So What Do You Think About the New York Times Op-Ed on Brooklyn Bridge Pier 6 Housing?

The New York Times weighs in today on the controversy about the housing planned for Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6.
What do you think of their take?

Comment away!

Battle Royale at Borough Hall: BBPC Board Shoots Down Pier 6 Opponents

TRO Issued on Brooklyn Bridge Park Pier 6 Towers

Local Resident Uses Savvy & Social Media to Fight BBP Housing Plan

The NY Times Sheds Light on the Opposition to Affordable Housing in Brooklyn Bridge Park

NYT: Thankfully, many of their neighbors in Brooklyn see through those arguments. They recognize that raising a ruckus about “crowding,” property values, traffic and school capacity is just a less obvious way to try to keep poor, or poorer, people off your block, and out of your park. The following statements are true, and not incompatible: Private development is essential to Brooklyn Bridge Park’s success. But a lack of affordable housing is a citywide emergency. Brooklyn Bridge Park can sustain itself through its public-private model and still have some affordable units built on its edges. The Brooklyn waterfront can and should stay green without becoming a luxury enclave, because this city gem is nobody’s private backyard.

From the Brooklyn Bugle: The New York Times P***es Me Off Endlessly

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  • Rosie

    It doesn’t matter to me that there is affordable housing at BBP, it’s about the HEIGHT OF THE TOWERS. we are not Manhattan. we are a landmark preserved community. We don’t need a 30 story tower & we don’t have enough schools or a hospital (RIP LICH) to sustain the 2 or 3,000 new residents.

  • Lori

    I don’t think the argument is about “affordable housing”. I think it is about putting up a building of that size in a PARK! Is there housing in Central Park? In Prospect Park? Or any other city park? The argument has been made to look like we in Brooklyn Heights are against “affordable housing”. Also, to qualify for “affordable housing” you have to earn between 60something thousand and over a hundred thousand, so this is not low income housing.

  • Cathleen

    I don’t get it–overcrowding, lack of infrastructure
    , schools, hospitals etc. ARE a real concern.

  • Bill

    Brooklyn Bridge Park does not lie inside the Brooklyn Heights Historic District. None of the development in the park lies inside a historic district, for that matter.

  • marshasrimler

    The discussion is NOT about affordable housing. In fact affordable housing was not in the picture until we had a new Mayor. It is just an idea being used to build big

  • CassieVonMontague

    Will the building cast a shadow on Ms. Schomp’s new $7.6 million Willowtown townhouse? Is there any room to compromise? Maybe we only need to make 100 families live somewhere else. Then she and her boyfriend can have their open sky. Maybe invite a few moderate-income families over for a beautiful sunlit evening in her backyard after it’s built? Sacrifices must be made.

  • Remsen Street Dweller

    That’s exactly right. In fact,L&M, the affordable housing component of the SUNY/Fortis deal to destroy LICH is pulling out of the deal because they feel they won’t be able to build high enough.

  • Cranberry Beret

    It seems as if the New York Times editorial board buys into the Bloombergian, any-development-is-good-development line of thinking, This statement in the NYT’s editorial is offensive: “[R]aising a ruckus about ‘crowding,’ property values, traffic and school capacity is just a less obvious way to try to keep poor, or poorer, people off your block, and out of your park.” I live in the real world, and on balance, putting housing of this size (towers) and type (mix of market and affordable) in/near the park seems acceptable. But mocking legitimate concerns about infrastructure and public services is a complete abdication of responsibility by the newspaper. Their attitude blesses actions by our government officials who appear to affirmatively assist private developers make a profit, yet seem to be doing nothing to ensure the public services like schools, roads and hospitals are up to the task of supporting the new development. The city’s economic development officials can’t move fast enough to publicly show the real estate plans and renderings; where are the mayor’s deputies who are championing specific, detailed plans for the schools, hospitals and libraries to support increased population density? My reaction is not NIMBY; it’s “Where’s my elementary school to go along with all the new housing units you’re building?” PS 8 has cancelled pre-K because its building is full. Where are the public officials who are showing plans to accommodate future students?

  • Remsen Street Dweller

    Anyone that followed the NY Times reporting of the SUNY LICH proceedings could see that the newspaper is all about protecting NYC’s real estate interests.

  • Remsen Street Dweller

    Manhattan is not Manhattan anymore either — for the most part just a jumble of towering glass buildings. That’s the plan for Brooklyn now — build ’em. build ’em high and destroy everything in their wake.

  • Brooklyn Heights Resident

    I can’t wait until the BBPark is underfinanced in 10 years because the income from the apartment buildings in the park is not enough to sustain it — and ends up being 30% short of necessary operating costs.

    Build affordable housing elsewhere. This does not fit within the plan.

  • Daniel De Kock

    Saying these two proposed buildings are “in” the park is disingenuous; The proposed sites are on the periphery – closer to the container port than the bulk of the park. The Pierhouse Hotel and Condos are more “in” the park than these two sites. In your parlance, any of the apartment buildings surrounding Central and Prospect Parks are also “in” those parks.

  • stuart

    The Times editorial gets it about right. People, even well-meaning people, fabricate excuses that are basically a cover-up for their NIMBY fears. The proposed buildings were always going to be same height no matter who lives in them. So what’s the real argument here? Also, it is important to keep repeating that the proposed buildings are not in the park, they are alongside the park. Check out the tall buildings along Riverside Drive,Central Park West or for that matter, Prospect Park West. Having tall residential buildings along the perimeter of a public park is the norm in NY.

  • judifrancis

    I wonder if they were to rephrase the argument, from the sensationalism (ne, red-herring) of luxury vs. affordable housing, to the value and use of our parks, if they would have come to the same conclusions? Considering all the ways we can pay for the dire necessity of open space – like buying-back lands with a surcharge on real estate transactions (like what is done in the Hamptons), or tax increment financing, or park improvement districts (there are many, many ways to pay for this park without housing and we have chronicled a lot of them over the years, and all bring in the same money or more) – would we really ever think housing inside a park is the best solution for our public parks? Certainly our forefathers didn’t think so, and that is why they protected our parks with the Public Trust Doctrine. But the clever, small minded folks at the state’s economic development corporation didn’t designate our “park” as a park so it has no protections. Do we really believe that 1% of our taxes is too much to support for our entire park system? (It’s now about .03% of the tax role, and shrinking despite Bill’s big increase of what, $25 million this year – still a pathetic proportion of the city’s budget for such needed recreational space…remember, very few New Yorkers even have a backyard). The sensationalism of who lives next door – again, a base canard, red herring, lie – has never been the issue.The real issue is over why we would give any of these precious lands away to anyone, forever? Brooklyn deserved, and continues to deserve, better. And for the record, the folks writing for the NY Times live elsewhere and, as one NYT reporter said to me when I asked her if she knew her upper East Side neighbors, why is that important? Brooklynites celebrate their neighbors – that is what makes us the envy of NYC. To pin false socio-economic attitudes on us is demeaning. We deserve better and we deserve our PARK AS A PARK.

  • A Neighbor

    Another pedestrian Times editorial, narrow and predictable. I like moderate-income house, lots of it. The middle and working classes, the life-blood of the city, are being priced out of it.

    My question is — why are we filling up our precious little green space with big boxes? Because Bloomberg who has access to the parks near his homes in London and Bermuda went to the mountaintop and proclaimed that BBP, unlike Prospect, Central, and most others, has to be self-financed?

    Which raises another question nobody, least of all the Times, is talking about. How come Hudson River Park, 5 miles long, can finance itself without any housing? Because that board has more vision? Because the BBP board is over-building facilities as v parkland? Because they made bad deals? These are issues the Times should have addressed and for which we deserve answers.

  • MonroeOrange

    I agree….when they initially started talking about this park, everyone said, there would be no building that exceeded the height of the promenade….wow that certainly has changed.

  • john good

    Jeez, unbelievable you guys with the NIMBY accusations.

    Have you spent any time in BBP?

    Obviously not, because if had you’d see that the majority of people who come are from lower to lower-middle class backgrounds.

    There’s no way that anyone is afraid of living next to affordable (moderate income) housing. It’s ridiculous

    All people want is as little construction in Pier 6 as possible.

    The whole point to say NIMBY is to stifle conversation. It’s not going to work

    Shame on you

  • gc

    The New York Times, like the mayor we liberals elected, is apparently bought and paid for by the real estate interests. The fight seems lost unless some of the younger generation gets off their asses and makes a difference. The big money interests have figured out how to game the system. Those on the other side better figure out a better game plan pretty fast.

  • Fritz

    Hudson River Park started with commercial projects providing funding, it’s on the rocks now with more commercial development as a “lifeline”

    As you know who teaches us “No investigation, no right to speak.”

  • Fritz

    High rise development reduces our average carbon footprint. More people around will support the restaurants and other amenities bloggers are always asking for, maybe eventually a replacement for the Heights Cinema. LICH died because Heights residents with insurance would not go there. We do need another public school in the neighborhood.

  • Remsen Street Dweller

    LICH did not die — it was murdered. LICH was very well utilized. If you are a resident of the area, educate yourself about the premeditated murder that took place.

    You did say in a previous comment, “No investigation, no right to speak.”

  • NeighboorHood

    More of the same. Sigh. Trying to besmirch and intimidate opposition to the big real estate money interests. As jaded as I am, I was shocked at the level and intensity of character assassination leveled at the figure heads of our neighborhood opposition to high rises in the park (and the library give away for that matter) and other privatization give aways of public spaces. The NYT and some local blogs seem obsessed with 2 people of the thousands who are against the high rises. If this unrelenting negative profiling of 2 individuals is mere journalism, then where are the profiles of BBP board members on these blogs and the Times? How about questioning their motives, financial status, addresses, possible conflicts of interests?

  • Jorale-man

    I regularly agree with the Times editorial board but they really missed the point on this one. You wonder if any of its members have actually been to BBP on a Sunday afternoon when the park is so packed with visitors that you can’t even set foot in there. Nor have they been to Brooklyn Heights lately, a once quiet, even sleepy neighborhood that’s now become a clogged pass-through zone on the way to the park. Add hundreds of new residents in a 31-story tower and the problem will surely get a whole lot worse.

  • nathan

    The times article was ridiculous. Of course, the real issue isn’t affordable housing in the park; the neighborhood is more concerned with the size and scale of that ridiculous tower, dwarfing the size of the building next door – all this will only
    exacerbate the current safety and infrastructure issues for Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, Cobble Hill, and Columbia Heights.

    I’m personally most concerned with the very safety of those that use this park. If anyone has been to the southern entrance of the
    park on a weekend-one sees multiple NYC City buses, a near-permanent line of cars waiting to park in the garage-clogging up the street in gridlock, large beverage delivery trucks coming in/out of the distribution center, families pushing strollers, various joggers wearing headphones, hipsters, and even some hipster parents jogging with a stroller and wearing headphones. And, of course the thousands of other park goers streaming in from Atlantic Ave.

    All of this next to where kids play (it’s a park, duh). What could possibly go wrong? I can just see a kid breaking away from the parents and running into this chaotic mess of a street/intersection (there aren’t even stop lights). Can’t believe it hasn’t happened already. What do you think adding two more towers to this small crowded space, at the entrance of the park will do to
    remedy the chaos that exists today? What about the construction process?

    I shudder to think that some serious accidents involving children haven’t happend already, but could be avoided by only conducting an objective environment impact study in 2014 – original was done in 2004 (you know when the park didn’t even exist yet, and a time when a lot of people thought we went to
    war in Iraq b/c we were told that Saddam was behind 9-11).

    Why not simply conduct an objective study? What’s the rush to develop this if the buildings will be here for the next century? Let’s make sure we do this right, if the park must develop (we are only told park needs the money from a 30+ story tower– but the park hasn’t disclosed a single budgetary detail – so
    who really knows?)

    We should celebrate that the park is such a success? Why ruin it by making it unsafe for the very children and citizens that are supposed to enjoy it?

  • Banet

    I’ve never understood the point of view that these buildings are “in the park”.

    Instead of 85 acres for a park with a few acres leased to pay for the park’s upkeep, had the deal 10 years ago been “here’s 80 acres for a park. We’re going to sell 5 acres at the periphery to the highest bidder and put the proceeds in a trust to pay for the park in perpetuity” everyone would be on cloud nine.

  • Banet

    Actually, Hudson River Park is a financial failure that’s desperate for big development on Pier 40 and is also getting paid for through massive upzoning in exchange for cash one block deep all along the length of the park. BBP doesn’t have the up zoning option as Brooklyn Heights, Fulton Ferry and Dumbo are historic districts… unless, that is, you’d like massive up zoning along Columbia Street and at LICH?

  • Banet

    For what it’s worth, Schmorgusburg will not be returning after this Fall — that should cut down on the Sunday crowds quite a bit.

  • Susan Raboy

    SUNY and our Governor killed off LICH because of their greed and poor management. With all this new development coming to our area why aren’t people talking about the lack of hospital care and the long wait times at other hospitals. Many lives will be at risk. Why aren’t all of you talking about patient care and patients’ rights that were taken away by our governor and SUNY.

  • stuart

    If you are looking for peace and quiet, you should seriously consider moving to the suburbs. The big city is all about crowds and noise and buses and tall buildings. You will make yourself miserable staying in a locale you dislike.

  • Remsen Street Dweller

    Cut the crap.