Hotel/Housing Design Proposals Revealed for Brooklyn Bridge Park


Last night at Borough Hall, Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation (BBPDC) representatives publicly revealed seven responses to the previously announced Request for Proposals (RFP) for a developer to build and operate a hotel and market priced residential housing on two reserved development parcels in Brooklyn Bridge Park near Pier 1.  Representatives presented slide visuals  to the general public, the BBP Citizens Advisory Council, and Community Board 2 Parks Committee members. Following the presentation there was a question and comments period.

The BBPDC slide presentation provides renderings of each developer’s proposal.  Click to view the presentation (PDF/40mg).

The selection process now enters a month-long public comment period.  What do you think about the proposals?  Applause, criticism, favorite designs?  The public is welcome to submit comments. And of course let’s also hear what everyone thinks through BHB comments below.

The Brooklyn Paper also has an article about last night’s meeting and development presentation.


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  • C.

    Wow, that’s obnoxious. It looks like the Shire on steroids. No way this gets built.

  • Matthew Parker

    Before making up your mind, download the PDF presentation that lists all seven design proposals with large rendering from different angles. Remember the photo above is just one proposal from one developer. There are six others to consider.

    IMHO, the one pictured above is the most aesthetically pleasing, though I also like two others. Definitely check out the larger photos and different angles before coming to an opinion.

  • TMS

    What school are the children who will be living in 30 Henry, 20 Henry and the Pier 1 Housing planning on going to? PS8 is busting at the seams as it is. Shouldn’t these developers be required to help fund a new school before they build?

  • C.

    I looked at them all. They’re all appalling

  • resident

    I imagine those that are against the housing in general will be disinclined to enjoy any of the proposals.

    I’m not generally a huge fan of modern architecture, so I’m not in love with any of these designs. If I had to choose, I guess I like the one pictured at the top of this page.

    One thing’s for certain, if Judy Stanton and the BHA favor contemporary design and designs that “celebrate our time,” they should be happy with the proposals. Well, except for the RAL design, that one seems rather pedestrian.

  • Teresa

    Slide 36 is hilarious. “View from Manhattan”?!

    I think they’re mostly awful, and even if the view of the harbor is unobscured, they destroy the view of the Bridge from the Promenade. I guess at this point we’ll be lucky if it’s only awful and not completely horrendous.

  • stuart

    these are very interesting responses to the RFP. I like several of them including the FXFowle proposal and the Marvel proposal and the WASA one. Creative, sculptural, and green. These will add to the park not detract.
    The ones I don’t like so much are the corporate looking ones.
    Congrats to the BBPDC!

  • wrennie

    I’ve accepted that housing in the park is a necessary evil; I’m not too thrilled with any of these options, though. I think I’d prefer to see something that blended into the general look of the neighborhood a little more. I’m also wondering what sort of visitors the hotels will attract–people on business trips (that wouldn’t bother me at all) or general tourists who are super excited to ride their bikes down sidewalks and generally clog things up. (Not trying to open that whole can of worms about welcoming tourists…it’s tolerable now, I suppose, but I’m slightly concerned about that number ballooning with another hotel option right in the area.)

  • Willow St. Neighbor

    Someone asked a question about the overcrowding of schools in the area. We have lost some lovely people from our building due to the fact that there is a shortage of schools in the neighborhood. They moved to suburbs with good public schools. Not everyone can afford to send their children to the private schools here.
    Just wondering.

  • Teresa

    Whatnot: Look at the .pdf slideshow. You’ll see how the view of the Bridge will be changed.

  • Publius

    Regarding public schooling, in particular middle school, isn’t the Dock Street project, which I’ve heard is due to begin April 2012 supposed to provide a new middle school for the area. It would be only 2 blocks from the new housing on Pier 1.

  • views

    @Whatnot: since you admit that you haven’t been following, I’l bring you up to speed.
    1) Up until about 2 years a go there was a large complex of crumbling industrial building in approximately the same location that this project is now contemplated: the national cold storage warehouse. That build was taller, wider and more massive than any of the proposals presented here. The current view from the promenade has only existing since those warehouse were torn down to make way for this development

    2) There is a zoning rule that significantly limits the ability to build buildings in front of the promenade. The location of the current site puts it just outside the protected view shed.

    I hope that helps

  • Still here

    I thought most were just too massive. I liked TOLL brothers/Marvel the best as it had some topography and integrated with the park better than the rest.

  • Carroll

    These two monstrosities are what the Mayor, our politicians and the Brooklyn Heights Association think should be allowed in the park. These hotels/condos/retail operations don’t need to be in the park. They belong in the Watchtower building across the street, which will lose millions in the value of it building, because the hotel will block its views. PILOTs from the hotel in the Watchtower building then could self-finance the park. These two buildings, 10 & 5 stories tall, contemporary-designed hotel will now be the focus of the center of the park, rather than the Brooklyn Bridge – the icon of Brooklyn. The original community concept for this space that were proposed to self-finance the park was for an extended-stay apartment/conference center/hotel, that was 4-stories high and would blend into the community and park. I want a real park, not a front yard to a hotel complex.

  • Nativenyer

    I completely agree with Carroll…. The ongoing use of public land throughout the City for private enterprise is outrageous. This will be the unfortunate lasting legacy of Tsar Bloomberg, aka Robert Moses II.

  • EHinBH

    I think there are some good possibilities here – and its exciting. There is a whole new neighborhood being developed. It should not look like The Heights… It’s not The Heights. Also, the buildings are not going to block the bridge view from the prominade — it just looks that way from the renderings. You are not taking into account how high the bluff is that the Heights is built on top of. My only worry is that traffic will become a nightmare on Furman and that Fulton Ferry Landing will be clogged. Hopefully – at least – every apartment will have a parking spot. Otherwise, thse folks for sure will be coming up here to find a spot…

  • Matthew Parker

    Parcel A, which permits building up to 100ft. would occlude views of the Brooklyn-side tower of the Bridge when viewed from the Promenade which some of the renderings in the slide presentation clearly indicate. It would be similar to the blocked view when the warehouses were standing two years ago before they were torn down to clear way for these parcels. Parcel B can not block views because it is zoned in a protected district. Parcel A, however, lies outside of the protected district.

  • Daffy Duck

    Real Estate Greed knows no bounds. Blame Bloomberg for the mess.

  • David Fuller

    It is a HUGE mistake if they want to keep the tourists enthralled, not to mention if they want to not upset us tax paying voting residents, to obscure the Bridge at all from the Promenade. I cannot express enough my dismay at the possiblity. I will join any opposition to such greed wholeheartedly. Build laterally, not up!

  • David Fuller

    The Two Trees proposal has no view from Promenade? Did I miss it? Interesting that Two Trees does not indicate St. Ann’s Warehouse as a partner. I like that the first proposal has an arts organization component. It should have been a requirement of the RFP.

  • carlotta

    Just because you’re allowed to build high doesn’t mean you should. The blocked view is not just blocked by a simple old brick building, but by massive constructions that seem to curve this way and that with protusions every which way. Egads!

  • Jorale-man

    The Marvel/Toll Brothers proposal seems to be the most contextual and palatable of the group. The SDS and Starwood designs look like they belong in an office park in Stamford.

    I think @David Fuller has a good point – they should require that a theater or something with a potential community benefit to be part of these.

    My general concern is these dominate the visual space of the park to such a large extent; They’ll basically turn Pier 1 into a front yard for the hotel and its guests.

  • Jorale-man

    Just to finish my thought: I really think there needs to be some serious public discussion about this. I’d much rather see the park construction delayed until the economy improves than seeing this go forward, which will be irreversible and something people may look back on and regret down the road. And while I get the fact that there were warehouses here before, they didn’t have nearly bulky footprint that these would, not to mention the overflow of tourists that will use the park. Some discussion is seriously needed here.

  • WillowtownCop

    They can’t even sell all the horrible condos they have now – 1BBP, downtown, Williamsburg, etc. What makes anyone think they might even make money with this kind of building?

  • stuart

    1BBP is selling very well.
    The edge in Williamsburg is selling gangbusters.
    God distributes his gifts unevenly.
    Those who have, are spending it.

  • Bornhere

    I think they all look like some Aztec nightmare.
    I also think they will have an overall negative effect on the area: Brooklyn Heights has been a sort of NYC oasis forever, one that showcased beautiful brownstones and (old) brick multi-families, and some lovely apartment buildings. These offerings are jarring and massive, and will forever change the quality of life here, which, I, for one, have always been grateful for. The Heights is New York, but it is not Manhattan — it cannot absorb hundreds of newcomers without being irreparably affected.
    Except for the fact that this plan is insanely upscale, I think the whole thing will be as awful as was the decision to tear down Henry and Fulton and build what is there now.
    And as far as schools go, even Packer, Friends, et al, have limits. What are the potential dwellers going to do — homeschool their kids?
    (And what’s with “grass” on 3-foot high surfaces??)
    If only we can “just say no.”

  • Bornhere

    (Should be “30-foot high surfaces”….)

  • davoyager

    These are terrible ideas. Parcel B should be Green House Habitats; a part of the park, and Parcel A should be visitor center and parking and dock side museum. The Park is too small to meet the needs of the city and community right now and needs these amenities to be minimally functional. Adding however these over the top extra buildings makes the Park way over crowded Tokyo style and does not fit the vision of a Greater NYC.

  • Curmudgeon

    No, no, no! These are all horrendous proposals. I still don’t understand why this Brooklyn Park has to have commercial options to support it while Manhattan parks on the other side of the East River don’t get general city tax funds via the Emperor Bloomberg. He should stop running the City like a business because it just isn’t.

    These hotels obscure the view of the Brooklyn Bridge for us Brooklynites and if this gets built only the tourists who stay in the hotel will get the “world class” view from their rooms. It’s time for the neighborhood to stop this!

  • my2cents

    Having looked carefully at the pdf, I have to say that my initial reaction (profanity and disgust) was tempered a bit. I think the Starwood and the Dermot/Pritzker proposals stand out as the best. The SDS one is a nice building but it’s too slick and un-Brooklyn for the site, in my opinion. The rest of them are pretty mediocre. The RAL proposal is hideous and bland at the same time. Speaking in general, I think if you study the height carefully relative to the existing structures, the project will not be tall enough to really ruin the bridge view from the promenade. I am sure some enterprising sketchup user can make some alternative views showing how it would be from further down the promenade. Seems to me, though, that the obstruction will not be obscene. I think if you study the rendering above the perspective is actually off, making the proposed building seem tall than it is.
    I hope these projects include room for 6 or more white stretched Hummer Limousines to idle and a purpose-built photo spot for weddings to take pictures without bothering the locals…I’d call that a blessing.