Stuyvesant Cove Park was not always the meandering walkway flanked by benches and beautifully landscaped plant beds. In fact, the park occupies the former site of a cement plant that operated at the location, leaving behind a brown field once it closed.
In the mid-1980s, the Related Company devised a plan to build Riverwalk, a complex to be comprised of 1,888 luxury residential units, a 245-room hotel, a 200-slip marina and 220,000 square feet of commercial space, including offices, restaurants and theaters. The buildings were to be built on platforms extending into the river. Area residents, fearing they would lose access to the waterfront, as well as light and air, rallied against the development. Over the next decade the movement, named Citizens United Against Riverwalk (CUAR), also argued that the proposed plan would overwhelm the area’s infrastructure and be detrimental to the aquatic life in the river.
The plan was finally defeated in 1992 and in 1997 the Economic Development (EDC) announced a new effort, spearheaded by local elected representatives including the late Senator Roy M. Goodman, former Assemblyman Steven Sanders and former Councilman Andrew S. Eristoff. Over the next several years a plan took shape that reflected their input as well as that of CUAR, Community Board 6 and countless concerned area residents.