BHA Urges Emails Opposing Pier 6 Housing

In an email, the Brooklyn Heights Association has asked Brooklyn Heights residents to send emails to Rose-Marie Mahase at Empire State Development Corporation,, urging disapproval of the proposed modifications to Brooklyn Bridge Park’s General Project Plan affecting two high rise residential buildings proposed to be built near Pier 6. Such emails must be sent by the 5:00 p.m. Monday, August 31 deadline. There’s more information here about the proposed modifications. (Update: we’ve been told that some people got bounce-backs after using the email address for Governor Cuomo we were originally given. The BHA has now suggested just sending them to Ms. Mahase.)

In its email, the BHA states:

We are now skeptical as to whether these towers that were planned in 2005 continue to be necessary. Real estate values in our neighborhood have risen dramatically, meaning that the development that already exists or is now being built in the Park (Pierhouse, One Brooklyn Bridge Park, John Street, Empire Stores) generates far more revenue than was anticipated in 2005.

The BHA joins State Senator Daniel Squadron, Save The View Now, and People for Green Space in urging opposition to the proposed GPP modifications.

The Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, which proposed and supports the modifications, argues that the revenue from the proposed buildings is vital to meet the park’s ongoing maintenance needs. A complete version of the BBPC’s comments can be found here.

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  • Willow Street Watch

    The BHA directing concerned Heights residents to E Mail is faulty and very questionable. The very best way to show that Heights activists and their voices can effectively be contained is to direct your concerns to some employee at the NYC EDC office.

    The REAL way to be heard is to pick up the phone and call Mr. Howard Zimsky at 716 846 8200 and 518 292 5100. The stronger your voiced message, the better….

    Then, you need to put your feelings IN WRITING and send them via FedEx or registered mail to two locations:

    Howard Zimsky CEO. New York State Economic Development Corporation 625 Broadway Albany NY 11245. And also send a copy to Economic Development Corp. 633 Third Ave. 34 th Floor, New York, NY 10017. FedEx or Registered gets noticed and has the right impact.

    The fastest way to be ignored and abused by any Albany agency is to teach them you can be effectly contained. The BHA knows this.
    Directing you objections to the regional office Involved in the abuse is exactly how to remain controlled and contained.

    The most effective way any Heights activist can make his or her opinions really felt is via writing and well targeted verbal contact to Albany and to the regional office closest to the actual CEO.

    Yes, you can ALSO E Mail. But E Mail Alone is the lazy man’s route.
    And that’s the LAST thing you want to show at this stage. You want to show real mounting upset and activism, something that E Mails alone will never show….

  • Luke

    I favor seeing this affordable housing built at pier 6, it will restore some much needed economic balance to our neighborhood and provide good housing for the many middle-income New Yorkers who struggle to find housing in our insane real estate market. If it brings additional revenue to BPP that can only be helpful to ensure its long-term viability. If Pierhouse were not so exclusively priced, I might be less offended by their trespasses on the view but I will tolerate a lesser view for the general good of all New Yorkers.

  • Solovely


  • Jorale-man

    The whole “affordable housing” sales pitch is a red herring in this debate. There are plenty of places in NYC where such housing can exist (and should exist) but a park shouldn’t be one of them — especially given how little parkland there is in Brooklyn in the first place.

  • stuart

    I support the construction of affordable units on Pier 6. The neighborhood and the BHA are often so snobbish and exclusionary. This is not a country club, it’s an urban neighborhood. More housing is a good thing especially if it is a mix of market and affordable. One should also remember that the old industrial piers would not have been turned into a park in the first place without the revenue generated by the housing. Without the buildings, there would have been no park.

  • Willow Street Watch

    This ISN’T “an urban neighborhood”. The Heights is a National Historic Landmark/trust. While there is no exact conservator, every concerned Heights resident is a conservator of the trust. And as such, no one wants anything which will detract from or damage this historic place. Generations of concerned citizens have gone to great efforts to preserve the Heights. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have the heights as we know it.

    Now, in a blink of an eye, were to be overrun with fun seekers and gawkers. And flooded with a new population which like someone I could name, who have no understanding or appreciation of what the Heights really is, or how fragile a historic neighborhood is……

    And were supposed to just sit and WELCOME this? Because some real estate types on the make want it and a flood of radical PC brats
    will call us names if we try to protect a national historic treasure….

    Think that’s the way it’s going to be? Really? (paging Howard Roark….)

  • judifrancis

    Affordable housing inside the park is, indeed, a red herring. This is about recovering over 3 acres of parklands at the entrance needed for Brooklynites, at a time of crushing density, in a beloved park, in a borough with the least amount of parklands in all of NYC. The funds are not needed to support the park so what are we really talking about? If we lose this chance to make Pier 6 the entrance it was meant to be, to enliven the Atlantic Ave commercial district and relieve some of the burden experienced by Fulton Landing and Joralemon Street why not? With 22,000 apts in the pipeline – most in this park’s catchment area – and the 800 plus planned for the LICH site not 485 feet from Pier 6, we need park lands for all these new residents, too. And this is the only park “planned” for this incredible density. When did we give up on parks?

  • stuart

    I think the prior two commenters are being disingenuous. What they do not want, and fought against, was the park because it would attract a lot of people from all over the Boro, which some find very disconcerting. The Willow watch person is particularly incoherent arguing that Brooklyn Heights is not really a neighborhood because it is an historic district. There 60 or 70 historic districts now in the city. Being a historic district does not mean that nothing can ever change, besides the piers are not part of the historic district. Opposing these mid-rise residential buildings because they will somehow ruin the neighborhood or take up parts of the pier, now a park, is silly. I recall that Ms. Judy opposed the park tooth and nail although she pretended to actually be defending it. Big laugh.

  • bklyn20

    Stuart, thanks for giving me a big laugh! Ms Francis wants a PARK,
    and not Battery Park City East.

    If you think housing in a park is just great, why aren’t you lobbying for condos in Prospect Park or Central Park? The condos in those parks would be even pricier, so we would be able to finance parks full of gizmos and overstuffed berms, and they too could have 2 sets of financial projections and staff that listen to no one, yet make a pretty penny.

    At this point it shouldn’t be called “Brooklyn Bridge Park.” I suggest “Boondoggle Bumpy Bridge Pierhouse Park.” That way the abbreviation would only require a few extra letters, although expensive letters they would be, to be sure.

  • stuart

    bklyn20, there already are hundreds of coops and condos lining central park and riverside park and prospect park. big cities have large buildings adjacent to parks, it is not seen as a terrible thing. The knee jerk reaction against any new housing, even affordable housing which is so needed, is indicative of an elitist and exclusionary mindset. Ms. Francis did not want “strangers” walking down Joralemon Street. She did not want a park and did everything she could to stop it. You don’t agree with that? Now she’s against affordable housing saying that it will block the entrance to the park. That’s just not true. It’s misinformation.

  • bklyn20

    Ms. Francis has always said that Atlantic Avenue needed a grand entrance. She (and I) have been following the park since its inception, and in 2004 cautioned people that housing in a park is not a good idea.

    By the way, isn’t the “affordable housing” geared toward people who make more than $100,000 per annum? You are very off base.

    Regarding the other parks mentioned, the housing is not in the actual park. The housing is separated from the park by a 2-4 lane street and maybe a bike lane. Not to mention the doorman! The Pier 6 slabs are within the actual park. Additionally, the BHA is against more housing in the park, so why don’t you malign them as well? And,PS,the park was planned for secades before the regrettable housing scheme came on. Broklyn has fewer acres of park than any borough, and the thousands of units now planned will only increase that deficit.

  • Slyone

    What’s your position on the school impacts of all the new housing the park will bring to the PS8 zone? Should the developer bear some of the cost of meeting the infrastructure needs the development brings with it?

  • bklyn20

    Pardon my typos, please. iPhones are not made for blogging!

  • History Buff

    APRIL 26, 2008


    “Brooklyn Bridge Park, a housing, commercial and open space development along the Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO waterfront, cleared another hurdle this week, as the state Supreme Court unanimously upheld the state’s inclusion of private housing inside the park’s footprint.”

    “The Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund had filed the lawsuit to force the state to revise its plans for the 85-acre site by eliminating the controversial condominiums and hotel slated for the park….”

  • Willow Street Watch

    Your line of logic is simply wrong. If we allow any and all reengineering of a national historic trust like the heights, it may be popular with Yups and the real estate community, but in time, what will be left for our children? And their children. And history and historic things are important. Forget or disrespect history, and the worst of the human experiences will happen again and again. Respect and learn from history, and we can move to a better world.

  • stuart

    I am very optimistic. The neighborhood has improved so much, PS 8 has improved incredibly much. A new addition was added, a new school is about to open on Dock Street. We will figure it our. Why are so many in this incredibly affluent and lovely neighborhood so gloomy about every darn thing? ..”The park will be a disaster, the new condos will be a disaster, the school will be swamped and be a disaster.” Things are good. The park is a world class amenity. Everyone should take a deep breath and be grateful for all our blessings whether we deserve them or not. Reading this blog is like reading Depressives Anonymous. So many chicken littles with so little to really worry about.

  • stuart

    well, I think you’re off base and needlessly spreading your doom and gloom.

  • stuart

    another thing I am optimistic about is the new leadership coming to the BHA. I hope we will see less exclusivity and more inclusivity coming from that tiny venerable organization whose membership dwindles every year. Brooklyn Heights is neither a gated community nor a particularly low-rise neighborhood. Cobble Hill is low-rise, Brooklyn Heights has fairly enormous and tall buildings some of which were built 80 and 90 years ago. It is a mixed neighborhood in many ways and is more that the ancient gentry on a handful of blocks. There are so many young families now. The depressives will worry about that as the bemoan and worry about everything but I think it is wonderful development a real future for the area, which at times is too mired in the past.

  • Remsen Street Dweller

    Aren’t you are on record on this blog as also supporting the closing and selling of LICH to housing developers?

  • bklyn20

    Nah, the doom, and especially the gloom, is spread by the shadows from PierHouse and the Pier 6 plinths, among other out-of-scale buildings planned for the near future.

  • Slyone

    Maybe because what we had to deal with this past year with 50 students waitlisted for kindergarten and the last couple of years with a very overcrowded school — crowded classrooms, lacking specialty classrooms, logistical challenges in meeting mandates for students with special needs, among other things — was actually pretty challenging. It’s not “will be;” it’s what is. I think PS8’s administration has been doing a remarkably good job in incredibly challenging circumstances. I don’t deny the school’s improvement, but part of the improvement is because of committed people advocating for it. Which is what we are doing now, right?

  • Willow Street Watch

    No, its like watching a group of intelligent, clear eyed responsible people seeking not to have something valuable and vulnerable damaged or destroyed. And it’s somehow invalid or dismissable when people have serious questions or objections about the park or a flood of development. And the most responsible, caring people should be silent because, well their concerns are, well, backward thinking or abnormal or nimby or not PC….

    Er, just for the record, Mrs Francis is more validly based in her concerns and observations than even she knows. Someone has to say this; let’s say you take an average crowd on Joralemon St,

    Want to bet how many weapons are in that crowd?

    Want to make eye contact with some of these darlings?

    That’s not the way it is?…unfortunately it IS the way it….talk to some cops or the private security in the area and find out what they are now seeing.

    And everyone should be silent….

  • Willow Street Craze

    Your positions and arguments are amazing. The condos and housing surrounding places like central park developed over DECADES not during some RE Tulip craze. There were schools, hospitals, roadways etc. already in place and they were scaled up BEFORE or at least along with population increases.

    If anyone had tried the line which is promoted today, e.g. ‘let’s have big development and well increase support and safety resources the future’…. What do you think would instantly happen to the career of any public figure who even tried to float a line like that…

    Then, when these Manhattan developments took place, society was FAR more stable. The local government debt level was tiny as was things like drug use. We didn’t have two million people under lock and key and our moral, ethical and social standards were stable and concentric. Oh, that isn’t PC to say? Make the most of it. Its the truth….

    So uh, yes, there are some “little” differences between the conduct of development between what arose in Manhattan circa 1880 to 1950 and
    what is now occurring.

  • Willow Street Watch

    What factual distortions. First of all, the tall buildings are, with few exceptions are, OUTSIDE of the historic district. The Heights absolutely has a defined character which is historic. The propagandists for a “new” Heights don’t want to argue facts. They just distort the thruth and throw rocks at anyone in their path to “remaking” the Heights. What nice people.
    Just the people who we should follow…

  • Brixtony

    Don’t feed the troll. This person is clearly not well. In the past, other trolls have left after being ignored. The spotlight feeds their ego. Let’s give it a try.

  • judifrancis

    Stuart, I have no idea who you are but you obviously don’t know me either, or my many years of advocacy FOR a park. For goodness sake, my husband helped start the BBP coalition in 1985-86 with Tony Manheim, he named the park (was called Harbor Park), he got the first $1 million to plan it (from then Assemblyperson Dugan), and I have advocated for recreational features long requested by the community and long studied prior to the housing plan (pool, indoor recreation) and access ( DOT on safer entrance in south end, years on the BQE rebuild committee), among many other things. And yes, I led the 11 community association fight against private housing inside the park because there were then, and remain today, many, many other ways to pay for our parks than privatizing them with housing. As a result of housing this is not even a park in the protected sense. It is a project and thus no park land protections – think about what that means. The BBPDF law suit has come to roost as we try to recover 3 more acres in the south end for much needed park lands, as our city densifies so rapidly. The BBP stated in their court papers to my suit that they would “build no more housing than needed to pay for the park”. The funds are now not needed to support the park so why wouldn’t you want more park lands and not more housing? Unless you work for the park, your advocacy FOR housing and against park lands makes no sense to me. Sorry!

  • outasight

    What a crock!

  • stuart

    I do know you Judi and you are such a liar.Do you think it’s a secret? everyone you recruited for you defenders coalition was adamantly, rabidly, anti-park. You are the very essence of duplicity.

  • Willow Street Watch

    I get the strong feeling were speaking to a bot here! In any case, you’ll notice now he isn’t answering bkly20 and Judy’s posts and certainly not point for point, of course, he can’t. Even if A) this a live person and B) he/it is actually based IN the Heights.