Park Progress Special: Pier 6 Webcam


The developer of One Brooklyn Bridge Park/360 Furman has installed a webcam on the roof, trained on Pier 6: see here. It updates every few minutes, and you can use the calendar at the left of the screen to look back at an earlier phase of construction. Under the calendar is a zoom control that lets you get a closer look at whatever location you wish. For a real treat, click the “Time Lapse” button near the top of the screen, and watch almost a year’s worth of work, and a couple of snowstorms, flash by in about thirty seconds.

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  • Donald Brennan

    That is pretty cool.. love the time lapse feature.

  • ABC

    it looks just like the rendering .. I even clicked over to see if the feed and it looks JUST like the rendering. that never happens!

    I still think the playground is designed by nuts, but score one for 1BBP

  • Publius

    You’ll notice the empty footprint for the condo tower that will take up space in the ‘park’, but which will remain empty and unused because no tower is going to be built in the near future due to the housing downturn. You’ll also notice the street brought into the ‘park’ to serve the future (?) condo towers. There’s also a second condo tower footprint that’s out of sight. Much of Pier 6 will be either city street or condo towers (or reserved footprints for condo towers that are not developed).

  • resident

    Publius, I really don’t understand this attitude. What is the big deal with putting condos/hotel projects on the periphery of the park? The park is/will be still big and beautiful and all we’re really giving up is some of the uplands near the BQE. Are you saying that you won’t venture down and enjoy the park because there are some condo units near it? If that’s not the definition of cutting off one’s nose to spite one’s face, I don’t know what is.

    We need to fund this park in some manner. Why not take advantage of the fact that people will pay a premium to live on a park/water? Otherwise we’re increasing our tax bills. This isn’t really unprecedented, you know. Central Park gets very little funding from the city, instead relying almost exclusively on the Central Park Conservancy. You don’t think that a good portion of their funding comes from people living on CPW or Fifth Ave. who want to keep their perfect view of the park? I don’t see this stopping millions of people who don’t live in those fancy apartments from enjoying that park, why would BBP be any different?

  • jellen

    when is pier 6 slated to open? I thought it was May.

  • Publius

    @Resident: This attitude? A bit sensitive are we?

    Just telling the fact and the truth.

    I find it interesting that you feel the need to go into a long diatribe about how the first park in NYC that must pay for itself is not “unprecedented” and you use Central Park as an example. Of course, Central Park for over 125 years was built and maintained with taxpayer funds, just like every other park in NYC. Where you get the “not unprecendented” justification is beyond me. It’s completely unprecedented. Having a Conservancy is completely different than forcing a park’s maintenance budget to be privately funded. No other park in NYC has this requirement.

    Yes, it’s nice to have BBP, but since over $200 million of our tax dollars are going to build it, it IS unprecedented to have a park that must be self sustaining. Pretending otherwise is just pretending.

    Likely we’ll keep staring at those ugly empty condo tower footprints for years to come. Don’t forget the city streets that were brought into the park to service those imaginary condo towers.

    I wonder what else is next to be privatized? Fire Dept., Police Dept? Maybe luxury condos in half the Brooklyn House of Detention? Why not just get rid of taxes altogether and privatize everything, not just the maintenance budget of our parks?

  • bklyn20

    The condos are not in the periphery of the park. The park was designed aorund the housing parcels. They are well within its borders, and well beyong the (hopefully) “dramatic entrance” at the end of Atlantic Avenue. Only a servce road built around the condos delineates them from the park spaces. It’s NOT the same as 5th Avenue, Central Park West, DeKalb Avenue, Prospect Park West. There is no housing within Central Park, Prospect Park, Fort Greene Park–and I could go on, as I have for years on this topic. The Central Park line is a false analogy to help support the bloated costs of the park plan, with “perched wetlands,” the berm to isolate the space from the neighborhood, etc.As Publius points out, why not next privatize other essential elements of our lives? Bye-bye, Promenade Gardens — we need to build condos there to fund garbage pick-up. If it weren’t a beautiful day on Memorial Day weekend, I’d go on further. Count your blessings.

  • resident

    I’m not sensitive, i’m just tired of evertyime there is a post about BBP, somebody pipes up about the condos. Sure, there would be more park without them, but the park is still big. The condo footprints are NOT in the essential park areas. The ones near One BBP are near an existing building, the footprints near Pier 1, are exactly where there were existing buildings. I just don’t see the problem. The fact is, that without the “guaranteed” funding provided by the condos, the park never gets built. Further evidenced by the fact that funding dried up when the credit crisis hit and it looked like those condo projects would be tougher sells.

    Yes, you are right, CP was built with taxpayer funding, but the park was also pretty awful for a period of time during the last city budget crisis, before the Central Park Conservancy took over. I’m willing to trade a small portion of potential park land for dedicated funding.

    If everyone would get over themselves and their righteous indignation over “condos in the park” and look at the park for what it is, as if the condo footprints are not part of the park, I think everyone would still be extremely happy with a big, beautiful, waterfront park.

  • bklyn20

    I’m not carping about 1BBP — I wish it wasn’t full of condos, but that building was already there.

    The fact is that the preponderance of housing in the park changes the nature of the park itself.

    I have already held forth on this in many posts over the past few years. It is not righteous indignation, it is a very thoughtful, nuanced position based on more than a decade of parks advocacy, advocacy not just related to Brooklyn Bridge Park.

  • Publius


    I wasn’t pointing out 1BBP, which is already there. In addition to 1BBP, there are two large footprints that are carved out of Pier 6, including city street to service this footprints if/when they are ever built into 50 story condos. Much of Pier 6 is or is planned to be condos or city street. This is just the facts.

    People like resident are just fine with this, even though the real estate model doesn’t hold up every 15 or so years when the market crashes.

    The facts are that this is the first park in NYC that’s forced to self-susidize its maintenance budget. It is unprecendented, despite resident’s belive that it’s not, and raises a lot of problems, such as what happens when the real estate development (empty tower footprints and an empty hotel footprint) won’t pay for the Park maintenance (like now and for the past 3 years).

    Every single park in NYC is taxpayer funded for its capital budget and maintenance budget. This doesn’t preclude a Conservancy from forming to raise private money. Resident confuses (purposefully?) the Central Park Conservency, ignoring the fact that for over a century the maintenance budget of CP was paid from all of our tax dollars. Same model could/should work with 1BBP. A BBP Conservency is a good thing and welcome to provide complementary funding on top of what a taxpayer funded maintenance budget should provide.

    IMHO, taxpayers should pay for the maintenance of the park, since clearly the mercurial real estate market can not. The unprecedented private funding for BBP’s maintenance budget was the Original Sin of this project. And it’s clearly not working now–since there’s no towers and no hotel. And the only reason 1BBP isn’t bankrupt and still pays approx $2mm in PILOTS (Payments in Lieu of Taxes) is that AIG, which holds the main mortgage was able to refi, which it may not be able to do in the coming year or two. If that happens the private real estate model for funding the park will be completely bankrupt.

    However, in the meantime as everyone waits to see if/when the real estate bubble will come back, we’re stuck with no hotel, 1BBP only 1/2 sold after 3.5 years on the market, and 2 ugly empty large footprints where condo towers *may* be erected sometime in the future(?). Again to be clear, this is in addition to 1BBP (which is the former 360 Furman), which is already there.

  • bklyn20

    Not only is housing unworkable now, given the economic climate, but also inimical to what a park should be. I would rather have 2 ugly large footprints than 2 towers (no insult intend, Tolkien.) The answer: fund parks like other services, and have a conservancy that supports real public opinion. Fun events are good, engaging the public with factual information is better. Why aren’t the words “unsuccessful and unwanted housing parcels” shown in the gray squares on the maps on the Promenade? Do all the people attending the Sunset Something know what they’re donating their money for?

    Maybe Guder could help with this. Can he switch from spray paint artistry to the time-honored Sharpie technique?

  • resident

    You guys clearly are unable to be rational about this. I would love for taxpayers to pay fully for public services, but the fact is that they don’t. I think this country generally refuses to pay for the common good (see the deplorable condition of bridges and highways and other public utilities). It’s much harder to raise taxes than to cut them, so every time we have a surplus, instead of restoring funding we cut taxes and every time we have a budget deficit we cut services. I cannot fault the Conservancy, after seeing the conditions that Central Park and Bryant park sunk to before private revenue streams saved them, from trying to maintain self-sustainability. The fact that there is a good chance the model will ultimately fail does not make it a bad idea, since the alternative, relying on taxpayer funding, has also proven to be a failure in the past.

    My real point is why are we still complaining about this in every single post about the park? I was out there yesterday, and I had a great day. I wasn’t horribly offended by the presence of evil condo’s at 1 BBP, nor would I have noticed that there was a hotel and condo development behind me instead of a demoliltion zone. You think having condo’s on the edge of the park changes the nature of the park, I think that having buildings on the edge of the park makes it exactly what it is, an urban park experience. It’s not like those buildings will get in the way of the view of the river. In fact, I don’t understand how any of these buildings change the park for me. As long as they don’t put a fence around it (gramercy park), I will always have the same walk down Watchtower hill, over the BQE, and to the entrance at Fulton Landing, to a green oasis.