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Residents Fear Beer Garden Will Bring Ruckus To Battery Park City

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- Battery Park City residents are on edge over plans for a massive beer garden and event space there.

As CBS 2's Jessica Schneider reported, developers are planning to convert the historic Pier A, which has sat empty for more than two decades, into a dining and drinking establishment that will fit more than 1,000 people. Slated to open this summer, it will be a multi-level entertainment spot larger than any nightclub in Las Vegas and could open as early as 7 a.m.

Parents of children who attend P.S. 276, two blocks away, are concerned about the possibility of round-the-clock partying in what is now a family friendly neighborhood.

"Obviously, if it's too loud and it's waking people up at night, that's going to be a problem," said Matt Schneider, a father.

"It's disturbing to think that there'd be people maybe drunk or out drinking," said Anne Boxx, a mother.

"They would have a liquor license, so people would be cruising around here right by this school?" said nanny Lisa Felker. "Nah, I don't think it's a really good idea."

The Pier A project will bring a lot more foot traffic to an area that doesn't already have a lot of bars and restaurants.

That is causing some nearby businesses to actually praise the development.

"Anything that brings additional foot traffic -- that gives people a reason to linger, to experience the restaurants, the shopping, of course the culture down here -- is a good thing," said Betsy Aldredge, a spokeswoman for the Museum of Jewish Heritage.

The developers are trying to quash concerns. "We understand that misinformation about the space being an outdoor nightclub would be a concern to everyone, including ourselves because we live in the neighborhood, but Pier A will be a dining establishment just like our locations on Stone Street," partner Danny McDonald said in a statement.

The community board has already approved the plans, and parents are hopeful that the owners will live up to their promise of running a low-key dining spot.

"I think it can be a great addition to the neighborhood as long as it meets the needs of the neighborhood," Matt Schneider said.

The public will have a chance to speak out about the project Monday at a meeting of the state Liquor Authority in Manhattan.

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