barriers eight-feet in height under its East Wing Building between East 70th and East 71st Street;
  • Water Fountain and Irrigation - Water for the Esplanade at 71st Street for a water fountain and irrigation to keep plants alive;
  • Greening the Esplanade - Key esplanade improvements between 70th and 72nd to be completed by 2016 include:
    • Greening the Esplanade with new planting beds and landscaping;
    • Improved lighting through repair and replacing of light fixtures;
    • Repair and repainting of railings as well as new seating and paving;
  • Maintenance in Perpetuity - Maintenance in perpetuity, for all improvements, provided by HSS from 70th to 72nd;

Council Member Ben Kallos said, “The HSS renovation will include fair investments in the East River esplanade to revitalize our waterfront. Generous improvements to the Esplanade from 70th-72nd and investment in the East River Esplanade Conservancy’s success will be one piece of the strategy to maintain and improve our Esplanade for all to enjoy, now and in the future.”

““The esplanade is a beautiful resource for the community, but it urgently needs some TLC. As HSS expands its operations in a way that will significantly affect residents, I am delighted they have agreed to make concrete contributions to an amenity that needs support. I am looking forward to seeing the positive changes.” said Congress Member Carolyn  Maloney, Co-Chair of the East River Esplanade Taskforce.

“Hospital for Special Surgery is pleased to incorporate investments in the East River Esplanade into the plans for our West Wing expansion, which will enable the Hospital to add three new inpatient operating rooms to meet increasing patient demand.   We look forward to working with Council Member Kallos, Friends of the East River Esplanade, and the City of New York to enhance this wonderful neighborhood resource,” said Lisa Goldstein, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of Hospital for Special Surgery.

HSS is nationally ranked #1 in orthopedics, and #3 in rheumatology by U.S. News & World Report (2015-16). HSS has been top-ranked for both orthopedics and rheumatology for the 24 consecutive years. Founded in 1863, Hospital for Special Surgery is the nation’s oldest orthopedic hospital. More than 29,000 surgical procedures are performed annually. HSS’ renovation will create an additional three operating rooms to support 2,500 additional surgeries each year.