The fate of Pier has been in the latest discussions at the DRWC board meetings. According to a new Delaware River Waterfront Corporation feasibility study it would take about $3.5 million to stabilize the structure of Pier 9 to prevent further deterioration, and an additional $1.2 million to add emergency egress, public restrooms, a new roof and other items necessary for regular public use. The board must first decide whether to make the initial investment to stabilize the structure, and if so how much more work it wants to do alone or with other public or private partners.
The 33,000-square foot space with over 20 foot high ceilings and clearstory windows is used as a garage and storage space for DRWC. Last year it was used for Philly Fringe's Festival event. With an expense of just over $11 million, the facility could become a "highly flexible, programmable space" utilized to its full potential, according to the report compiled by consultant Bohlin Cywinski Jackson. the study identified a list of potential uses, including art exhibits, performance space, bowling alleys, winter or other gardens, rock climbing, farmers markets and restaurants.
The study says that the $3.5 million stabilization of the 93-year-old structure "will reinforce the pier's existing concrete deck and steel superstructure, while restoring the elegant concrete head houses at its east and west ends. Elements whose condition is beyond compare are the roof, roof deck, monitor windows and side doors. They will be removed, exposing the sheds structure's beautiful steel trusses. Completing the work to this phase alone would turn the pier from a liability to an asset and allow DRWC "to aggressively market the building for potential private funding/investment," the study says.