Here’s a Look at Brooklyn Bridge Park Finances

The Wall Street Journal this morning posted a story about competing financial models for the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation. WSJ cites the efforts of People for Green Space, a persistent critic of BBPC, who in August released an examination of the park’s financial projections suggesting that high-rise residential towers planned for Pier 6 were not necessary to sustain BBP finances.

The park staff issued a report at a meeting last month showing that when the park facilities are completed in 2018, recurring revenue from other development in the park would cover only $11.2 million of the $12.4 million operating budget. It said the new apartment buildings were “projected to fill remaining holes” in the financial plan.

But the plan’s opponents have issued a report saying the one-year snapshot was misleading because park revenue would grow sharply within a few years after that and produce surpluses.

Yesterday BBP circulated a letter addressed to People for Green Space’s political allies—including Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Assembly Member Joan Millman and Council Members Brad Lander and Steven Levin—disputing PFGS’s alternative financial view of park finances.

Contrary to the suggestions made in your letter and statements made by the newly formed groups “Save Pier 6” and People for Green Space Foundation Inc., the Park has been consistently transparent and responsive to questions with respect to its financials.

As you know, there have been multiple public meetings convened by BBP on the Pier 6 development sites at which this information has been presented in detail. As discussed at these meetings, the BBP financial model does in fact account for the projected revenue generated by expiring tax abatements. As also discussed at these meetings, this increase will coincide with increased funding needed for both the maritime reserve and the capital reserve required to replace Park installations that will start to reach the end of their useful life and need replacement.

Tonight at 6:30 p.m. at 334 Furman Street, the BBP’s Community Advisory Committee (CAC) will hold a review and discussion of recently released BBP financial statements.

DEVELOPING: Velázquez, Squadron, Millman, Lander, Levin and 52nd Assembly Democratic nominee Jo Anne Simon have just issued a letter responding to the BBP’s statement from yesterday.

Urging the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation to “[p]roduce and make publicly available a written report analyzing environmental impacts” of proposed further development at Pier 6, the letter goes on to urge BBPC, among other requests, to “[b]egin a transparent process on Pier 6 respondents,” and to “provide, publicly, more detailed line-item spending.”

Share this Story:

, , , , , , ,

  • johnny cakes

    Spin, baby, spin.

  • Joe A

    That’s not fair to the People for Green Space. I’m sure they didn’t misrepresent the financial picture intentionally. Just an honest mistake.

  • gc

    Like the library and the hospital, prepare to be rolled over by the real estate interests and their political toadies.

  • Jorale-man

    The key quote in the Journal article is from the financial analyst neighbor (presumably a resident of One BBP): “This is a big decision and no corporate board would make a $100 million-plus decision on a one-year cash-flow model,” he said. “I believe the park is overfunded.”

    I’d think that any judge ruling on this wouldn’t take the BBP numbers as gospel and would get at least one fresh independent analysis that’s been missing until now.

  • stuart

    I have a view of the park and every night I see how the park visitors are ushered out at 10:00 and how the barbecues and other areas are cleaned and the paths swept and then in the morning how the park is opened. it is a model for urban parks anywhere. this kind of maintenance is expensive. Prospect Park doesn’t have it. Go there on any Monday and look at the mess from the weekend.
    BBP by contrast is a really well maintained park. Sorry, but Brooklynites are slobs. really bad, the park looks so good because there are crews there every night. I see them, most people don’t they think that a spotless and clean public space are just a given.

  • Andrew Porter

    It’s too crowded—especially on weekends—no one goes there any more…

  • Andrew Porter

    Has anyone noticed that the eastern side of the berms are not working? There were no plants growing on them—perhaps because they are in shadow too much of the time, with limited sunlight—and crews have been depositing a thick layer of rich, black soil on that side. I suspect they will have pre-grown turf laid on that side.

  • ujh

    Peculiar logic, to say the least: If “no one goes there any more,” how come the park is too crowded? You obviously don’t see the multitude of local joggers and runners in the early morning and late at night.
    I’m in the park almost daily, during the day and in the evening. Except for the Pier 1 Promenade, where short-term arrivals tend to congregate to take photos of the Manhattan skyline, the entire section south to the Picnic Peninsula on Pier 5 is almost empty. Before 8 p.m. yesterday, the roller rink was “populated” by nine users plus the attendant; two adults used the swings; one family exercised in the fitness area; half of the handball courts were empty, so was at least one third of the basketball courts.

  • ujh

    Based on what I’ve seen to date, the berm was probably a mistake and has cost a lot more than anticipated. A lot of water has been used this summer to get the grass to germinate and keep whatever has grown alive.
    I’m not a landscape architect or designer but wonder whether a wedge-shaped concrete or metal structure wouldn’t have been preferable and more cost-effective. Horizontal, stepped tubs or boxes on both sides could have accommodated shrubs and hanging plants and been equipped with an automatic drip watering system. The effect would be the same as that of an earthen berm, and the maintenance of the plantings would be more efficient.

  • Andrew Porter

    I’m not aware that yesterday was a weekend. You’re not aware that I paraphrased Yogi Berra. Come back on Sunday, when Smorgasburg is in session.

  • Andrew Porter

    And there would have been more space for a lawn you could sit on—or even more exercise equipment.

    Maybe even a velodrome!

  • Jorale-man

    Yes, and I agree, the berm is a real structural flaw in the park. It wastes a lot of space for minimal noise buffering. Have you also noticed that there’s been a big grove of trees sitting on Pier 3 waiting to be planted? I bet they’re intended for the east side of the berm, but they can’t move them in until they get some semblance of ground cover first.

  • Doug Biviano

    I railed against the berm many times since 2008 as a waste. Nobody listened.

  • marshasrimler

    we will not accept this.. a revolt is brewing

  • marshasrimler

    peter askonozy is the villain on bbp board and bpl board husband of pam brier exec at mamiodies hospital ( pardon my spelling). investigate him . he is at the center of a web of real estate/ political interests that is destroying our neighborhood

  • marshasrimler

    i agree

  • clarknt67

    And we can waste energy lamenting people are slobs. Or just resign ourselves if we want a nice park we’ll have to pay custodial staff to pick up after slobs. And something has to foot that bill. And it isn’t going to be revenues from a hot dog stand vendor. And legally it can’t be the city or state’s parks budget.

  • Guest

    I thought he was quoting Yogi Berra: “Nobody goes there anymore. It’s too crowded.”

  • clarknt67

    I live in the neighborhood and every time I have been there it has been packed with people from pier 1 down to 6. I am reminded phrase “build it and they will come.” It seems to me Park advocates were correct and there was pent up demand for this park. And I caught your Yogi Berra allusion.

  • clarknt67

    The idea of “over funding” as an argument is silly to me. There is much on the wish list that got cut for lack of funding. Bring back ideas like an elevator from the Promenade, for example. Another great use for funds might be an athletic director to work full time developing exercise programs for our borough’s kids. (Didn’t I hear we have childhood obesity problem?)

    And of course it never hurts big projects to have a rainy day fund because rainy days always come and when they do for a project this size the bills are huge. There are worse things than a park having a healthy operating budget.

  • johnny cakes

    90 per cent of baseball is 50% mental.

  • johnny cakes

    Land taken by building can’t be replaced. Unless a big bad Sandy storm comes back. Save for a rainy day.