Cyclist Pledges $40M to Brooklyn Bridge Park

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Brooklyn Bridge Park (photo by cbrueck via flickr)

(Cindy Rodriguez -- New York, WNYC) An avid cyclist and wealthy New Yorker has pledged $40 million to the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation. It's the largest donation ever made to a city park and it will be used to build an indoor recreation center called the Fieldhouse.

The donor, Joshua Rechnitz, is the founder and chairman of the New York City Fieldhouse, a non-profit corporation. "We want this to truly be a community endeavor that will add amenities for park users and provide a much needed all weather sports facility," he said in a press release.

Plans for the indoor recreation center include a 200-meter track for cycling and a 22,000 sq. ft. field for high school, college and professional level sports such as basketball, tennis and gymnastics.

Regina Myer, president of Brooklyn Bridge Park, said that the new facility would be along Furman Street, an area of the park used for maintenance and operations.

"Indoor recreation was always part of our park plan but for many many years we just simply didn't have the money," Myer said. "When we realized that Mr. Rechnitz had this vision we worked with him to come to this announcement."

Myer said there will be an approval process, which will include discussions with the community. If all goes well, plans are to break ground in a year and a half.