What a difference a year makes. It looks like the city’s controversial plans for housing on Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park will go through after all, despite initial requirements set out by a judge in a settlement of a lawsuit over the proposal.
The newest plan for the controversial Pier 6 development — two revenue-generating apartment towers at the south end of Brooklyn Bridge Park — was approved Tuesday morning in a 12 to 4 vote by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation Board.
Among the dissenters were City Councilman Stephen Levin and State Senator Daniel Squadron, who sent a representative, DNAinfo reported.
Opposed by community groups who contend the development is not needed to fund the park, the towers were delayed by the aforementioned lawsuit and a judge’s requirement to amend the park’s General Project Plan to allow the inclusion of affordable housing in the park.
After spending more than a year trying to modify the General Project Plan so it could move forward with the housing towers, Brooklyn Bridge Park has not succeeded. But the park and the de Blasio administration are moving ahead with the plan anyway — and it appears those closest to the process agree the modification is not needed after all.
The details of the project have been modified slightly in the last week to include shorter buildings with fewer units. A 28-story building will include 126 market-rate condos; a second building of about half the number of stories will contain 100 affordable rentals and 40 market-rate rentals, as well as retail and public restrooms.
While a BBP spokesperson told Curbed construction on the development is anticipated to start in the next nine to 12 months, opponents of the plan have threatened to file a lawsuit to prevent the project from moving forward.
Meanwhile, on Monday, the state official who heads up the agency overseeing the public approval process, Empire State Development Corp. President Howard Zemsky, told Brooklyn Bridge Park President Regina Myer in a letter it appears the park has the right to proceed with its plans, Crain’s reported.
The letter follows months of drama and a surprise pullout by the Empire State Development Corp. in May after city and state officials had apparently already agreed on a plan.
The reason, according to the state agency: A possible financial conflict of interest, coming amid an ongoing probe of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s finances. Specifically, Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp. announced the selection of a development team including RAL Development Services a month after RAL contributed $10,000 to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Campaign for One New York in May 2015.
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