Reader and Brooklyn Heights preservation activist Martin L. Schneider has sent us a copy of a letter from Borough President Eric Adams to Brooklyn Bridge Park President Regina Myer in which Adams begins by noting that his office has
received several inquiries expressing concern about the development of the Pierhouse in Brooklyn Bridge Park and its impacts on the view-shed of New York Harbor. Members of the community have expressed their sentiment that the views of the Manhattan skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge are un-paralleled for City residents and our vast and growing number of tourists to enjoy. While my office understands that this development is integral to the sustainable operation and maintenance of Brooklyn Bridge Park, we must continue to consider neighborhood impacts and needs as this development moves forward.
The letter goes on to note that the B.P.’s office has received indications from constituents that the Pierhouse buildings exceed the height limits established in the Park’s Modified General Project Plan, and thereby interfere with views from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade that the Plan intended to protect. B.P. Adams also refers to “conflicting accounts over the official status of a 2006 Design Guideline” intended to limit the height of buildings at the Pier 1 site and “whether these guidelines were formally adopted by the Board of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation (BBPC).”
He ends his letter by requesting “clarity” concerning (1) compliance of the Pierhouse buildings with the height restrictions established in the 2006 Modified GPP, “as well as concerns with the starting point of measurement for these height maximums”; (2) compliance of the bulkheads on Building 1 (the taller structure) “which are 23 and 30 feet in height above the 100 feet height maximum”; and (3) “[t]he official status of 2006 Design Guidelines for Pier 1.”
In its story, Curbed, quoting BuzzBuzzHome News, reports that the “eco-luxe” hotel portion of Pierhouse will take the name “1 Brooklyn Bridge Park.” How this squares with the ex-warehouse, ex-Jehovah’s Witness laundry luxury condo building near Piers 5 and 6 being called “One Brooklyn Bridge Park” remains to be seen.
Update: Brownstoner has BBPC’s reply to Adams. Thanks to reader “Reggie” for the tip.
The BBPC reply includes the following:
[T]he buildings on Parcels A and B [the Pierhouse buildings] will fully comply with the height limits in the 2006 General Project Plan (GPP). As we have discussed at numerous public meetings, the “approximately 100 feet” and “approximately 55 feet” height descriptions in the GPP are not specific, particularly in the context of construction where height can be measured many different ways, and therefore BBP and ESD [Empire State Development Corp.] determined that the Zoning Resolution most appropriately provided the specificity as to the meaning of these terms.
The BBPC letter then notes that under the Zoning Resolution building height is measured from the Base Plane, defined as the higher of two specified levels, and that under this rule the height of the building on Parcel A (Building 1 in the Adams letter) is measured from a height of 13.75 feet, meaning it can have a total height from ground level of 113.75 feet, and that of the building on Parcel 2 is measured from a height of 14.38 feet, meaning it can have a total height of 69.38 feet except for that portion of the building that lies within the boundary of the protected View Plane, which is limited to a height of 55 feet. The letter goes on to point out that under the Zoning Resolution bulkheads and mechanicals are considered “permitted obstructions” and therefore do not count against the height limit.
The letter further provides:
Finally, the 2006 design guidelines document that is referenced in your letter is a draft document that was never finalized and has no official status.
Eric Adams image: CUNY Television.