WPIX: The Pierhouse Will Block the NYC Views for People from All Over the World

WPIX-TV covered the efforts of Save the View regarding the height of Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pierhouse last night.

RELATED: All Coverage of the Pierhouse

WPIX: The BHA has since reached out the Park Corporation.

In a letter the Association said:

“Our Board and public are angered that the new buildings have seriously compromised that iconic, world class view. We have communicated this to the BBPC and requested that its leadership and the developers of this project take any steps possible to mitigate the Pierhouse development’s visual obstruction of the Bridge.”

But a spokesperson for Brooklyn Bridge Park said the Corporation always left room for height alterations to meet zoning requirements, which were altered after Hurricane Sandy. Meaning they had to move equipment out of the basement to the roof, raising the height of the building.

In a statement the spokesperson said:

“The building under construction today, including the bulkhead, is consistent with the designs that were presented to the community to favorable response in September 2013.”

So, unless there’s a lawsuit to stop construction, the project will likely move forward; blocking the view, not just for the people of Brooklyn Heights but for people from all over the world.

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  • DIBS

    Since when are “views” protected?

  • Remsen Street Dweller
  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com ClaudeScales

    Sometimes they are. There is a protected “view plane” from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. At issue here is a view–the complete arc of the Brooklyn Bridge as it was visible from the southern portion of the Promenade before the warehouse that previously occupied part of the Pierhouse site was demolished–that is not within that designated view plane, but that under an agreement made among the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation ( to which the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation is the legal successor), Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (the Park’s designer) , and the Brooklyn Heights Association, was to be protected by providing that no structure on that site would exceed the height of the previously existing warehouse.

  • wellwood68

    Sounds like you’re new to Brooklyn Heights…

  • DIBS

    No, but from your comment history it’s clear you’re new to here. In fact I am no longer in BH, having recently retired out of state. But I’ll be back in a week.

  • Andrew Porter

    Couldn’t the mechanical, HVAC equipment, etc., have been housed in one of the top floors already planned for the building? Oh, wait, that would have meant they couldn’t shoehorn as much development onto the site as they could. (What they probably really wanted was an 80-story tower, but realized they couldn’t get away with *that*.)

  • Heights Correspondent 1

    I have a neighbor and she has it right;
    What matters here is what you can
    Do in the larger media and what
    You can do in court…othrrwise
    its all talk

    But everyone should understand,
    If one gets away with something like
    This, many other “darlings” with
    Access to financing will get ideas…

  • Burger

    There’s no way the top 4 floors (which obstruct the view) are there to house “mechanical equipment that had to be moved out of the basement” – it’s pretty clear that they’ve overbuilt the structure to create more units (have to respect profits).

    A smart developer knows that they can get away with it because it will take more in legal expenses to stop it than anyone would be willing to pay. And, what are they going to do? Unbuild? Bell’s been rung, pass the beer nuts…

    Really tragic and a great loss to the community

  • ml77


    I believe wellwood was reacting to your confusion over the protection of the Promenade’s views, which has existed for many years and is probably the most famous fact about the neighborhood and so something that pretty much anyone who lives here for a while is aware of.

    Does that clear things up?

  • Roberto Gautier

    Obviously, Pierhouse goes beyond the issue of destroying a view of the Brooklyn Bridge. If we were talking about a shelter for the homeless or a prison, no bricks would have been laid. The high roller Toll Brothers have been allowed to build as they please, even in the face of significant opposition by the community. And, their plan has been stocked by legal loopholes supported by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation. In addition, it should be clear that a four-bedroom penthouse in Pierhouse went into contract for $11.8 million and that the Toll Brothers paid the city $42.5 million in 2012 for a 97-year lease. Pierhouse, a combo hotel/uber luxury condo will house the most expensive condo ever sold in Brooklyn.

  • ujh

    Claude, the scenic view plane covers a fan-shaped area, with the fan lines running from the southern and northern ends of the Brooklyn Heights Promenade (this view is the only protected view in New York City and mandates strict adherence to building heights on the piers jutting into the East River, sloping from 55 feet at Furman Street down to 25 feet at the bulkheads). The northern line of this less than 180-degree view plane runs approximately through the Brooklyn Bridge’s center span. Thus, the bridge’s Brooklyn tower, part of the span and of the upland portion of Pier 1 lie outside the protected view plane. NYC zoning regulations for construction in flood zones were changed after Hurricane Sandy and allow developers to “renege” on originally approved height limits. I’m not condoning the developer’s actions but trying to shed light on the potential limits of legal action against the developer and/or BBP/EDC.

  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com ClaudeScales

    As I hope my comment above made clear, I know that the view sought to be protected is outside the scenic view plane. I mentioned the view plane only to answer DIBS’ question whether views are ever protected. I didn’t know of any change to regulations after Sandy; if indeed these justify scrapping the agreement made in 2005, that is a serious problem, though perhaps not an insurmountable one.

  • wellwood68

    My family settled in Brooklyn Heights in 1902. And I have lived here in the north heights for my entire life.

  • wellwood68

    Thank you!