Grumblings have started at the New York Post about the escalating maintenance costs ($500,000+ per acre) of the Highline. The newly opened stage 1 of the Highline project has become too successful with somewhere between 3-4 times as many visitors as expected and with more people comes more maintenance = higher costs. To cover the costs a new tax precinct has been approved by the City of New York where about 5000 property owners will pay a tax levy to assist with the maintenance costs of the Highline.
Many feel that the Highline has had a flow on effect for the surrounding properties bumping up the property values and patronage in surrounding businesses.
How will this effect the next stages of the project? Will there less planting and more paving? Will more commercial development occur on the structure to offset the cost of maintenance?
As landscape architects and designers we often have to weigh up the costs of maintenance, public vs private space, return on investment and aesthetics vs practicality. Lets hope the this issue does not effect the development or design of the next stages of Highline and that the masterplan design for the site is implemented without being watered-down or compromised.
Post by Damian Holmes in reply to the New York Post – SKY ‘HIGH’ COSTS TAX-SEEKING NEW PARK ALREADY NY’S PRICIEST VIA Curbed NY