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The bouncing, zigzagging, and pricey pedestrian footbridge that links Brooklyn Heights with Brooklyn Bridge Park is set to reopen this spring, after closing in August for repairs, according to Brooklyn Paper. BBP expects to spend $700,000 repairing the two-year-old bridge, on top of the $4,100,000 it cost to construct.

When the park closed the bridge last summer, BBP said the bridge timber could have warped and affected the cable tensions, causing the bridge to sway more than it should. But now park president Regina Myer is unsure if she wants to issue a report on the underlying causes, because she doesn’t “want to jeopardize the possibility of litigation,” according to the paper. 

Squibb Park Bridge Repairs to Run $700K, Bridge Park Won’t Say Why It Closed [BK Paper]
Squibb Park Bridge Coverage [Brownstoner]

green-wood black history month

In case you missed it last year, in honor of Black History Month, Green-Wood is again offering a tour focusing on famous black New Yorkers buried in the cemetery. The trolley tour will highlight and celebrate abolitionists, freed slaves, artists, musicians and Civil War heroes. Notables include artist Jean-Michael Basquiat (pictured above); Jeremiah Hamilton, who was New York’s first black millionaire; and Susan Smith McKinney Steward, New York’s first black doctor (also pictured). The tour will run from 1 to 3 pm on Saturday and costs $20. Head over to Green-Wood’s website to buy tickets. 

Image via Green-Wood Cemetery


Local non-profit Arts East New York is hosting a panel on gentrification in East New York and negative portrayals of African Americans in mainstream media this Friday, as part of a celebration of Black History Month. Panelists will include Cyril Josh Barker, a staff writer for the New York Amsterdam News, and Shaun Neblett, a playwright and the youth theater coordinator for Changing Perceptions Theater.

“Culture x Conversion comes as a response to the growing influence from city agencies and media in the sudden changing of the East New York landscape. We are asking East New York residents to be informed and active in the planning of our community to prevent displacement,” said a press release.

Panelists will discuss how urban planning, eminent domain and development are affecting East New York, and how residents are responding. And kids from AENY’s Young Artist Institute, which helps train elementary and middle school students in music, dance and theater, will perform after the panel.

There will also be free refreshments. The free event will happen from 6 to 9 pm this Friday at George Gershwin Junior High School, at 800 Van Siclen Avenue.

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The Barclays Center is finally getting its 130,000-square-foot green roof. Blogger and Halstead broker Andrew Fine snapped these photos of the roof’s steel frame being installed yesterday. The sedum-covered structure will reportedly help deaden sound from particularly loud concerts, which have led to complaints from neighbors in Prospect Heights. The pricey roof was part of the initial plan for the building, but was scrapped years ago to save money. Click through to see more of the roof and all the cranes surrounding the stadium.

Barclays Center Green Roof Gets Framed, B2 Tower Still Largely Dormant [A Fine Blog]
Barclays Revives Green Roof Plan [Brownstoner]
Photos by Andrew Fine


court and smith street BID map

The plan to help mom and pop businesses and improve the retail areas along Court and Smith streets in Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, and Carroll Gardens with a new Business Improvement District has not been forgotten. The organizers, a group of property owners and commercial tenants in the area, plan to host two meetings this week to update the community on their plans.

The BID will stretch from the BQE in the south to Pacific Street in the north, as the map above shows.

They’ll explain what the BID will do and answer any questions that people might have. One organizer tells us that they’re collecting signed statements of support from people who live in the area. It’s the second step in a three-phase process for setting up a BID.

They’ll also buy a drink or coffee for anyone who attends the informal public meetings, which will take place Tuesday from 11 am to 12 pm at 61 Local (61 Bergen Street) and from 5 pm to 7 pm at Angry Wade’s (222 Smith Street). You can learn more by checking out the steering committee’s website.

Court and Smith Street Biz Owners Join Together to Survive Rising Rents [Brownstoner]

chinese new year sunset park

Thursday was the Chinese Lunar New Year, and to celebrate, Chinese organizations in Sunset Park are throwing their annual parade down 8th Avenue and celebrations at community centers throughout the area. On Saturday, kids and families can check out martial arts performances, folk dancing, games and costume contests at P.S. 310 (942 62nd Street) and Sunset Park Recreation Center (42nd Street and 7th Avenue).

Then the big parade to welcome the Year of the Ram will begin Sunday at noon at 50th Street and 8th Avenue. Expect fireworks displays, line dancing, Kung Fu demonstrations, various performances and amazing costumes, starting at 10 am. 

Photo by Michael Vito

vision zero brooklyn

The Department of Transportation released its Vision Zero plan to improve pedestrian safety across Brooklyn today. The plan calls for safety improvements at 50 high-traffic corridors and 91 intersections throughout the borough. New safety measures include increasing pedestrian crossing times, installing more speed-limit signs, creating more neighborhood slow zones, and changing traffic signals to reduce speeding during off-peak hours.

The DOT also plans to install 60 new speed bumps annually throughout Brooklyn and add more lighting underneath elevated train tracks. And there will be more speed cameras and enforcement at busy intersections. Apparently Brooklyn averages 46 pedestrian deaths each year — the highest of any borough. Read the summary or the full report over on the DOT’s Vision Zero page.


When the Williamsburg waterfront was rezoned over a decade ago, the city promised a 28-acre park that would include what is now the burnt-out remains of the CitiStorage warehouse at North 11th and Kent Avenue. But so far, the city has not delivered, and Bushwick Inlet Park today is but a fraction of what was promised. As numerous media outlets have detailed in recent days following the fire, local residents and community activists now fear the CitiStorage owner will sell to a private developer to put up condos.

The Open Space Alliance is hosting a meeting tonight for anyone who would like to organize in support of the park. It’ll take place at 7 pm at El Puente at 211 South 4th Street.

Buswhick Inlet Park Coverage [Brownstoner]
Photo via Gothamist

Brooklyn Paper created this awesome interactive map of construction in Downtown Brooklyn, which has 62 buildings under way, according to a report from the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. The neighborhood will have 18,701 new apartments when all the planned construction finishes, and 43.5 percent of apartments in the pipeline will be affordable. But only 9.9 percent of completed apartments are subsidized now.

Public schools in the area are already crowded, and there aren’t any new public schools planned to support the residential boom, according to the paper. Also under construction are six hotels with a planned 1,730 rooms. If Brooklyn hosts the 2016 DNC Convention, only half those rooms will be ready in time.

Map: Downtown Construction, All of It [BK Paper]

112 gates avenue clinton hill 22015

Entourage star Adrian Grenier and his real estate broker mom recently bought a second Clinton Hill townhouse, a four-family, five-story brownstone at 112 Gates Avenue. 6sqft was the first to write about the sale, which closed for $2,085,000 in December. We couldn’t find any listings for the house, which 6sqft claims was an estate sale with lots of details, including high ceilings, ornate plaster details on the ceiling, and parquet floors.

It’s not far from the wood-frame home at 430 Grand Avenue the duo renovated with solar panels and recycled denim insulation back in 2006. Grenier also owns a townhouse in Prospect Lefferts Gardens at 239 Lincoln Road, which he purchased solo in 2010 for $899,000.

It’s unclear whether the actor or Brown Harris Stevens broker Karesse Grenier plan to live in the Gates Avenue house or use it as an investment property. Both also share an address at a rental building designed by Rosario Candela in Morningside Heights. Click through for shots of some ceiling detail at Gates Avenue.

Adrian Grenier Buys Five-Story Clinton Hill Townhouse for $2.1 Million [6sqft]
Grenier Really Is Going Green [Brownstoner]
Photos via CityRealty via 6sqft


In honor of Black History Month, the Brooklyn Museum is hosting soul and jazz concerts, documentaries that challenge assumptions about racial identity, talks from black artists and poetry readings Saturday night. New Orleans-based band Water Seed will start the evening by performing “sophisticated jazz infused with funk,” and R&B singer Bilal will round out the end of the night with songs from his album “Love Surreal.” You could check out documentary screenings about soul food and the lives of queer women of color. Or listen to a poetry reading and discussion from Black Poets Speak Out, a collective inspired by the #BlackLivesMatter movement. See the whole schedule here, with events running from 5 to 11 pm on February 7 at 200 Eastern Parkway.


The question of a variance for the planned 13-story Ace Hotel at Bond and Schermerhorn streets moves on to the Board of Standards and Appeals next week, according to a public agenda posted on the BSA’s website. At issue is whether developer GFI Capital can build 50,000 square feet larger than as-of-right zoning allows, enough room for 285 hotel rooms instead of only 169.

Community Board 2′s full board voted against the variance last November, because they were concerned about traffic on Bond Street and the hotel’s lack of parking. Currently, the property is a big parking lot at 51-63 Bond Street, or 252-270 Schermerhorn Street, pictured above.

The hearing will take place Tuesday, February 10, at 1 pm at Spector Hall at 22 Reade Street in Manhattan. Anyone can attend and testify or file notarized objection forms with BSA via email (submit@bsa.nyc.gov), mail, or in person.

Ace Hotel Coverage [Brownstoner]
Photo by Google Maps via NYY