The Brooklyn Heights Association and co-plaintiffs Fulton Ferry Landing Association and New York Landmarks Conservancy, responding to the decision of the National Park Service to affirm its earlier ruling and approve the transfer of the Tobacco Warehouse site for development as a new venue for St. Ann’s Warehouse, returned to federal court yesterday with an amended complaint in their lawsuit against the Park Service, adding as defendants U.S. Secretary of the Interior Kenneth Salazar, to whom the Park Service reports, and the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation.
The plaintiffs’ press release includes these details:
The new filing reveals graphic details of political pressure brought to bear by State and City officials. National Parks was on the verge of restoring the Tobacco Warehouse, located in the park between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges, to federal protection until City and State officials convinced them to reverse. Awkwardly, National Parks had already released a draft decision restoring the Tobacco Warehouse. Comparing the two conflicting decisions gives a unique view into the corrosive effect of political pressure placed on a federal agency that is supposed to protect parkland.
BHA president Jane McGroarty said:
Ironically, and sadly, neither Empire Fulton-Ferry State Park nor Brooklyn Bridge Park would exist without the community. Something born of a robust community process has been derailed by backroom politics. We are hopeful the Court will be the greater leveler of the playing field so that work can thereafter continue to build Brooklyn Bridge Park.
The lawsuit seeks to have the Tobacco Warehouse site restored to its previous position as federally protected parkland, and to enjoin its transfer to St. Ann’s or any other party for development. View the amended complaint below.