At a meeting last week with neighborhood groups, Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp. officials revealed one of the two towers planned for Pier 6 may be an affordable-rate building. This is the 16-story tower, with 140 apartments; the second tower would have 31 stories and 290 units, according to a story in The Wall Street Journal.
The revelation angered some locals at the meeting, who would prefer as little housing in the park as possible. “Why are we building private housing inside public park land that isn’t going to fulfill the mission of the park?” the story quoted Judith Francis, president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund, a coalition of neighborhood groups, as saying. Others welcomed the plan for bringing diversity to the park. “The park should not be allowed to exist merely as a residential enclave for the wealthiest New Yorkers,” said Steven M. Cohen, a lawyer who lives in a condo at One Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp. President Regina Myer said she would support affordable housing at Pier 6 as long as the park brings in sufficient revenue to meet its operating costs. But it doesn’t now and will need revenue from Pier 6 housing to meet its budget. The park can cover 95 percent of its operating costs from the four sites currently under development, but more funds are needed to fix deteriorating piers, although doing maintenance work now will help, she said.
Any change in the plan will require a new review process, said State Senator Daniel Squadron, who recently signed a letter urging de Blasio not to build more housing on Pier 6.
When the Journal contacted the Mayor’s office, a spokesman said, “Put simply, we can do both. We can secure the necessary funding to maintain this world-class park while simultaneously providing an affordable housing component to ensure this community actually represents Brooklyn.”
What do you think of the plan?