11 Comment

  • Cleo

    Wow – is it 1979? I hope they’ll make it a roller disco. Seriously, though, why tart up the park with all this stuff? It costs money to maintain and seems a little outlandish. Do we really need a roller rink? Someday we’ll look back on this project as an example of well meaning excess. Better to have grass, open space, and peace. The problem with all these “goodies” is it ultimately requires more development *in the park* which of course means less green space, less sunshine and less park for everyone else. Had Central Park been designed this way, there may have been trendy amusements (cribbage tables, conjuring!) with housing filling half the park to pay for it. Keep the park for the people. (if you agree, you can help support keeping pier 6 from development https://www.facebook.com/savepier6 )

    • 1)The roller rink is going to be concession-ed out to an operator who will be responsible for the cost to maintain it. The concessionaire will actually pay the Park money to operate it. So the roller rink will actually make money, not cost money.

      2) There are acres and acres of grass open space and peace in BBP. Plenty of space for all of that and some roller skating too. You are setting up a false choice. We can have both.

      3) If there were no housing at pier 6 then there would need to so something else that would need to generate the millions of dollars a year that are projected from that housing. Whatever it is would have to take up space, and presumable more than the 0.5 acre the pier 6 housing takes up. So the housing is actually the best way to provide for the maintenance of the Park while allowing MORE green space, sunshine a park for everyone else.

      4)There IS a roller rink in Central Park. There is certainly room for a lively debate about Brooklyn Bridge Park, but if you’re going to take part in it you have the responsibility to at make a minimal effort to know what you’re talking about. Clearly you know how to use the internet since you are on brownstoner and have created a silly facebook page. Maybe you could also google “roller skating central park” before posting inaccuracies.

      • Cleo

        Fair points above. But with LICH and Watchtower going up, there is a reasonable argument that those buildings will fund the park. My main beef is private housing in a public park. Why turn the park into a lawn for billionaires? A secondary issue is density and making sure we preserve some aspects of contextual housing. Your points above are good ones, if a little brutal. But towers are forever — why make the Brooklyn waterfront look like the Queens waterfront? Yuck!

        • LICH and Watchtower are owned by entities other than the Park (SUNY and Kushner Co, respectively). Pier 6 is owned by the Park. How would you get money from LICH and Watchtower to go to the Park? That would be like you selling your apartment but me getting the profit! It doesn’t make sense. If you are concerned about density that’s one thing and worth talking about. But you still have to take into account that removing the pier 6 housing means you need to replace MILLIONS of dollars a year, to replace that revenue.

        • Also on what basis do you argue that the Pier 6 housing will turn the park into a front lawn for millionaires? There are currently over 400 people living at One Brooklyn Bridge Park and Piers 5 and 6 is one of the most democratic places I’ve ever been to in Brooklyn. Millionaires live all down Prospect Park west, Central Park West and 5th Ave, yet noone is complaining about Central and Prospect Parks being “front yards for millionaires”. Why would that all of a sudden happen here? Can you give one example of that happening anywhere? Almost every major park in every major metropolitan area is surrounded by high-end housing because people like to live near beautiful parks. Why is this the only park where it’s going to turn the park into an exclusive enclave?

          • Cleo

            The deal struck with the Bloomberg administration required taxes on new buildings within .4 miles of the park — that’s how they get taxed. Also, no other park has housing INSIDE the park. A public park should not have private housing inside of it.

        • Why do you say that this development is IN the park? The land with the development on it was NEVER park. The development sites are all located between the park and the Street. These pier 6 sites even have a road between them and the park, just like PPW, CPW or 5th Ave.

    • mildredfierce

      Who hates a roller rink? Sheesh.

  • Also have to jump in here. Cleo I appreciate your concern but its silly to say the least to throw around shock comments such as ‘for billionaires’. There are few billionaires in the world and trying to take a swipe at bloomberg (who presided over a city that never got blown away by the recession like almost every other city in the westernized world, specifically because of his policies) just reduces your argument in scope and intelligence. Bottom line is we live in a capitalistic country. If people (perhaps MILLIONAIRES (of which I am not one)) can afford real estate which I cannot, but that allows me to enjoy one of my favorite places in the world – brooklyn bridge park, then I say, bring on the housing.
    Just because people can afford something that you and I cannot does not make it wrong. By using the real estate tax dollars to care for the park seems like a pretty damb good deal to me.

  • I believe what Cleo is referring is the deal struck between the city and various community leaders that if Watchtower sold some amount of their property to commercial businesses and thus bring them back into the tax base (Watchtower is a non-profit) then the additional development at Pier 6 would be avoided. I have not heard what the status of this deal is. I do have to say the overall premise that the park must pay for itself is bizarre to me. How did we come to this conclusion? I don’t believe that other parks pay for themselves. Why does this one need too? Considering the money this city wastes I am not sure why this needs to be covered by commercial interests. The city pays $144 mm annually for the teacher “reserve” pool – i.e. teacher that don’t work, but get paid anyway. That would cover multiples of the cost of the park.

    • Well, Cleo is conflating 2 things. The Watchtower plan you’re referring too required that the Watchtower properties be sold to a private entity AND rezoned for residential by the end of 2013. While some properties were sold, none of them were rezoned and the new owner has not yet even said that he ever plans on rezoning any of this property. SO effectively, that deal has expired. Recently State Senator Squadron proposed placing some sort of tax on new development within a 0.4 mile radius of the park. This would siphon off money that would otherwise go to the City to pay for the Park. The problem with that, of course is that that with the Pier 6 developments, you could maintain the park and have the city get all that other money to do other things.

      Look, we live in a world where 2 things will always be true: 1) There’s always some we wish gov’t was doing that they can’t afford; and 2) We will all always be able to point to something that gov’t is spending money on that we believe is wasteful.

      This park was always one which the City was going to pay to build but not maintain. It’s long and on the waterfront so it’s expensive to maintain. The bargain that the City struck was that the park could use 20% of its land to support itself.In reality the park is using less than 10% – a bargain. If we as a community demand a park and no development now then we are backtrading on the deal that was made 20 years ago.