Tobacco Warehouse to St. Ann’s in Bridge Park Deal

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Via press release:

An agreement reached [yesterday] will provide for the expansion of Brooklyn Bridge Park and for the preservation of historic structures at the Park, substituting new parkland for any lost if regulatory approvals are secured to re-use the structures for other cultural or commercial purposes. The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation, Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation, Brooklyn Heights Association, Fulton Ferry Landing Association, New York Landmarks Conservancy, Preservation League of New York State, and St. Ann’s Warehouse, a non-profit Brooklyn-based performing arts organization, have settled a disagreement over the process for developing part of the park, which houses two historically significant structures. The Agreement – which resulted from litigation brought by the Brooklyn Heights Association, the Fulton Ferry Landing Association, the New York Landmarks Conservancy, and the Preservation League of New York State — will require state legislation and National Park Service approval to effectuate any development and re-use of the structures. Subsequent to this agreement, State Senator Daniel Squadron and Assemblywoman Joan Millman secured an additional community planning process and expanded community participation. The agreement will allow for the preservation and adaptive re-use of the historic Empire Stores as a mixed-use retail and commercial development that will provide vital revenue to help fund Brooklyn Bridge Park’s operation and maintenance costs. These improvements will restore the Empire Stores, which is currently in deteriorated condition and closed to the public. The agreement also sets the stage for the preservation of the Tobacco Warehouse and starts a process to secure regulatory approval for re-use of that structure as a cultural and community-use venue. Redevelopment of the Tobacco Warehouse would create a theater space, an outdoor public garden, and a community room for use by schools, community organizations and the public. St. Ann’s Warehouse has been conditionally designated as the lessee of the Tobacco Warehouse.

The Daily News has a translation of the news in English that is comprehensible: “Under the settlement, the St. Ann’s plan, which includes a theater space and an outdoor garden, will be able to go forward – eventually. First, city officials will have to get state legislation and approval from the National Parks Service for the development, expected to take about a year. The city will move the paint shed and water meter testing facility currently located under the bridge and turn it into part of the park, a Bloomberg spokeswoman said.” Here’s hoping this all works out.
Brooklyn Bridge Park to Expand Under Deal to Settle Tobacco Warehouse Lawsuit [NY Daily News]

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