Reminder: Final Community Meeting on Housing in Park This Evening

The final community meeting on alternatives to housing as sources of funds for maintenance of Brooklyn Bridge Park will be this evening:

Thursday, December 9, 2010, 6pm – 8pm
St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street
Founders Hall Auditorium, 1st floor

This will be your last opportunity to express your views on this issue before the consultants engaged by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation to study this matter give their report. More details here. Thanks to reader William for jogging your correspondent’s memory about this on Open Thread Wednesday.

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  • mlo

    NYC (and beyond) has so much waterfront land and most of it is virtually not utilized- at least not for public recreation. It’s a shame. After all the years and all the work it took to obtain access to and use of this waterfront property the thought of building high rise buildings along it simply baffles me.
    There are so many other options to consider for funding park maintainence. We all know why the re industry builds waterfront high rises.rise buildings in that area would be dreadful on so many levels…. Quality of life can be enriched as much by light open spaces as by pofits. Greed is an ugly truth -I hope this time we don’t go f-up a good thing. Do the right thing!

  • Ben

    This talk has been going on for 20 years about when will a decision be made? Housing for the very rich will maintain the park and nothing even near affordable will be provided for the working people the working poor who will probably not use this park due to its inaccesibility and the distance it is from neighborhoods. One Brooklyn Bridge Park is a very nice building I saw some of the apartments in the New York Times.

  • william

    Rich man wants land…. Rich man gets.

  • nabeguy

    @William, true….unless rich man who already has land doesn’t want his view blocked. Personally, I could live with a waterfront neighborhood, as long as it’s no taller than 4 stories. But I guess that’s out of the question now, as BPP has eaten up all the horizontal low-level real estate.

  • http://deleted Sue

    Well, the rich were scared tonight. They all came out to speak about their fears that big box stores would be built in the park, that the park construction will be stopped, that only having highrise towers inside the park will protect it. From whom? The rest of us? It was an incredible performance. Even the fathers of housing inside our park – John Watts and John Altschuler – spoke. They MUST be scared that their little garden that has nothing for anybody to do there might just get some recreation in it. And god forbid, a bridge from the promenade.

  • william

    Additional housing has another, unseen cost.

    At the hearing a question was aired, “Are the residents at 360 Furman were aware that Regina was planning to build 2 towers right next to them, and if she does, how will the BBP reimburse the residents?”

    There was a lot of squirming at the table on stage. Could be a real problem with disclosure by the sales staff. And it could cost a lot to settle with those people who bought a view – only to lose it later.

  • Still here

    This is typically revealed in the condo offering prospectus, especially if the potential develoment is known at the time of the offering. For example, Two Trees had to disclose potential view blockers (relating to the Main Street Park (their proposed hotel) and their Dock St project to the south) in all their waterfront buildings when One Main and Sweeney were offered. I doubt that One BBP ignored this.

  • bklyn20

    Sorry, Still Here and friends, I have met at least 7 people who are intelligent enough to earn the money to buy or rent in 1BBP, but had no idea that 2 new buildings were planned that would block their southern exposures. (Not to mention that additional buildings would lower the value of 1BPP apartments, since 1BBP wouldn’t be the only residence in the park.)

    I would wager that most realtors didn’t bring it up, and I don’t know that everyone takes the time to read the full prospectus either. It’s a high-end bait and switch for the rich — and it rhymes!

  • Resident

    We’re really worried about the 1BBP residents? The plan for housing, with expected footprints has been available for a long time. Shame on them for not doing their due diligence if the view to the south was important to them.

    I highly doubt many residents will care about new housing. By the nature of 1 BBP, only a small portion of the apartments will be affected, being generous, at most 25%. And the footprints of the new buildings are so much smaller, that even with the new buildings, most apartments will likely still have a partial view of the river. These also aren’t the most valuable views.

    As for more housing inherently lowering the resale value, I don’t buy the argument. After all, I don’t remember any stories of how 15 Central Park West drove down the value of places in the Dakota. If I lived in 1 BBP (ugh… I wish), I’d be thrilled to have more housing around. More people would mean a greater chance of stores and such opening closer, making the building less isolated.

    There are a lot better arguments against housing in the park than “Think about the rich people! Duped into buying at 1 BBP, duped, i tell ya!”

  • bklyn20

    And I have made many of those arguments here and elsewhere.

    Again, The Dakotas and 15 CPW are not IN the park like 1 BBP — they’re not analogous examples. Many people around here are well-off, perhaps even many of those blogging here, but it is surprising to me that people who can afford these apartments would not consider their investment more carefully.

  • BigDave

    What I am missing, presumably my own fault, is:
    WHERE are the proposed “in the park” buildings to be constructed? Are we at all talking about the land between the BQE and Piers 1 and 2, that used to have brick warehouses? Any specific knowledge about this is greatly appreciated.

  • T.K. Small

    As I understand, the two Towers are roughly south of 1BBP. One is right across from the dog run and the other is closer to the playground near the entrance to the garage.

  • Matthew Parker

    TK is accurate. The two towers (Tolkienesque reference) would surround the dog run on Pier 6.

    This Google Map satellite view of Pier 6 clearly shows the existing rectanguar footprint (currently fenced in dirt) of the proposed two towers. The circular area is the existing new Pier 6 dog run:

    This Google Map satellite view of the John Street area in Dumbo shows where the other proposed real estate development would be built. As far as I’m aware, the John Street real estate project would happen before the Pier 6 towers:

  • mlo

    BH is defined as historic and charming waterfront neighborhood known for its maritime history and wondeful views. This is appauling.
    If you want to build or live in a high rise why not do so in an area designed for that type of living. Why would you do so on a historic waterfront community. hmm oxymoron
    Anyone who lives behind 1BBP knows exactly what I’m talking about.

    I suppose on the upside they can all look forward to tax relief

  • BigDave

    Well the phasing plan [see link] shows two large white rectangles on either side of the Squibb Park Bridge. Has anyone spoken as to what is expected to go there? There are sightline issues with the Promenade and the Bridge.

  • Resident

    BigDave, I believe those proposed new buildings would be relatively low-rise. Brownstoner says 100 ft. high. I don’t know how high that would be in comparison to the Watchtower buildings, but for some reference point, the Brooklyn bridge is 276 feet tall, and the roadways are 116 feet high at the towers.

    Also, I think they fill the exact footprint of the old abandoned warehouses that were torn down.

  • Resident

    bklyn20, I know you have made plenty of other arguments. My point was that when you start making the “won’t anyone think about the interests of the 1 BBP residents” argument, you open yourself up to the criticism of simply being a NIMBY.

    You don’t really care if some residents in 1 BBP lose a portion of their view to the south. After all, it’s these same residents who are “privatizing” the park. It makes one wonder what is your real motivation for bring up that argument.

    There are better reasons to argue against housing in the park. I tend to think most of them are overblown, but at least those arguments are honest and promote rational, positive discourse.

  • mlo

    @ Big Dave, Resident
    Do you have any information re the proposed hotel? Where is that site being proposed?

  • BigDave

    Thanks for sending me to the Brownstoner. That clears things up in my mind. I believe that 10 stories (100ft.) at the areas I mentioned will be too high. I would much rather see something no more than 5 stories over there, something that would look like it was more a part of its surrounding parkland.

  • Matthew Parker


    The proposed hotel is for the site shown on this Google Map:

    You’ll notice a warehouse still there that’s since been demolished. Clearly this Google Map is at least 3-4 months old.

  • epc

    The John St site will be “interesting” to develop as it’s mostly fill now, is close to the Manhattan Bridge (though not as close as 100 Jay). Would have been better to keep that as open park space.

  • S.O.S.

    There is still a huge access problem for people to get down to the park from Brooklyn Heights.

    Robert Moses, the so-called “master builder” designed the BQE so that it cuts-off Brooklyn Heights from the precious waterfront below. (Thank goodness people fought & got the Promenade put on top.)

    Moses’ BQE basically cutt-off, isolated, & ruined the neighborhoods to our south. I believe Moses also wanted to run I-95, the most heavily used highway in the U.S., right through Manhattan, which would have destroyed Greenwich Village & many other neighborhoods. The guy was seriously out of control!

  • william

    Everything along the waterfront is fill. The Alfred T White Riverside Apartments at the base of Joralemon are built on 13 feet of fill/rupple from the 1700 and 1800s. The beach ran through 20 Columbia Place in 1754.

  • mlo

    just what the nayb needs a couple hundred thousand more obnoxious people

  • ABC

    1000 proposed units and no school. Smart

  • nabeguy

    Ah, yes, S.O.S, the good old days…

    ABC, rest assured, some variation of the Dock Stret proposal will probably worm its way into the plans as a way of ameliorating the anti’s

  • ABC

    I will be very surprised if that happens, Nabeguy, since they don’t seem to have any inclination to do anything at all for the ‘anti’s’.

  • bklyn20

    I am later to respond than I’d like to be — Time Warner Cable probems again — but can’t resist rebutting a few arguments here.

    Resident: Do not presume to know what I feel. I am friendly with several people in 1 BBP, and do not hold their presence in the building against them. The building was already there, and although I wish it wasn’t used for housing, and I wish that it had not been enlarged, I do not take it out on them.

    The point is the craven way in which the building was marketed is of a piece with the craven park process. No hearing on the carousel, meetings anounced at the last minute and at impossible times — this is how things are done with this park. If housing is so great, why don’t the signs on the Promenade for the park note the future/proposed housing sites? Because The BBPDC wants it to be a secret until the foundation is poured, if that heinous day ever comes to pass. Why are those signs even allowed on the promenade, anyway? Isn’t it some sort of an historic district violation? If I put up signs for my nest stoop sale, how big a ticket will I get and for how much?

    Many speakers in favor of housing in the park harped on the impossibility of restaurants, recreation centers and other alternative revenue streams funding park maintenance. None of the antihousing folks said that one restaurant can do it alone — but rather that any venue operating within the park must contribute to the park. Apparently none that are in the park now are contributing at all. (Excepting The River Cafe, which pays a rent more suitable to a walk-up studio in Bushwick No offense to Bushwick intended.) The budget needs to be re-examined. All and venues in the park, PIDS, PIRCS, the Witness buildings must all be considered to generate additional revenue..

    The overarching reason for no housing in any park is not “rich guy bad.” Housing in parks, like many such public-private partnership ideas, inevitably leads to benefits for affluent areas and neglect for poorer neighborhoods. Which developer wants to build luxury condos in East New York? No developer does, but East New York really needs more recreational open space. Which giant corporation want to sponsor a big rec center in East New York, complete with naming rights? No corporation does. They don’t want to be associated with a downscale area. The people who need open space most get the least when luxury housing is a cornerstone of park financing.

  • william

    The neighborhood services: schools, police, fire protection, hospitals, etc… will be over whelmed with 1000s of additional people (taking up park space) and paying nothing for those required community services by their residency.

    No more condos! Rein in the “park” budget. Save the neighborhood from excess.