Alternatives to Housing in Brooklyn Bridge Park – Two Public Meetings Being Held

Brooklyn Bridge Park Committee on Alternatives to Housing will be holding two meetings in the coming weeks offering an opportunity for the public to testify on “alternative sources of revenue that could finance operations of the park in lieu of revenues from the Pier 6 and John Street development sites.”

Dates & locations are:

Tuesday, November 30th 6-8 p.m.
Long Island College Hospital, 339 Hicks Street
Avram Conference Center, 1st floor

Thursday, December 9th, 6-8 p.m.
St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street
Founders Hall Auditorium, 1st floor

Previously at WSP Blog, I wrote about this park which borders the waters on Brooklyn’s side which separate Brooklyn and Manhattan:

Recently it was announced that BBP’s completion is behind schedule at least five years. Community activists are (again) pushing for “housing-free” Park. Presently, 1400 units of “luxury housing” are in New York State’s plans for the park. The Brooklyn Paper reports: “In the decades since community activists and local officials started planning Brooklyn Bridge Park, the proposal has changed from a sprawling public greenspace that would be part of the city’s regular park system to a state-built and-operated development whose open-space component would be maintained through fees charged to residents of luxury condos within the park’s footprint.”

More of the park has been completed since that was written in 2008 and part is now open. There was a controversy earlier this year over the really bad decision by the park management to install metal domes that turned out to burn children’s hands (and whatever other part of their bodies that touched it).

A letter from the Cobble Hill Association printed at Pardon Me for Asking Blog explains the issue further, illustrating the way parks are being used by the Bloomberg Administration and NY State to increase real estate values over quality of living:

Despite what some may think, these luxury high-rise towers are not needed to fund the park’s maintenance. There are many solutions to “pay” for park maintenance. When condos came into the park all year round recreation came out. Landscaping replaced the two pools, the indoor recreation center and ice rink that the community had worked so hard for decades to get. Landscaping sells condos while baseball fields do not.

More from the letter:

The city is still planning to build 5 more luxury condo and hotel towers inside the park’s borders, with two particularly non-compatible buildings at 20 and 30 stories high planned for Pier 6 at Atlantic Avenue.

These public meetings are critical to demonstrating yet again the importance of our parks, the real value they provide to the livability of the city…

A recent proposal offered by community members – to negotiate a deal with the Jehovah Witnesses to develop their soon-to-be-abandoned buildings close to the park, for the benefit of park financing – is gaining traction.

Other park funding models, including Senator Squadron’s park increment recapture proposal (named the PIRC plan) also offer relief from the draconian condos inside park borders plan.

But you need only come out and say no to housing, and yes to recreation!

Questions: call Alex DeLisi, Brooklyn Office Director, State Senator Daniel Squadron’s office # 718/875-1517

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