Brooklyn Bridge Park Will Move Forward Under New Housing Deal

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The city has cleared the way to move forward with the construction of Brooklyn Bridge Park. Two state lawmakers have agreed not to block a plan to build condominiums inside the park under a new agreement with Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

State Senator Daniel Squadron and Assembly Member Joan Millman had veto power over the condos under the conditions of a previous agreement, in place when the city took control of the 1.3 mile long waterfront park from the state last year. But they relented after the city agreed to downsize one building on the north side of the park from around 16 stories to around 12, and introduced a funding formula that could substantially reduce the scale of two other buildings planned on the south side, depending on the potential sale and conversion of the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ Watchtower buildings.

The city says that the housing development is needed to ensure a long-term revenue stream needed to maintain the park, about a third of which has been completed. But local residents had long been opposed to private real estate development inside the park.

Sen. Squadron said the deal addressed long-standing concerns from the community, which wants to see the park built while minimizing any private housing on park land. The idea to use tax revenue from the sale of Jehovah’s Witnesses’ buildings was endorsed by the park’s Committee on Alternatives to Housing last December.

But Tuesday's deal was harshly criticized by Judi Francis of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund, who said it amounted to a back room deal by the mayor.

“We should have an open, public policy debate,” said Francis. “If the people of New York say ‘we want private housing inside our parks, we no longer have the will to pay for our parks,’ then okay, but at least it’s gotten its proper airing.”


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Comments [7]

estherrc from bklyn

oooh, this really makes my blood boil. i hate the mayor, and all his spoiled shallow rich friends.

Aug. 03 2011 08:36 PM
A Black Olive on a Grimaldi's Pie Who Sees All from Under the Brooklyn Bridge

The reasoning is so flawed. The city should allow Wal-Mart to open a 16 floor superstore in Central Park. Just imagine the tax revenue that would be generated.

I agree with Jack that they are "renovating" a park that didn't need it. They've already ruined the beautiful lawn and open space under the Brooklyn Bridge with some monstrosity.

Why does everything have to become Disneyworld? It can't just be a quiet green space, there have to be food carts and tour buses and 4 million people making it a "destination". The area has become a traffic clogged mess.

Sounds like a back room deal alright.

Aug. 03 2011 04:02 PM
Jack from Clinton Hill

Do parks need to be 'super duper, A++'? I look at what's being done just up the waterfront in Dumbo and I wonder why so much money is being spent to 'renovate' a park that was perfect usable to begin with.

Expensive landscaping does not a park make, necessarily - compare Prospect Park to Central Park. Both function perfectly fine, though Prospect Park is not nearly so 'refined.'

Aug. 03 2011 10:52 AM
lewis from redhook

on the brooklyn bridge park, why oh why did they have to demolish the beautiful and now scarce waterfront warehouse? i suspect these new towers will be built on the land....?

Aug. 03 2011 10:48 AM
tax payer not tax leecher from never in Brooklyn

Give the land back to the state and watch it turn into a haven for hooks and druggies. It takes money to convert and maintain a park that would be used by limited number of people.
With no on street parking or train stations near by, heavy traffic due to the twin bridges, the park will not become a destination of the inhabitants of the New York City. Brooklyn Bridge Park is for the entire city not just the residents of DUMBO.
I vote and pay taxes and agree with Bloomberg!

Aug. 03 2011 10:03 AM
gotcha_journalism from carroll gardens

i've never seen a 16 story condo inside a park - what the hell is that supposed to look like?

sounds like another near sighted idea meant to address money/funding issues and not the long term greater good or aesthetics or common sense or what the hell is this thing going to look like?

what role did m.markowitz play in this condo deal? that man is running brooklyn in into oblivion.

Aug. 03 2011 08:25 AM
Bill Hadly from Brooklyn

Squadron and Millman did the wrong thing. Did they not realize there are plenty of buildings in the area to tax for funds for the park? They are worse than nazi collaborators because they had the power to stop housing inside the park and failed to to that power.

Aug. 03 2011 03:45 AM

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