I learned this morning that + POOL (pictured above) recently received an official” confirmation to proceed with due diligence.” This is after more than a decade of planning, fundraising, negotiations, prototyping and, I’m sure, a bunch of other stuff. City building takes a long time. I’m not exactly sure where this milestone sits in the full spectrum of idea to realization, but it certainly sounds like meaningful progress.
The idea behind + POOL is pretty simple: People like to swim in water. But the East River is dirty and not the best place to swim (supposedly it’s been this way — unswimmable — since the 1930s). So why not create a dedicated swimming pool in the river and why not make it so that it filters the dirty East River water at the same time. Pretty clever. (The plus sign format is so that it can be split up into four separate uses.)
New York City is in the midst of creating some incredibly unique public spaces. The other big news is that Little Island opened up this past weekend within the larger Hudson River Park. Also more than a decade in the making, the free 2.4 acre public park, which was designed by Thomas Heatherwick, is the result of a $260 million donation from Barry Diller and Diane von Furstenberg.
Start with an idea. Put some money around it. And then fight like hell for many years. That’s how these remarkable urban spaces are getting created. This is also pretty much how real estate development works.