Battle Over Pier 6 Residential Towers Continues as Activists Release More Studies

Pier 6. Photo by Barbara Eldredge

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The battle over housing at Pier 6 continues. Activist groups released three new studies on Monday, concluding that no housing should be built at the site. Meanwhile, the Empire State Development Corporation (ESD) has not yet approved a modification to the park’s General Project Plan that would permit affordable housing at the proposed development.

Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 6

The proposed Pier 6 development site is just across Furman Street. Photo by Barbara Eldredge

The current plan is to build two residential towers at Pier 6.

Of the 339 units slated to be built, 117 would be below market rate, bringing the Mayor that much closer to his affordable housing goals.

But the park’s General Project Plan requires that any development can be built only if needed to financially sustain the park. A number of locals and elected officials — including Letitia James and at least 17 local civic groups — oppose any development at Pier 6, some claiming the project does not meet the GPP’s requirement of being necessary to financially support the park.

The reports find that revenues from the development aren’t needed.

Sponsored by community activist group People for Green Space Foundation, and endorsed by the Brooklyn Heights Association, the reports determined that tax revenues from the park’s current developments will come to roughly $22.5 million, not the $13.5 million projected by Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp.

If true, this would mean that the park will have more than enough funding without building the Pier 6 towers — affordable units or no. You can read the full reports and statement from the People for Green Space Foundation here (PDF).

Brooklyn Bridge Park stands by its own financial analysis and support of affordable housing in the park.

In a statement, a Brooklyn Bridge Park spokesperson told Brownstoner:

“While some may never accept it, we’ve exhaustively demonstrated that the Pier 6 project is essential to the park’s long-term financial stability. We have not had an opportunity to review these reports in depth, but basing a serious analysis on the expertise of someone who, by his own admission, has no relevant experience in marine infrastructure projects is highly questionable. To put the financial future of a park enjoyed by millions at risk — as these groups advocate — is simply unacceptable.

The real question is not whether the long-approved Pier 6 project is necessary — but whether the inclusion of 117 units of permanently affordable housing, more park space, a pre-K facility and public restrooms are amenities that would make the project even better. We are eager to work with ESD to ensure a path forward.”

Opposition to the Pier 6 plan has given the ESD pause.

In order to get affordable housing included in the proposed development, the ESD has to approve a change to the park’s General Project Plan.

After a contentious hearing on the Pier 6 proposal in July, and some vocal opposition from local pols, the ESD has decided to wait before green-lighting the amendment — “looking for consensus before it acts” according to the Wall Street Journal.

If there isn’t an affordable component, the two towers can still be built as of right.

Renderings of the proposed Pier 6 development. Image via Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation

Renderings of the proposed Pier 6 development. Image via Brooklyn Bridge Park

[h/t: WSJ]

Related Stories
Brooklyn Bridge Park Rebutts Rebuttal of Pro-Pier 6 Economic Report
Public Hearing Thursday Night on Controversial Towers on Pier 6 “Boisterous”
Should Pier 6 Towers Be Snuffed? Park Can Get Funding From Tax-Exempt Bonds

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