Design for the 115,000-square-foot cycling & recreational Fieldhouse planned near Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 5 has been tweaked, with additional space for sports other than cycling and fewer spectator seats for cycling events, but critics still want to apply the brakes to the controversial project.
Greg Brooks, executive director of New York City Fieldhouse Inc., insists there is “demand and a need for indoor recreation space,” in the latest story about the facility in The New York Daily News. But Peter Flemming, co-chair of the BBP Community Council, believes, “No matter how they say it, this is first & foremost a cycling arena. It’s a bad thing for this park.”
The cycling track will be elevated on support beams to increase rec space to 25,000 square feet, which will allow more simultaneous activities, Brooks says. There will also be moveable equipment for basketball, volleyball, tennis and badminton; with fencing, martial arts, kickball and gymnastics also slated. Additionally, plans called for 2,499 fixed spectator seats and up to 3,300 with temporary seating and standing room. That number has been sliced to 1,200 fixed, and up to 2,000 with temp seating and standing room.
But because of its lack of parking, Brooklyn Heights Association president Jane McGroarty fears traffic snarls: “It’s a potential nightmare,” she says, adding that fans driving in from New England and the mid-Atlantic states will create havoc in the neighborhood. She also claims rec-center fees will be a “challenge for working people with children in Brooklyn.”
As previously reported, the fieldhouse is being funded with a $40 million donation from Joshua Rechnitz. The BBP board and the state must vote to approve the project before the Fieldhouse proceeds.
(Photo: NY Daily News)