The grand design for Pier 57 at 15th Street on the West Side includes high-end retail, recreational facilities and a new home for the Tribeca Film Festival.

After years of dispute between developers, community activists and everyone in between, it has just been announced that the City Council has finally reached a unanimous agreement, approving plans to redevelop the historic Pier 57 at W 15th Street and the Hudson River with construction commencing as early as this October.

The pier, which has previously served as a dock for ocean liners, a former MTA bus depot and even a detention center during the 2004 Republican National Convention, will be transformed from its current status as an unused waterfront space into an innovative urban, cultural and retail hub.

Among the new restoration plans include 425,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, 160-sqaure foot “incuboxes” or small spaces for local merchants, artists and emerging companies to show off and ply their wares, as well as an amphitheater, marketplace and 100,000 square feet of open public and rooftop space. The Tribeca Film Festival will be calling this outdoor space its future home, using the pier’s roof as a permanent venue.

Educational facilities such as cooking schools, art galleries, photography labs and music-recording studios will also occupy the space.

“Today’s approval brings us one step closer to transforming Pier 57 into a recreational, cultural and retail center that will provide yet another great destination for the Hudson River Park Community,” Madelyn Wils, Hudson River Park Trust President and CEO told The New York Post.

This large-scale project will be executed by Young Woo & Associates, the firm who also developed the Sky Garage condo at 200 11th Ave and designed Dekalb Market in Brooklyn.

Winning the right to build on Pier 57 in 2009, Woo’s team will invest just under $200 million in the total project, and has a 49 year lease on the pier from the Hudson River Trust. “We loved the industrial gritty feel of the structure,” Woo partner Greg Carney told The New York Daily News. “What a place for a cutting-edge retail concept. Fashion, food, film, and art–all that’s great about New York City–will come together in one innovative experience.”

Young Woo of Young Woo & Associates

Sharing a similar waterfront mixed-use development vision is The New York City Department of City Planning, which has approved The Howard Hughes Corporation’s plans to replace South Street Seaport’s Pier 17 with a two-level glass structure, transforming the building’s iconic waterfront setting into an energetic, engaging shopping, dining and entertainment destination in Lower Manhattan.

Redevelopment for this project is set to break ground in Fall with a Grand Opening forecast for 2015.

–Julia Giampietro