Open Thread: Brooklyn Bridge Park Issues Pier 6 Housing RFP

Brooklyn Bridge Park released its RFP for residential development on Pier 6 this afternoon. For your review here’s the full press release and RFP.


Comment away!


Pier 6 development at BBP to include approximately 130,000sf of affordable housing.

Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP) today released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the long-term lease, development, and operation of two vacant parcels at the southern entrance to the Park adjacent to Pier 6. The residential development, to include apartments affordable to middle- and moderate-income New Yorkers, will ensure that the community better reflects the diversity of Brooklyn and provide vital park funding to guarantee the ongoing maintenance of the waterfront Park for generations to come. This development is critical to the park’s long-term sustainability, and will ultimately provide 60% of the funding necessary to maintain the Park’s piers and prevent their deterioration.

The residential development parcel—incorporated in the 2002 agreement that allowed the Park to be constructed and approved in the 2006 Modified General Project Plan (MGPP)—is located at the southern entrance to the Park at Atlantic Avenue and Furman Street, immediately south of the One Brooklyn Bridge Park condominium. The sites are each approximately 9,900 square feet.

This development project presents a unique opportunity to secure park funding and provide much-needed workforce housing – which is defined as housing for households with incomes between 80%–165% of citywide AMI (area median income). Providing for affordable housing within the approved building envelope will help address the acute shortage of affordable homes in the nearby community, consistent with Mayor de Blasio’s ambitious goal of building and preserving 200,000 units of affordable housing over the coming decade.

“We want neighborhoods that reflect the diversity of this borough and meet the needs of its working people. This is a unique opportunity to see this world-class park built and sustained for decades to come, while at the same time providing opportunities for middle-income workers who increasingly cannot afford to live in Brooklyn. It’s a win-win for the community and the borough,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen.

As fully approved in the MGPP, Site A allows for a maximum height of 315 feet with up to 290 residential units, while Site B is approved for a maximum height of 155 feet, up to 140 residential units, and ground floor retail. A maximum of 72 parking spaces is allowed across both sites. Further, the RFP will require that the development provide approximately 130,000 square feet of permanently affordable housing for moderate and/or middle income households.

While the Park is the beneficiary of significant capital investments from the City and the State for park construction, it receives no public funds for park maintenance or operations. The 2002 agreement catalyzed the transformation of the site from vacant piers to world-class park after decades of community activism. The Pier 6 sites are the final development sites in the MGPP, including the 435-unit One Brooklyn Bridge Park condominium, the Pier 1 residential and hotel development awarded to a joint venture of Toll Brothers and Starwood Capital, the adaptive reuse of Empire Stores for retail and commercial uses by Midtown Equities, and the John Street residential development being undertaken by Alloy Development and Monadnock Development.

“This is great for Brooklyn on so many levels,” said Regina Myer, President of Brooklyn Bridge Park. “Not only will the Pier 6 development implement Brooklyn Bridge Park’s financial model and guarantee our ability to operate and maintain the Park far into the future, but it provides affordable housing for NYC. We are proud to work with Mayor de Blasio’s team and the community on this milestone in the completion of the Park and deliver the housing and jobs this city needs.”

“Since opening Pier 1 in 2010, BBP has steadily added parkland and opened up the waterfront to thousands upon thousands – providing a venue for the diverse cultural and educational programming and events that the BBP Conservancy provides,” said Nancy Webster, Executive Director of Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. “As it is essential to the ongoing upkeep of the Park and therefore the continued success of this programming, the BBP Conservancy supports the development at Pier 6.”

“Brooklyn Bridge Park has quickly become a destination for millions of Brooklynites and visitors from all over,” said Carlo A. Scissura, President and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. “The financial model is working effectively and the housing is critical to the continued financial stability of the park. The inclusion of affordable housing in the RFP is a great step for inclusiveness and will set an example for future projects.”

“The transformation of the Brooklyn waterfront of Brooklyn Bridge Park has energized our neighborhoods and drawn millions to what is one of the most vibrant public spaces in the world,” said Alexandria Sica, Executive Director of the DUMBO Improvement District. “The Pier 6 development is necessary to this success, and the ability to include affordable housing in the plan is a real step forward for Brooklyn.”

“In a remarkably brief time, Brooklyn Bridge Park has expanded, enlivened and enriched Brooklyn and beyond – outstripping all expectations and supporting open space and economic development throughout the area,” said Tucker Reed, President of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. “That the BBP project is able to accommodate affordable housing at Pier 6 as well as meet its required funding obligations is a testament to the success of this model.”

By proceeding with the Pier 6 site, not only will BBP ensure ongoing financial stability, but it will be able to take advantage of a strong residential market and generate enough revenue to undertake preventative maintenance of the Park’s maritime infrastructure – which will save millions of dollars in expenses. In addition, the project developer will be asked to make strong commitments to hiring Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises.

The RFP requires respondents to submit conceptual plans that demonstrate responsiveness to the site design guidelines and a level of design that is on par with the investment made on the part of the public sector. The proposals must be responsive to criteria including financial feasibility, LEED certification and the project’s responsiveness to the surrounding community. Because the site is located within the 100-year flood plain, proposals should also incorporate flood resiliency measures into the design. Respondents must demonstrate the creation of a high quality and visually appealing residential development that enlivens the southern entrance to the Park.

The responses to the RFP are due on July 21, 2014. There will be a site visit and information session for potential respondents on June 2, 2014.

The Request for Proposals can be found on the official Park website at:

Pier 6 RFP Release 5.13.14

Update: This presser just in from some of our local elected officials:


BROOKLYN — Today, Congressmember Nydia Velazquez, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Assemblymember Joan Millman, and City Councilmembers Brad Lander and Steve Levin released the following statement regarding the Administration’s release of an RFP for residential towers at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park:

“We are disappointed with this rushed RFP to continue the Bloomberg Administration plan for housing towers in Brooklyn Bridge Park. As we fight to save Long Island College Hospital across the street, we must plan more thoughtfully for the future of the neighborhood.

“We have long urged alternatives to the Bloomberg Administration plan for housing at Pier 6, and are working to save healthcare services for the entire borough, create a first-rate park with great public access, address severe overcrowding at our neighborhood schools, and build or preserve a diverse mix of housing. We are open to growth, but this proposal does not meet the neighborhood’s diverse needs.”

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  • TMS

    Hudson River Park spans most of Manhattan – no private buildings
    Central Park – no private buildings
    Prospect Park – no private buildings
    Brooklyn Bridge Park, smaller than all of the above, is the only one that needs private funding. Hm.

  • DIBS

    Try a little reading and you will see why

  • BrooklynCoffeeLover

    Not all parks are created equal. Please read the article.

  • BrooklynBugle

    Do a little research on this “park” before commenting. By not doing so you’re making an argument based on false equivalencies.

  • CHatter

    At first blush seems OK. Note that NYC AMI in 2013 was $85,900 for a family of four, so for anyone concerned about demographic impact, let’s just say these “affordable housing” units are for a pretty posh set of “middle income” families. In any case, I for one welcome more economic diversity in our neighborhood. There will be resource challenges though–it will be interesting to see how PS8 (or will it be PS29?) cope.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    It may surprise you what the most significant expense is to Brooklyn Bridge Park, approximately a 200MM price tag:

  • littlestbird

    First off, my position is no more housing in the park; and second, housing only as a “necessary evil”

    But, as a taxpayer, while it’s nice that Ms. Myer can get money from the affording housing component, I’d like transparency on her calculations, and the “opportunity cost.” If these same apts were to be sold at market rates, instead. One can discount the future tax abatement expirations as well…

    Take that total “opportunity cost” then divide by the number of people who will be living in this affordable housing, and get the cost to the taxpayers (of putting affordable housing here) for each housed person!

    .. and then add on top of that quantitative cost, the qualitative cost of the further degradation of “the park experience”… enjoyed by 100k adults and children in one weekend…

    Classic example of giving to the few, and negatively impacting the experience of a public park space, for many, many people.. not just today, but for generations to come.

    Finally, Toll Brothers is making a killing on Pierhouse. Couldn’t our public leaders have retained some of the economics, so the city could have benefited along side their massive upside profits?

    Please consider reading the comments on and perhaps signing our petition if you agree, or sharing your thoughts / help!!

  • DIBS

    And, has anyone who knows anying about waterfront knows, at some time in the distant future, massive amounts of money will again have to be spent again and there will be a massive capital assessment that will need to be funded

  • StoptheChop

    Can’t we just rename this the “Brooklyn Bridge Waterfront Development Project”? After all, BBPDC is under EDC jurisdiction, not the Parks Dept. It’s a wonderful waterfront development project, but what with housing (including an out-of-context 31-story skyscraper to be looming overhead; how’s that for precedent in our communities!); hotel; shopping mall/office complex; corporate-sponsored events all the time…. maybe it would make these 2 towers easier to accept.

  • bkhaveityourway

    Great point- one that seems to be getting lost in these discussions.

  • Shira

    I agree – no one from our city government is talking about schools and/or other infrastructure issues with all of this development going on. There needs to be a balance here. One Brooklyn Bridge Park condos (360 Furman St.) are zoned for PS8 on the NYC DOE website, so there is a good assumption that other construction at Pier 6 would be zoned for PS8 as well. I’m very concerned about this as a local resident. (FYI: my child went through local public schools and will be in public high school this fall.)

  • Name

    Indeed. Let’s also include hospitals in that infrastructure. The response to the RFP is actually rather too optimistic on the subject of LICH, which appears to be DOA after 18 months of SUNY/Cuomo mangling. New housing of this scope will further strain strained resources at Brooklyn Hospital and Methodist.

  • Shira

    Yes, hospitals are crucial to the big picture as well.

  • Moni

    RE Developers dont give a fig about schools or hospitals, except maybe to tout the selling point that their project is in a good school district (which will soon be overburdened?) Politicians don’t give a fig about kids either, which is why our public schools have been such a mess for decades and continue to operate below par regardless of the charter school subterfuge and public space giveaway. The greed-is-good trickle-down Reagan snowball keeps gathering momentum as it buries the middle and working class in its seemingly unstoppable avalanche.

  • bethman14

    “The greed-is-good trickle-down Reagan snowball keeps gathering momentum as it buries the middle and working class in its seemingly unstoppable avalanche”
    And the way to help the middle and working class is to OPPOSE building AFFORDABLE housing because it may impact the exclusive leafy streats of the wealthiest community in Brooklyn?
    Real crusader for the poor and downtroden you are my friend.