According to sources familiar with the situation, the NYC Department of Buildings has issued a partial stop work order regarding construction of Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pierhouse. This SWO applies to the second portion of the building that has recently begun construction and not the first portion which topped out earlier this month. The request was made by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation after concerns were raised that the new portion would not comply with The Brooklyn Heights Scenic View District (SV-1) restrictions. That part of the building does sit within the view plane whereas the finished portion of the Pierhouse does not.
To that end, the DOB has issued a partial stop work order on the southern building (halting work on and above the second floor slab), which lies within the protected view plan, while the developer checks with the department to make sure the plans comply with the scenic view zoning.
“Minor adjustments such as the alteration of bulkheads or parapets are among the type of alterations that may be necessary to bring the structure into full compliance,” according to a Brooklyn Bridge Park official…
A DOB decision will hopefully be coming shortly, so that work can resume on bringing more apartments to this desperately supply-constrained city.
In a statement to BHB, BBP President Regina Myer says, “We take our responsibility to protect the Brooklyn Heights Scenic View District very seriously, and we will take aggressive action against any encroachment upon the protected view plane from the Promenade. This partial stop work order will ensure nothing is built that will impact these views until the Department of Buildings approves plans for the southern building. We will continue to monitor construction closely to ensure all requirements are adhered to.”
Brownstoner adds that an official record of the SWO is currently unavailable.
The petition started by the grassroots group, Save the View Now is rapidly approaching 5,000 signatures. They issued this statement Wednesday (1/28) afternoon:
Save the View Now is grateful to the NYC Department of Buildings for quickly investigating our concerns and issuing a stop work order for 130 Furman Street until construction plans that meet the SV-1 regulation are submitted. We also thank Senator Squadron for requesting that the DOB expedite the review of the complaint filed on Wednesday January 21, after our meeting with the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp, about the current plans.
Save The View Now further expects the BBPC to honor their commitment that the maximum building height for the entire building located at 130 Furman (Parcel B) will be no higher than the 55′ including any bulkheads– as was stated in the GPP, the FEIS and the Parks’ Design Guidelines.
“We are relieved that the Department of Buildings has taken important steps to ensure the construction at 130 Furman will continue only after plans are submitted that show compliance with SV-1, “said Steven Guterman, President of Save the View Now, “BBPC and Toll Brothers must now address the major deviations relative to the original plans that exist with the Pierhouse hotel complex located on Parcel A.” The current construction on Parcel A is both significantly taller and closer to the Promenade than what was agreed to by the public in 2005/2006 and even 2011. These deviations have seriously compromised the views from the Promenade and surrounding area in complete disregard of the promise to fully protect the views. Any review of the Plans will show that the hotel complex does not conform to the specification written into the above mentioned documents.
However, as noted in the first paragraph of this post, the stop work order for Parcel B was issued pursuant to a request by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, not pursuant to Save The View Now’s request, which was rejected by the DOB.
In a Gothamist guest post today, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund’s (remember them?) Judi Francis writes:
The views are most obviously compromised from inside the park, and from other vantage points in Brooklyn to the north and south of the Bridge as well. The Development Corporation worked hard to take down a landmarked building in the north end of the park to “open up views to the river” so, following this same logic, why wouldn’t Ms. Myer have worked equally hard to take down the Cold Storage buildings to open up views to the Bridge—again, a Bridge for which this park is named?
Ignoring community visionaries who developed and advocated for the park over 30 years in order to serve the interests of real estate developers (and, some would say, self-interests of Park Board members who have recently bought into this complex), has been the undoing of what could have, and should have been NYC’s greatest-ever park. It is now a lovely walkway to gaze into people’s new living rooms, view the harbor and the other side of the East River’s built environment, looking away from the magnificent Bridge, but no longer at its complete span.
Ms. Myer and the BBP Board have pulled off one of the greatest cons of all time—one that has tempted and beguiled swindlers for generations the world over: they found a Bridge and they sold it.
Photo: Carrie Hamilton via Facebook