Pols Ask De Blasio to Nix High-Rise Apartments in Brooklyn Bridge Park

A group of local pols is urging Mayor de Blasio find an alternative way to finance Brooklyn Bridge Park — one that doesn’t include building two more high rise towers at Pier 6. They wrote a letter to the mayor on April 7, expressing their opposition to the “breakneck speed” of housing construction at Pier 6 and asked the new administration to “work collaboratively on alternative park financing, rather than moving forward with the Bloomberg plan,” The New York Times reported. State Senator Daniel Squadron, State Assemblywoman Joan Millman, U.S. Representative Nydia Velázquez, and City Council members Steve Levin and Brad Lander all signed the letter.

The waterfront park requires an estimated $16,000,000 in maintenance every year, said the Times, because the piers are “adversely affected by marine organisms, as well as winds and tides.” Squadron and Millman struck a deal with Bloomberg in 2011 to limit the height of the planned development at Pier 6. It hinged on the city rezoning all of the nearby Watchtower properties from manufacturing to residential by January 1 of this year, after they had sold to new owners. But since the city failed to rezone the properties by the deadline, the deal no longer applies.

The Times didn’t specify the name or address of the projects, but it sounds like the two development sites next to One Brooklyn Bridge Park, pictured on the map above.

Are you in favor or against building high-rise housing in the park to finance upkeep?

De Blasio Is Urged to Alter Housing Plans at Brooklyn Park [NYT]
Map via Brooklyn Bridge Park

13 Comment

  • The BBP website says one of the buildings could be 315 feet tall — or about 30 stories. That would really suck for the profile of the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood. Why not keep within the landmarks charm?


  • I’m a long-time (21+ year) resident of the area and I don’t particularly have an issue with a tall tower, specially on the more western development site in this map. Buildings in this location will do wonders to block some of the noise in the park and the increased residential population will encourage action of the long-stalled retail development of to the shops and restaurants in One Brooklyn Bridge Park, which may help the park’s revenue situation.

    • I don’t disagree with you comments, it should be clear that the BBP does not derive revenue from the leasing of the retainl space at OBBP. OBBP pay ground rent and PILOTs to the park regarding of whether the retail space is leased.

  • It’s really a misnomer even to say these are “in the park.” They’re at the farthest corner at the unpleasant nexus of Atlantic Avenue, Furman Street, and the BQE. I can’t imagine why anyone would be bothered by this, except maybe a very few Brooklyn Heights residents who may have their skyline view partially obstructed. Hardly the kind of compelling interest that should guide the city’s development policies.

    • ” I can’t imagine why anyone would be bothered by this, except maybe a very few Brooklyn Heights residents who may have their skyline view partially obstructed.”

      I think you understand the dynamic perfectly. The interesting question is if BillyD will cave

  • This is so far removed from Brooklyn Heights, I see no reason to limit the heights here. The real question is why didn’t the city meet the rezoning deadline for the Watchtower properties? Will they be rezoned?

  • Doesn’t seem so bad to have those buildings there, assuming that they will be fairly well designed. I think that there are many posts here that make good points about height, boost for retail, etc. The taxes that these people will pay will go exclusively to the maintenance of the park, and that is a good thing since it gets zero funding from the city.

  • One again, silly politicians being an impediment to development. They want to figure out another way to finance the upkeep of the park? How??? Where is this money going to come from? Bloomberg’s ideal is a positive on all fronts…not only financially, but it brings life and activity to the waterfront area. …exactly what it needs. These silly uninformed politicians noted in the NY TIMES article just want something to bicker about in an effort to repeal all things Bloomberg.

  • The buildings in the park have been a disastrous idea from Day 1. I cringe every time I see how the area behind Pier 1 is being made into a giant hotel complex. I hope the new administration signals a change of policy on this one.

    • Why are the buildings disastrous? I think you need to explain your idea more here. A 30 story building might be a bad idea but I think generally more mid/high rises here are a good idea (assuming anyone wants to live in so far away from subways and in a flood plain). Or is it that this is actually dedicated park land? If so, I agree that actual park land should not be given away for development.

      And what is this deal and as of right people talk about? I just checked the city website and the city still owns the land as far as I can tell.

  • Why veto it when there is no other viable plan? The deB Admin can hold off, for a period, to consider options.
    Do be clear, though. One way or another; programs, parks, and projects have to be paid for.

  • Also remember, Squadron not only agreed to this plan to accept the pier six development proposal should the Witness tax revenue deal fall through, which it did, he also architected the agreement. He and the rest of the pols on that letter all agreed to this two years ago and now they break their agreement.

    They are also hypocrites, they are against housing on the park except in Fulton Ferry landing and DUMBO, where they never once objected. They say they are pro worker, but have not supported one single development project in the park. Embarrassing.

    Deblassio supported this plan, and I think he still will.

    Like it or not, the few acres dedicated to housing does support the park, as planned.