Some Empire State Development Board Members Consider Need for New EIS for Pier 6 Towers

At Thursday’s meeting of the Empire State Development Corporation’s (ESDC) board of directors, as reported in Mary Frost’s Eagle story, two board members questioned whether Brooklyn Bridge Park’s 2005 Final Environmental Impact Statement and the 2014 Technical Memorandum supplementing it properly considered changes in the local environment, particularly population growth and its stress on infrastructure such as schools, transportation, health care and sanitation, and police protection.

Board member Joyce Miller asked about these issues, as well as the Park’s need for the revenue from the proposed buildings and the effect on revenue from the inclusion of “affordable” housing. She noted that the Technical memo didn’t address specifically the effect of new housing on schools in the immediate vicinity, adding

I would assume the parents want their children to attend the closest school, not just any school in the district. Therefore that would be significant to current residents and future residents.

Ms. Miller said, “It seems from the testimony we’ve heard today that there are significant questions about the Tech Memo and the EIS, and I would assume that at the public hearing, that’s going to be further amplified.” There will be a public hearing, at an as yet unspecified date, on the issue of amending the Park’s General Project Plan to include the affordable housing component, to re-allocate housing units between the two proposed buildings, and to close some portion of the “loop road” that now goes from Joralemon Street around One Brooklyn Bridge Park and the site of one of the proposed buildings to Atlantic Avenue.

Another Board member, Cobble Hill native Kenneth Adams, who serves as State Commissioner of Taxation and Finance, asked why the impact of proposed development on the LICH site wasn’t considered in the Technical Memo. Rachel Shatz, author of the Technical Memo and now ‎ESDC’s Vice President of Planning and Environmental Review, replied that because plans for the LICH site haven’t been finalized, it couldn’t be included in the Technical Memo’s assessment.

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  • Dean Collins

    so that’s how they are going to keep the poor people out of the heights….”think of the children” being the new catch all tactic??

  • AnonyMom

    Dean, your comments are offensive and narrow-minded. I dare you to say that with a straight face to the parents of the 50 children who were wait-listed for Kindergarten at PS8. Or to any parent who has a child at PS8 for that matter. Opposition to Pier 6 or the Library project for that matter, is NOT about and has NEVER been about keeping people out of the neighborhood. But it IS about residents’ desire and demand for common-sense planning for projects that are out of scope with the current infrastructure (schools, police, fire, and traffic).

  • judifrancis

    You are absolutely right, AnonyMom. Thanks for your advocacy for a park. It was encouraging to have those who really understand the surrounding impacts, like Ms. Miller and Mr. Adams, question the fallacy of not studying the profound changes that have occurred – schools at 140% of capacity, the BQE rebuild, over ten thousand new apts in the area not planned or studied 10 years ago, the B77 eliminated, no hospital, Sandy – seismic changes. Bottom line: a new EIS is clearly warranted and at least two very influential members on this Board see it.

  • Jorale-man

    Exactly. If you’ve ever seen the local subway platforms at rush hour you know the neighborhood simply can’t accommodate massive high-rises full of new residents.

  • Willow Street Watch

    The bottom line indeed is that a 10 year old “study” is invalid after the significant changes in the park and surrounding areas over the years.
    Even if one is so naive as to think that any client hired study group is going to come to any kind of a neutral series of findings.

    Yes, you need new studies. But done by who?….a group HIRED by Regina and company? Sure…this is just more of the “questionable” behaviors which have hallmarked the BBP from it’s start. We all need new studies from a number of quarters which are tech qualified AND beyond outside influence as possible. No parts of the design or architectural sectors always “alert” to what any word or action is going to mean to prospects for potential future clients…

    You need new studies by independent financially disinterested parties who’s standing and reputation are based design/architectural criticism and/or a genuine world class design group.

    Otherwise get ready for a new Palisades Park circa ’65 to ’70, under the Promenade…

    Again, think of what happened to palisades park circa 1965 to 70. In
    Scale its exactly the same; the traffic, the late night noise, fights, inappropriate behavior. The crowds running through surrrouding town,
    It was real fun for people trying to live anywhere within 3 or 4 miles.

  • William Spier

    I think Dean is being sarcastic’ but when something as serious as the coop city development taking over our lost hospital and the Pier, a more serious discussion is in order. So, Dean, a bit more analysis would have helped. Judi is fighting the here and now. For thi, I am grateful.

    This decision to build at the end of Atlantic Aveneul is another set-up lurking in the murky fog that has been this whole park project. I don’t believe you had to be a sociologist, (which I am by advanced degree,) to see a few years back that building the Taj Mahal at the end of Fulton Street, the take down of LICH by the Governor, and a high rise on the water, would result in all manner of city service stresses. (anybody notice the serious road uptake of fire department ambulances since LICH closed? ) What about the people who will buy into these buildings? Will each have a St. Ann’s annex? It takes years to plan, schedule, budget and build a school, yet alone staff it with qualified teachers. If this area has a certain “cache” folks like, they had better ask those real estate hawkers about services before they buy. Actually, you have to be pretty naive, or filthy rich, to even consider parking a family in what can metaphorically be visioned as our the western Mumbai.

    Then there is the obvious environmental impact by having more affluent residents and their cars will all day cruising an area that is basically a dead end.(Atlantic Avenue).

    The fix had to be in years back. When the well placed and coached “planners” got workng during the Pataki years, and the issue came up of maintenance financial support for the Park, (I think the amount was $10M/yr. then) that maintenance cost was promoted as a big issue.Here we had the most ambitious man made park project in a hundred years, and the City and State found maintenance costs too high include in their many billion dollar budgets? I say this: If this park is so costly to maintain, levy a special tax on on everyone who buys into the Pierhouse–and throw in every other new Rancho SantaFe Brooklyn near the waterfront too.. I think 10 to 25 per cent of purchase price would jack up the pot–less for those whose condos face food carts and barbecue ovens hooked to Cadillac Escalades on Sunday afternoon. Let’s be sensitive a bit.

    I don’t think it would be a stretch to have seen ten years back that the construction of one of the world’s great parks would add a very safe and accessible tourist attraction to the City, as well as a showcase to promote as a “people’s place”.

    To say the fix was in at this late a date invites the apologists for this real estate give away to–well- make excuses.

    Wait until the Lich property turns into Coop City. All will be forgotten about the fix at the end of Old Fulton. Everyone will then be walking around like they do in Beijing–with masks.

    One advice to parents: Don’t encourage your children to become city planners. It’s an oxymoron, like airplane food.