0 Comment

  • There’s going to be a lot of soccer balls lost in the river.

  • This is looking really good!

  • Was just wondering about this park yesterday! Are these photos from Pier 6 at the end of Atlantic Ave.? I thought that was the segment that was next due to be done (by the winter)?

  • Nice. I think these are pics of Pier 1, closest to the Bridge. I saw them planting trees last week.

  • The sod and trees make a big difference. Otherwise it looked like a grey wasteland. The recycled granite from the Roosevelt Island Bridge gives the site instant history. It was a great idea. This is the area near the Fulton pier.
    I notice from the BH promenade that they are finally taking down the old cold storage warehouses as well.

  • These are not from Pier 6, but there’s been a lot of work down there too. Playground stuff going in. I really think they may indeed open up this winter — something I thought was a dream not too long ago.

  • This is the northern part of the park that is actually not on piers but rather on a small peninsula that juts out near Old Fulton Street. I think that makes it easier to landscape and create artificial hills and slopes.

  • Nice. Open question: Can anyone recall ANY beautification infrastructure projects in the non-Manhattan boroughs led by a recent administration pre-Bloomberg??

  • Biff Champion

    This is fabulous!

  • Any word on using Squibb Park as an entrance? I had heard that it was not going to happen, but it really would be the best thing to connect the Heights to the park.

  • An entrance from Squibb Park would be a good short cut to the new park for folks in the north heights. But it would be tricky involving a bridge across Furman Street. It would be expensive. You probably could not do it unless it was handicap accessible so that would mean elevators or a really long ramp leading down, down, down to the level of the park. Once they finish demolishing the warehouses it will become easier to visualize how the connection can be made. It’s no big deal, just that in the boros any project like this is considered a frivolity and subject to budget scrutiny it would not receive in Manhattan. They don’t even have the money yet to build the middle of the park itself.

  • I hope they change their minds and connect Squibb Park. Not only will it provide access to the new park from near the end of the Promenade, but it opens up Squibb Park (currently closed) for more people to use it. Otherwise, unless I’m mistaken, the only access to the new park is either via Fulton Landing or Atlantic/Joralemon Streets.

  • BBP will be hard to reach on foot and it won’t have much parking for cars or buses. That will be a problem they will need to deal with as they go along.
    I read in the local paper that Squibb park will be used as a playground for PS8 for the next year or so while the school’s extension is under construction.

  • There is a plan to connect Squibb to the park in the manner described by Minard. It is currently unfunded (as are a coupl eof other portion of the park) but it is definitely still in the design. The hope is that once the portions of the park that are currently under constrcuction open up, then there will be a groundswell of support for the city to provide the funding to finsih the park, inlcuding this pedestrian bridge.

  • “BBP will be hard to reach on foot”

    Right. Either Fulton Landing or Atlantic/Joralemon. The entire Furman Street side of the park could be wide open, but you’d still only be able to reach it through one of those two bottlenecks. (I’m far less concerned with bus and car traffic than foot traffic.)

  • I wonder if the piers we have in Red Hook will be enough accommodate all the super-sized ships being built. These new ships all require deep water ports. I think the park is nice although it doesn’t really help to put this country back to work like docks would. I just hope this doesn’t turn out to be a big waste of time/money if they’re just going to have to tear it up in 20 years.

  • It’s great the park is finally happening. It’s unfortunate that we’re getting a flashy showplace park at the price of more green open space. Regarding Furman Street, I believe that the nearly the entire west side of Furman Street is lined with a 20+ foot tall berm, further blocking access to the park, in an attempt to block BQE noise from. Granted the BQE IS noisy, but a berm takes up a lot of horizontal as well as vertical space. We need the level space for active recreation (as seen by the conflicts over the astroturf space in Cadman Park.) I also pray that the ESDC starts considering the PIRC plan advanced by State Senator Daniel Squadron (as well as by recent City Council candiate Evan Thies) so we can avoid adding 2 more luxury condos (c. 16 and 30 stories high.) Why is the ESDC spending money on expensive marsh landscapes? Why not build what we can afford for now, use the PIRC plan (google it, please) and avoid more empty buildings? Let’s put a glass tower in Fort Green Park and Prospect Park instead and keep those PILOT payments — how would that fly? Clawbacks for park budgets, anyone?

  • maybe a big slide from promenade would make easy access to the park. That could be handicap accessible too.

  • When they get around to bridges over Furman, why not run one from the Squibb Park side of Furman directly over to whatever building(s) they decide to keep and/or build on the river side of Furman? That way, universal accessibility can by taken care of with an elevator that does double duty serving the building as well as the bridge.

    (The refrigerated warehouse there now is slated to be replaced by residential development, but if they reconfigure the park financing, maybe they can keep what’s left of the warehouse as well. Though aren’t they already cannibalizing it for lumber to recycle into benches?)

  • The refrigerator warehouse/cold storage building is being torn down (beautiful old building, I think it’s a shame) and a smallish hotel will be built in its place. I agree that reclaimed wood, etc from the old building(s)are being used in either the hotel or park construction.

    Also, sorry, I meant Fort Greene Park in my earlier post.

    I hope everyone resding this blog is also aware that Brooklyn Bridge Park is being built on a site officially called a project. It is not yet dedicated parkland.

  • Does anybody know anything about the history of Squibb Park? How long has it been closed? Why is it closed?

  • Squibb has been closed for at least 20 years, I believe, The neighborhood, while safer than most, used to more dangerous. For more background, read the NY Times “Weekend Explorer” column from 10/2/08.

    The rumor I have heard is that someone was brutally attacked or murdered in Squibb Park, at which time it was locked and closed. Since the park is below grade, and thus invisible from the street, it’s always had the potential to be dangerous. (The Times article mentions the corner of Middagh and Columbia Heights at the end of the article.) Between PS 8 teachers during the day and a probable attendant at other times, it should be safer now. If (and I hope it’s “when,” not “if”) the bridge to BBP is built, foot traffic should increase and help keep it safer.

  • bklyn20 in general is giving good information, unfotunately he/she also is repeating a bunch of lies that have been put forth by Judi Francis and her “Brooklyn Brdige Park Defense Fund”. So to debunk them:
    1)THere are plenty of large lawns and playing fields in this design. Just look at the photos in this post and you can see the large lawns. And the next phase of construction is Pier 3 which will include 3 soccer fields.
    2)According to a presentation given back in January, building the marsh land is actuallly cheaper than the alternative. What would be REALLY expensive would be to build all of these large indoor facilities bklyn20 wants
    3)THe berms actually don’t take up that much space, and there are several entrances between the berms along Furman Street. Having taken a tour this summer I can attest to the fact that without the berms it’s way too loud there to be a park.
    4) THe PIRC plan is all smoke and mirrors. I’ve seen Squadron Present it and he totally glosses over the math of how his plan will actually produce the money he claims it will. I’ve tried to understand and the math simply doesn’t work. My bet is that bklyn20 can’t really explain it either and doesn’t really understand it – but he/she is willing to belive in it anyway because she wants it to be true. I don’t really understand the point about building glass towers in Fort green since you’d have to own the land to make money of these towers – ESDC owns this land and doesn’t own any land in Fort Green or Prosepect. Also those would involve destroying existing parkland, which would clearly be worse. The GPP for this park allowed up to 20% of the leand to be used for development. This plan uses less than 10%. WHat exactly are you complaining about?
    5) Finally, I’ve heard ESDC people say that once the park is built they’d be open to protecting it with an easement or something like that. It’s seems like silly criticism to say it’s not parkland. If it looks and feels like parkland, and will protected once it’s complete, then who cares if it’s officially deemed parkland?

  • Bklynre, thanks for crediting some of my infomation. I admire Ms Francis very much. But actually I have been involved in park issues well before she got involved with Brooklyn Bridge Park — although by now I’m sure her knowledge of BBP far exceeds mine.

    1. In my post I did not advocate for any indoor facilities. Yes, year-round recreation would be good — maybe it could go into the empty spaces in 1 BBP, rather than putting in another building.

    2 Yes, the open playing spaces are in the next phase of the plan. Perhaps the ESDC preferred not to mention on the tour that the next phase of the park is not funded. They have admitted that in other forums, however.

    3. The current park plan uses well more than 10% of the land for buildings. You and others should not continue to believe the current plan’s deceptive mathematics, which includes all the water acres between the piers in the total acreage, consequently making the housing acres decrease by comparison. The maintenance figure per acre is HIGHER than that of comparable parks if the illusory water acres are out of the equation. The park’s total acreage is actually about 60 acres, not the 85 acres they claim.

    4. Perhaps there is another way to attenuate the sound. What else was studied? Why not work on redesigning the BQE to attenuate sound for the park AND the surrounding neighborhoods when the cantilever is redone in the next few years? Why not enclose the BQE instead of enclosing the east side of the park?

    5. Reforming Brooklyn Bridge Park’s financing was a MAJOR reason why Daniel Squadron is now our State Senator, and why Marty Connor is not. Connor was the man who shepherded in the legislation to put luxury condos in the park with ZERO public process. He didn’t even pretend to have hearings first. Thankfully, not everyone drank the condo Kool-Aid.

    6. The PIRC plan sends revenue increases from proximity to the new park back INTO THE PARK, rather than into the city’s general funds. If you live near a “World Class Park,” your home’s value will increase. Why is it good to have a viable, even excellent, public school in Brooklyn Heights even if you’re single or don’t have children? Becasue a good school in the neighborhood increases your property value.

    7. Deeded parkland makes BIG difference. To the best of my knowledge, all the other parks in NYC are built on deeded parkland. Once the land is deeded, it remains parkland in perpetuity. Until this park is deeded parkland, the ESDC can take it back, or whatever part of it isn’t built, and turn it into a megamall, a Jai Alai (sp?) stadium, whatever they choose, The ESDC is not subject to ULURP, ie public zoning review, and thus they can create a new plan without having to act on anything they hear from the public, public hearings or not. Even the Brooklyn Heights Association, which I admire in many ways but disagree with on the current park plan, agrees with me on this one.

    6. The point about Fort Greene Park and Prospect Park is that neither of these parks use housing, luxury or otherwise, to fund their operations for capital expenses. (The original public-planned plan was slated to be self-sufficient only enogh to fund the park’smaintenance. The new 2004 non-public plan includes capital maintenance.) Both Fort Greene and Prospect Park have two sidewalks and a large public street between themselves and already extant housing — housing that was there before the parks were built. They don’t have housing in the park because housing is antithetical to parkland. It makes open space into a front yard for the housing, and restricts the uses in the park. Just as many homeowners wouldn’t want strangers traipsing on their front lawn, housing in parks creates a conflict between people in the housing and people in the park. If it worked, someone would have tried it already.

  • To respond to some of your points:
    1) Indoor recreational facilities require large column free spaces with at lest 20 feet of ceiling height. Those are 2 qualities that are unavailable in 1BBP. It’s actually pretty typical of opponents of the park plan to suggest alternatives that sound like they would work but really don’t upon further inspection.

    2)My point was there are large lawns being built RIGHT NOW. And the soccer fields to be built on pier 5 actually are indeed funded. The piers that are not yet funded are pier 2 (which includes basketball courts), Pier 3 (which in another large lawn) and half of Pier 6. ALso, I am very confident these piers will get built. Look at Hudson River Park – that has been built in phases over years and in the beginning only the first phases were funded. Every year another section was funded. I have full confidence that that’s what will happen here.

    3)The 85 acres includes 12 acres of water and 8 cares of development, so the remaining land left for park is 65 acres. The General Project Plan which is the document that allowed up to 20% of the project to be used for development, was including the water area, so it’s only appropriate to include the water area when comparing the fact that this plan uses less than 10% to that 20% number in the GPP. Also, it is appropriate to use the water area when calculating the maintenance/acre costs for 2 reasons. First, the water area will provide a substantial amount of recreation space. Wave attenuators will create a safe harbor zone that will be conducive to kayaking and conoeing. The water will also house a marina. Secondly, the water areas of the park add significantly to the maintenance costs. They will have to pick up trash from and otherwise clean up the waterfront area and any debris that flows into the water near the park. Also, repairing and maintaining the waterfront, both the piers and the bulkheads, will be a significant maintenance cost for this park going forward. Maintenance parks per acre are actually completely in line with what the City’s Park Department has said it expects to pay for first class waterfront parks.

    4)If you keep on going forward with “perhaps this” and “maybe that” then this park will never get built. This park has already been waiting for 20 years. Do you really want to make the park dependent on re-doing the BQE. The BQE project is only beginning now and even DOT says construction will not start for 10 years. In the real world that means 20 years. Do you really want to wait another 20 years for this park while the DOT maybe figures something out? I don’t.
    5&6) My point was that you believe so strongly in the PIRC plan, but can’t explain how the math actually works. You just take it on faith that it works because you don’t really understand the math. I spoke to an ESDC representative and he could explain to me in detail how their plan yields enough revenue. You can’t say anything that has more detal than the fact that the PIRC plan will redirect a portion of the additional revenue from rezonings to the park. Will those rezoning create enough revenue? When will that revenue come in compared to when it is needed? There are a million questions like that which are extremely important that you and M Squadron can’t answer.

    7) No state parks are deeded park land. Empire Fulton Ferry Park, Riverside State Park on the west side of Manhattan, and East River State Park in Williamsburg are all State parks that are not deeded parkland. Yet you don’t hear anyone yelling and screaming that those parks are going to be turned into jai alai fields. WHy is that? It’s because this issue is a red herring made up by Mrs Francis in order to fool people who don’t have perspective of how the whole system works.

    8)”If it worked someone would have tried already” is a ridiculous statement that assumes tht there will be no new ideas again ever. Also this model does exist and is used in Battery Park City – just they use alot more buildings for alot less parkland. Also the lie that this park will just be a front lawn for the condo will become exposed once Pier 1 opens and people see how much bigger the parkland is than the development sites. It will not feel like a front lawn at all. It’ll feel like a huge park with a tiny portion at the end used as development. Finally – look at the park plan – almost all of these development sites are separate from the park area by a road. So if a road is all you need to be satisfied – then you’ve already got your road. Housing is not antithetical to parkland – it’s complementary. It provides residents who will activate the parkland and make it a vibrant, urban, safe place.

  • 1. I’m not an opponent of the park. Please serve your canard at Thanksgiving, not here.

    2. I did not bring up indoor recreation in my original post, you did. Nonetheless, depending on the kind of recreation, there are big spaces sufficient for many activities in 1 BBP, even if a basketball court won’t fit.

    3. Hudson River Park has taken a LONG time to build, I don’t believe it’s finished yet, and it has had a very difficult history. Please also note that it is not PILOT-dependent. Sadly, BBP is basically relying on 1 type of financing. People who invest all their assets in one type investment vehicle(say, mortgage-backed securities) are pretty much broke right now. Like the impoverished Madoff investors, the park must diversify its revenue stream.

    3. If you use the (very pricey) wave attenuators to justify the inclusion of water acres, then you should also weight the water maintenance costs differently in the overall equation. Certainly picking up garbage on the water is cheaper than the mowing, fertilizing, pruning, de-weeding, etc of land acres? This is also a convenient way to pad the costs, not to mention 2 1/2, I believe, wave-attenuated water spaces between piers — when local kayaking groups said the wave attenuators were unnecessary.

    4. If you are getting all your information from the ESDC, then you are not truly assessing the costs and issues of the park. If you are buying a house, you don’t rely on the owner’s version of the home’s condition. You search the documents and hire an inspector. The ESDC has a decidedly poor reputation — Atlantic Yards, anyone?

    5. Your comparison of BBP to Battery Park City is telling. There’s a reason it’s called “Battery Park CITY”…the parks are accessories for the buildings. If you walk along the eastern border of Battery Park City, there are no signs directing you to Teardrop Park, or to the different playgrounds or green spaces. That’s because the parks are designed for the apartment owners/renters and not for anyyone else. If you were to spend any time in those parks you would know that this is corrent. Battery Park is NOT a “World Class Park,” it is a housing development with above-average amenities.

    6. The street around the buildings is not a public street — it’s a driveway. It is there to service the buildings, and doesn not lead to another significant destination.

    7. The city can figure out how to increae our property tax assessments – why can’t they differentiate PIRC money? The semi-functional state government can, it seems, administrate PILOTs — the explanantion for them is no less complex. Additionally, many planners do not vew PILOTS as desirable funding mechanisms by many planners. The people developing the Hudson River-side development and park space in Ossining, NY, 1 hour north of here, fought hard NOT to have PILOTS. Other areas have done the same thing.

    Probably very few people will be reading this, since it’s a new week on this blog. Look at the obvious: Nowhere on the latest park maps mounte on the promenade fence are the grey blocks in the plan labeled as “Housing.” The planners know that common-sense individuals will not want housing in the park. And so the decepetion goes on…Nonetheless, I had to post again to do something to slow the Brooklyn Bridge Park propaganda machine.

  • 1) I didn’t call you an opponent of the park – I called you an opponent of the park plan. I admit that you are pro-park, but anti-this plan. I didn’t think that was being critical at all – wouldn’t you agree that that’s an acurate statement, that you’re an opponent of this park plan?

    2)I know that you didn’t intially bring up indoor recreation, I did. But once the subject came up you offered that it could easily happen in 1BBP, which I was debunking.

    3)Different type of landscapes have different types of maintenace costs. If you’re going to start to parse them then you should discount any comparisons to Hudson RIver Park too since that is mostly hardscape. Surely it’s cheaper to sweep hardscape than to mow, prune, plantt, etc? ALso, Hudson RIver park also includes water in their acrage number. It’s actually very commonplace among waterfront parks. If you had perspective amongst many parks of this type you wouldn’t fall for Judi Francis’ lies.

    4)The ESDC is a big organiztion. Somethings they have doen well, others they have done poorly. THe people working on Brooklyn Bridge park are not the same people working on Atlantic Yards. ANd my information comes froma variety of sources, including the City Parks Department and the regional plan association. All of your info seems to be coming from Judi Francis.

    5)I admited in my statement that Battery Park CIty was different becuase of the different ratio of Park to Development. My point was that the notion of using Development revenue to fund maintenance of a park is not a new idea. However different the ratios are, Battery Park City Proves that point. And your point about teardrop point is misleading. Teardrop is in fact a neighbrohood park, but the other parks there are decidedly regional. I don’t live anywhere near there yet I go there all the time. I’ve seen many 4th of July concerts there.

    6)You’re statement about the street is totally false. THe streets will look and feel like public streets and the they will connect Atlantic Ave to Joralemon Street. Everyone will be able to see exactly how flase this is when the portion of the park near Atlantic Ave opens in a couple of months. In fact if you go to the corner of furman and atlantic you can already see it for yourself. THe curbs and paved roads have already been installed and you can see them yourself. Looks alot like a public road and nothing like a driveway.

    7)Again you are missing my point on the PIRC. My point is that the PIRC will not generate enough money to fund the park. Squadron’s formulas are full of holes. ALso the revenue that will be generated will not be generated in a timeframe that matches up with when the park needs the money.

    8)THe purpose of the maps are to help people understand what they’re looking at when they see the construction that is currently happening. Since there’s no development happening now, that wasn’t labeleld, Make sense to me, but what do I know, I’m not a conspiracy theorist.

    Hope I did my share to slow the Judi Francis propoganda machine.

  • Does anyone understand the lighting scheme? I don’t get the 65′ lighting towers. Is the plan to illuminate the whole thing like a sports complex? They don’t do that at BBC or Hudson River Park. Those towers seem like the weakest part of the design and loom over everything else. I can imagine with that much illumination the view of the city from BH will be greatly diminished. I know when they originally did the little renovation of Futon Ferry Landing pier the community fought really hard to keep the lighting very low for exactly that reason. This looks like it will completely blow that away.