New York CIty Council Member Ben Kallos

Groundbreaking on East River Esplanade Renovations by Hospital for Special Surgery from 70th to 72nd Streets, Secured by Council Member Kallos as Co-Chair of Esplanade Taskforce with Congress Member Maloney

New York, NY – Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) President and CEO Louis A. Shapiro joined Council Member Ben Kallos, Co-Chair of the East River Esplanade Taskforce with Congress Member Carolyn Maloney, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, and NYC Parks Manhattan Commissioner Bill Castro for an official groundbreaking on renovations to the East River Esplanade from 70th to 72nd Streets by HSS. The revitalization and improvements by HSS to the East River Esplanade in this section were negotiated by Council Member Ben Kallos as part of the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) for new construction that was voted on and passed the City Council on July 23, 2015. 
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.
  • 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 include:
    • New planting beds and landscaping,
    • Improved lighting through repair and replacment of light fixtures,
    • Repair and repainting of railings as well as new seating and paving.
  • Maintenance in Perpetuity - Maintenance in perpetuity provided by HSS from 70th to 72nd street for the landscaping, seating, lighting, water fountain, and water source.
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.
“Residents will finally be able to enjoy some peace and quiet, lush greenery and quench their thirst at a new water fountain, in a portion of the park that will be cared for by HSS forever. Sound barriers will quell the noise of passing vehicles, plants that died without water will grow green from irrigation, while residents will have a new water fountain,” said Council Member Ben Kallos. “Thank you to HSS for their partnership with the community, investing in our park space and conservancies.”
“The Esplanade is a beautiful resource for the community, but it urgently needs some TLC. As HSS expands its operations, 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.

“Manhattan is ringed with 32 miles of waterfront, and our shared dream is that one day it will all be linked together as beautiful, accessible, well-designed public space for New Yorkers to enjoy,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “I thank Council Member Kallos and the Parks Department for making these improvements possible, and look forward to closing yet another gap in the East River Esplanade.” 

“We are grateful to be able to work with partners that demonstrate their commitment to our City by helping Parks with the ongoing restoration of the East River Esplanade—section-by-section—making it more attractive and useful to the public,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP. “Because of the Hospital for Special Surgery, East River Esplanade Task Force co-chairs Council Member Ben Kallos and Congress Member Carolyn Maloney, and Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer, the restoration of the 7
0th to 72nd Street section of the Esplanade will benefit residents of the surrounding community for years to come.”
“HSS is pleased to have incorporated investments in the East River Esplanade into our West Wing expansion, which has enabled 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 Louis Shapiro, President and Chief Executive Officer of Hospital for Special Surgery.
HSS is nationally ranked #1 in orthopedics, and #3 in rheumatology by U.S.News & World Report (2017-18). HSS has been top-ranked for both orthopedics and rheumatology for the 26 consecutive years. Founded in 1863, Hospital for Special Surgery is the nation’s leading orthopedic hospital. More than 30,000 surgical procedures are performed annually. HSS’ renovation created an additional three operating rooms to support 2,500 additional surgeries each year.
In 2013, the East River Esplanade was literally falling into the river. Since 2014, Council Member Ben Kallos has served as co-chair of the East River Esplanade Taskforce with Congress Member Maloney, has secured $150 million from the city budget and kept work on track to rebuild and expand infrastructure from 53rd to 125th Streets:
  • $100 million from Mayor de Blasio to fill the gap from 53rd to 61st Streets
  • $41 million secured from the city budget to reconstruction and repair of sections of the seawall and esplanade from 63rd to 125th streets
  • $25.6 million to rebuild the piles under the East River Esplanade and to build the Andrew Haswell Green Park above it—from 60th to 62nd streets
  • $8 million secured from Rockefeller University from 63rd to 68th streets
  • $1.45 million from Council District 5 funding for irrigation, renovation and landscaping from 68th to 70th streets
  • $1 million secured from Hospital for Special Surgery to renovate 70th to 72nd street with irrigation and landscaping and a master plan to 78th Street
  • $15 million to rebuild the crumbling ramp from 78th to 81st streets
  • $500,000 from Council District 5 to renovate John Finley Walk following recommendations of CIVITAS from 84th to 81st streets
  • $500,000 from Council District 5 funding for irrigation from 90th to 96th street


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