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A mini-armada of kayaks, canoes, outriggers, and rowing rigs will be occupying the Bushwick Inlet this Saturday to bring attention to a decade-old promise for a 28-acre park along the Greenpoint and Williamsburg waterfronts that has yet to be realized. Organizers invite anyone who cares about this “last remaining open space in North Brooklyn” to join them in occupying the embankment.

There will also be some landlubbing activities, like art bombing, flying protest kites, and encircling the area with caution tape.

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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

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The latest story about the city’s abrogation of duty when it comes to the construction of Bushwick Inlet Park—the public waterfront park in Williamsburg and Greenpoint that was supposed to be built following the rezoning of the area to allow for residential development—is reported by the New York World, which looks into whether the city underestimated how much it would cost to buy the necessary land. As it turns out, it seems like the city really missed the mark when it was calculating how much the properties would cost. The city engaged in a three-year legal battle with the owners of 50 and 86 Kent Avenue that was predicated on the notion that the properties should be valued as industrial, and thus worth $6.4 million and $13.6 million, respectively. The owners of the properties argued that the parcels should be valued much higher since, in a rezoned Williamsburg, they were worth a lot more as residential development sites. The city ended up paying $28.7 million for 50 Kent Avenue and $93.4 million for 86 Kent and is now saying it doesn’t have anymore money to buy the 12 remaining acres of the planned 28-acre park. (Around $200 million has been spent or earmarked so far for acquiring land for the park.) Ryan Kuonen, a member of Neighbors Allied for Good Growth, is quoted as saying the following about the way the city’s handled the situation: “Why didn’t the city acquire this land before rezoning? They really rushed this through without thinking it out.”
Did City Miscalculation Sideline North Brooklyn’s New Waterfront Park? [NYW]
Outrage Over City’s Lack of Action on Bushwick Inlet Park [Brownstoner]
Photo by ryanlachica

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Biking past the Bushwick Inlet Park site last week we wondered if there were any updates since residents and politicians expressed outrage this summer over the stalled plans to create the 28-acre park. Turns out there’s a rally planned for this Saturday, October 15th, at noon, from the soccer fields at North 9th Street up Kent Avenue to Quay Street. The Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park is organizing the rally, and the organization is taking issue with the fact that the city hasn’t delivered on promised parkland that was supposed to come as part of the Williamsburg-Greenpoint rezoning in 2005. The group just launched a new website and campaign called “Where’s Our Park?” Laura Treciokas, co-founder of Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park, tells us, “Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park, along with NAGG, GWAPP and our local elected officials are launching this campaign to push the Bloomberg Administration to make good on its promise to our community to deliver this much needed open space to our community.” Construction on the soccer field along Kent Avenue, pictured, continues, and it’s supposed to be finished by winter 2012.
Outrage Over City’s Lack of Action on Bushwick Inlet Park [Brownstoner]