BH’er Lori Schomp Gets BBP Op-Ed in Daily News

Lori Schomp, founder of Save Pier 6 and co-founder of People for Green Space—along with Martin Hale and Joe Mertz—has an op-ed piece in today’s New York Daily News on how to sustain Brooklyn Bridge Park without building additional housing in the extremely popular waterfront park.

Consistent with the arguments Ms. Schomp and her supporters have successfully presented (so far) in fighting off plans by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation to erect two large residential housing towers on Pier 6, the DN piece punches holes in BBPC’s insistence that further housing is needed to fund park operations and annual maintenance.

The park is poised to reap a seven-fold tax increase from one building alone as tax breaks expire in coming years – raising as much as $200 million over 50 years, which would more than cover operations as well as a one-time pier repair.

Other expiring tax breaks on residential and commercial property should yield an additional $30-40 million over the next 50 years, excluding several buildings where information is not yet publicly available. The Corporation based a recent analysis on fiscal year 2018, just before the tax breaks begin to expire.

The park’s annual income will be 30% or more above its operating budget even before any rise in property taxes. Ignoring that revenue lowballs projected income and creates an illusory need to build.

Ms. Schomp, a frequent commenter on BHB topics, lives in Willowtown and is pursuing a masters degree in public health from Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health

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  • CassieVonMontague

    Take one look at the map included in the op-ed and the value of these lots are made clear. One parcel is surrounded on four sides by streets and the other is pinned in on three sides and abuts Atlantic Avenue. These ragged patches are hardly the “magnificent front yard” Ms. Schomp makes them out to be. I ask her what uses she proposes for her glorified on-ramp medians. No attractions for children I hope. As we saw two days ago, a playground next to Atlantic Ave would be a deadly proposal.

    The drivel about costs of funding the park are meant to divert attention away from the true reason for all this squabbling: these buildings will block the sky in Ms. Schomp’s backyard.

    The tiresome cries by the left that this is a crusade against affordable housing are, as usual, misdirected. The families that have jumped on the bandwagon to decry the crowding of schools and public resources are right to demand better services, but they’re worthy pleas should not be tacked onto one woman’s crusade to protect her property values.

    Build the buildings. Let more people call this jewel of a neighborhood home. I won’t be shedding any tears for the Willowtown backyards and rooftops that will have a sliver of their sky obstructed.

  • CassieVonMontague

    Has the BHA or Otis and Nancy Pearsall, the first family of historic preservation, given any official statements on the matter?

  • marshasrimler

    do not forget that the person responsible for this mess is our former state senator who recently represented Cuomo in his attempt to kick his opponent off the ballot MARTY CONNOR of pierrepont st. He made the deal with the devil we are living with today-before he was kicked out by the voters

  • Doug Biviano

    Jo Anne Simon took $4,500 from both Henry Gutman and Marty Connor. Simon is friends with Marty Connor and he is her election attorney. She also took $4,000 from Dem Party Boss Frank Seddio whose law partner is Frank Carone who worked tirelessly to close LICH for Carl McCall and SUNY.

  • willowtown rez

    Nice try at a smear but please get your facts straight. Lori no longer lives in Willowtown. She moved to the North Heights.

    The pro development types are attacking Ms. Schomp and others using the term NIMBY to denigrate their cause. The fact of the matter is that the pro development types are worse than Robert Moses in this case. We are destroying waterfront for the many by erecting towers for the few that are WAY out of scale.

    Even the mayor was on record prior to becoming mayor that the scale of the buildings was utterly inappropriate.

  • Doug Biviano

    BerlinRosen – Red Hook Star-Revue – surprised covering RedHook Library story when we were directed 2 call BerlinRosen

  • Henry

    Our local public officials (including members of the park board) wrote a public letter today asking for more information about the income from these tax breaks. How can the park board make decisions based on bad financials?

    In the public company world, people lose jobs and go to jail for hiding income. We, the people, deserve better from a government entity.

  • Jorale-man

    It’s always interesting how the developer crowd is the first to jump in on these comments threads. While I’m sure they are well-organized, the numbers that Ms. Schomp presents here make a lot of sense.

    I look at the values of my own co-op in the Heights and they’ve skyrocketed – my unit has nearly doubled its value in the past 5 years, according to Zillow. I’m sure that’s the case with 1BBP and other adjacent properties. To be using the original numbers doesn’t make sense by any logical analysis.

  • Doug Biviano

    here here my friend.

  • marshasrimler

    i do not believe Joanne is for sale.
    she has integrity

  • marshasrimler

    this entity has been corrupt from day one

  • ujh

    Why do Ms. Schomp et al. continue to ignore the decision by the previous mayor and governor that all new parks must be self-sufficient? Do Ms. Schomp et al. know that the PILOT revenue from One BBP was reduced by +/- 50% after the property was re-assessed during the economic downturn (and possibly still is)? Multiply such a future possibility by all park development. Do they know that sister organizations like the Central Park Conservancy and the Prospect Park Alliance must build endowments to carry out their responsibilities, if and when revenue drops? Do they know what these “rainy day funds” of the afore-mentioned organizations amount to? Do they know that the Governors Island Alliance and Hudson River Park Trust must also build such funds?
    If Schomp et al. abhor the mandated M&O funding mechanism, they should begin to advocate a radical change now that de Blasio is the mayor. They know darn well that higher taxes are the solution.

  • ujh

    Furthermore, there’s plenty of land in BBP that hasn’t been converted into usable park space yet.

  • Banet

    My understanding is that this increase in funds from tax abatement expiration has always been in the budget. The funds are allocated to building a fund to pay for capital improvements for the park. For example, whenthe astroturf on Pier 5 needs to be replaced, these funds will be there.

    Of course, we could not have these funds waiting and just let the facilities fall apart for lack of funding.

  • gatornyc

    You have no credibility when you accuse every governmental entity of being corrupt. And usually the sole basis of your accusation is that they do not agree with your position.

  • gatornyc

    With all due respect, anyone seeking public office needs more to his/her platform than “throw the corrupt bums out.” Alas, it is the only thing I ever hear from you.

  • Sunflower123

    She is not saying that the park shouldn’t be self-financing, and it has nothing to do with shadows in my backyard silliness. What Lori is saying is perhaps the park is already self-financing now and has sufficient income for future large capital projects (pier infrastructure) and no longer needs to have the ugly towers on Pier 6 to ensure that the park will be self-financing for the future. She laid out a very good argument as to why there needs to be an independent accounting of the BBP financials and its future needs. There really isn’t the infrastructure (schools) to have any more large developments in the district, especially with the proposed LICH development.

  • Solovely

    You may disagree with our analysis, but to say we are ignoring the self-sufficient mandate (setting side whether we agreed historically /or currently agree with the park’s mandate) it is hardly charitable on your part to suggest we are ignoring this.

    Case in point — 17 pages of press release financial analysis, showing revenue from the tax expirations at OBBP, and others to the extent estimable, given limitations to disclosure and available information.

    History of property tax increases in NYC,

    Also, tax increase information today

  • marshasrimler

    wrong. I have been involved in this from day 1-ask Mr. Manheim

  • Solovely

    The parks FY2018 budget projection, from the August presentation, shows what appears to be $2 million in non-maritime capex reserve funds within their 12.4 million budget, i.e. a 20% capital fund out of an apprx $10 million annual expense budget? Additionally over $2 million annually for mgmt and administration…

    *** from our press release ***
    First, it is hard to imagine that the park has undisclosed expenses of the magnitude of the projected surplus. The park already has a gold‐plated, projected budget that ranks among the highest in the city on cost per acre basis at $185,000 per acre (excluding the waterfront pier expense) and $245,000 per acre (including
    the waterfront pier expense)

  • johnny cakes

    You sound like Regina Myers’ beard.

  • johnny cakes

    That “park space” is underwater, Ursula. It will all be underwater when the next Sandy comes along.

  • BrooklynBugle

    Cheeky response? Think again – those pillars holding up the whole shebang need to be maintained. Don’t hear anyone talking about that or the cost to maintaining the underpinnings or fixing them after a catastrophic event.

  • petercow

    If all you’re going to do is spout cliches and tropes, at least get them right: “Hear, hear”, not “here, here”.

  • NeighboorHood

    We are talking about this Brooklyn Bugle. As I understand the BBP’s rather questionable financial report itself (which they refused to release prior to the meeting for review, despite the request of all our local elected reps, shows the park’s maintenance almost 100% funded into the future based on the funding stream ALREADY IN PLACE, without the Pier 6 buildings. The Pier 6 revenue they argue, is needed for a 200 million fund to shore up the pilings. Putting aside how they arrived at this convenient hand in glove figure, as I understand it, one argument now is that the tax abatement stream they appear to have purposely omitted from their budget would cover that as well. Again, if the revenue is not needed why on earth would we CHOOSE to build there instead of incorporating that land into green space?

  • Moni

    All politicians take money, sometimes from questionable sources (the Citizens United fiasco — until it is struck down — will continue to encourage this). Our system is pretty corrupt. Integrity, however, is an individual thing. I don’t know about Ms. Simon, but I do know Giv. Cuomo has little to none. I’m inclined to back Simon and Teachout. Nothing to lose.

  • gatornyc

    Completely unresponsive to my post. Doesn’t matter how long you have/have not been involved, my point remains the same.

  • marshasrimler

    You need to speak to Tony Manheim
    And others on the cac

  • johnny cakes

    Gator is the BBP’s beard. Hide the truth from the public. They aren’t able to handle it.

  • gatornyc

    Keep trollin’ johnny. It’s all you know.