One Man Miffed Over BHA’s Tobacco Warehouse Lawsuit

The Brooklyn Eagle dedicates an entire story to one letter written to the Brooklyn Heights Press protesting the Brooklyn Heights Association’s (along with the Fulton Ferry Landing Association and the New York Landmarks Conservancy), lawsuit against the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (NYSOP) and the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation for removing the Tobacco Warehouse from federally protected park land.

The letter, from Bo Rodgers, rails against the BHA and says that he’s “entirely sympathetic” with the three high profile BHA members who recently took their ball and went home over their disapproval of the litigation.

Read more and vote in our poll after the jump.

Brooklyn Eagle: “[The St. Ann’s Warehouse plan] is a great opportunity,” Rodgers said. “That’s what I fear, that if they (the BHA) blow this opportunity, there won’t be an opportunity this good to come along again.”

The National Park Service of the U.S. Department of the Interior found the removal of the warehouse from the planned 85-acre Brooklyn Bridge Park was proper, it was announced Monday.

“Purists are getting 75 percent of what they want, and on the other hand, a huge plus!” Rodgers said, referring to the theater. “I’m just looking at facts and where circumstances are today, and if you throw it all into the pot, this is a wonderful, wonderful use of that space.”

As we’ve previously reported, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation has conditionally approved the plan by St. Ann’s Warehouse to develop the space inside the shell of the Tobacco Warehouse as a new home for its performance facility. This week, the National Parks Service reaffirmed its approval of the plan.

The conversation on BHB about this issue has been lively and certainly more diverse than one man’s letter to a neighborhood newspaper. Do you agree with Mr. Rodgers?

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  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Bravo Mr. Rodgers. Not only are you good looking but a very thoughtful reasonable man. I couldn’t agree more.

  • bklyn20

    Sorry, Mr. Rogers, but the whole Tobacco Warehouse deal was done in an underhanded fashion. (Many of this park’s “deals” have been done in an underhanded fashion — like the secretive 2004 deal to put luxury condos into the park.) But I must disagree with you and in this case agree with the BHA.

    I think the Tobacco Warehouse should make money for the park, through a proper public process. I also don’t consider St Ann’s the right “landlord” for the space, regardless of their artistic credentials. The space must be (properly and honestly) controlled by the park so that revenue goes directly into the park. St. Ann’s can and should mount some productions in the space, but their ticket prices are way too high, even with the occasional free event in the mix. An event space in an NYC public park needs a variey of ticket prices and types of events.

    As ’62 Eli, perhaps Mr. Rogers need not worry about paying for St Ann’s events, but not all parkgoers are in the same situation.
    So no, I don’t agree with Mr. Rogers.

  • Big Dave

    If St. Ann’s gets the space, are they not required to give money to the Park? Aside from them getting a really cool venue, how does the Park benefit?

  • sky

    I think it’s time for Judy Stanton to retire! BHA needs new blood.

  • william

    Last year, Regina Myer famously told the NY Post that there were “absolutely” no rats in the Brooklyn Bridge Park. I didn’t believe her then, and I don’t believe her now.

  • Jann

    When the government holds property as a public trust, actions to change its use or dispose of it should be transparent. That’s why there are processes through which such actions are supposed to be done. The process defined in government regulations were not followed and the plans to change the use of the Tobacco Warehouse and dispose of it via lease to private parties were done outside of the public eye. Just because one may like what the plan is does not excuse the failure to conduct the public’s business in public. If it is such a good idea, why be afraid of following the lawful procedures?

  • Claude Scales

    william: To be fair to Ms. Myer, the question she was asked was whether Brooklyn Bridge Park had “a rat problem”, and her answer was, “Absolutely not.”