Plans For High Rise Buildings At Pier 6 On Ice

The Wall Street Journal reports (the full article is behind a paywall, but you can now get a three month subscription for one dollar) that the board of the Empire State Development Corporation, which has authority over Brooklyn Bridge Park, has put a freeze on plans to build two high rise residential buildings on the Pier 6 uplands in Brooklyn Bridge Park “following objections from local elected officials and community groups to any [new] housing in the park.” The WSJ story quotes ESDC board spokesman Jonah Bruno as saying the city needs “additional time to work with the community to mitigate the significant concerns they have raised about the project’s potential impacts.”

Both the WSJ piece and a story in Gothamist headlined “NIMBYs Get State To Block Affordable Housing At Brooklyn Bridge Park” play heavily on the inclusion in the planned high rises of an affordable housing component as motivating community opposition. The addition of affordable housing re-opened consideration of the previous all luxury housing plan, which was opposed by the same community groups, and gave those groups a second chance to voice their opposition.

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  • davoyager

    NYMBY my Arse. We are tired of our light and views being blocked by highrises. We are tired of over crowding in the streets and stores and schools and this new park that has proven too small already. We are tired of unneeded over development period. We lose our local hospital, our local library. I look at what happened to the west side of Manhattan with Trump city lining the river front like a wall which in part has given us this unfortunate presidential candidate and I say “no more” Let the super rich go develop Sheepshead bay or Bay Ridge or Bensonhurst for crying out loud. Brooklyn is a big place with lots of neighborhoods that need investment. We have had more than our share already.

  • TeddyNYC

    I’m glad to see that sometimes common sense wins the day in this city. Let’s hope this sticks and a more manageable, less taxing solution can be found for the LICH site as well.

  • TeddyNYC

    Exactly. We can’t allow developers to overbuild on small parcels of land taxing local infrastructure to the breaking point and diminishing the quality of life for everyone. There are a lot of areas of this city that need more investment, but unfortunately don’t have the view$ that developers seek.

  • rjg

    This news was covered January 21 by Sally Goldenberg in

    You can read the article here, no charge, at this link:

  • Roberto Gautier

    A key point missing in this discussion has been the continuous misuse of the words “development” and “investment.” Those terms grace a disgraceful situation with a positive spin. In this case, as in countless others, what a community receives is the opposite of development through greed-based allocation of money (investment).
    When the “end of Brooklyn” began to be discussed in relation to such projects, citizens really have raised fundamental questions of what kind of a neighborhood they want to inhabit and what elements of community are preferred. Too often, both real estate and political leaders have collaborated against community wishes.
    The selling of the Cadman Plaza library, outlandish building inside Brooklyn Bridge Park and closing of the Brooklyn Heights Cinema are cases in point.

  • Jorale-man

    I left this comment on Gothamist’s website:

    The term “NIMBY” is mis-applied here. NIMBY refers to opposition of a necessary evil – a prison, a garbage dump or power plant. High-rise towers were never proven necessary – or appropriate – for Brooklyn Bridge Park, despite what park authorities have argued. There’s significant evidence that the park was using outdated financial data to support its argument for skyscrapers in this space.

    Put another way, would Gothamist call residents near Central Park NIMBY’s if they objected to high-rises proposed to go up on the Sheep Meadow or Great Lawn?

  • Andrew Porter

    Development is used misleadingly right up there with Progress, instead of the more accurate Change. Replacing parkland with high-rises can in no way be considered Progress.

  • Andrew Porter

    And I added my 2¢ to your comments over there. I noticed the many upvotes there for the more inane comments.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    I agree that the #1 problem with these “development” proposals is the strain it puts on local infrastructure and amenities (as a parent I’m thinking first of school overcrowding).

    So, as a purely hypothetical question, what could the developers bundle into their proposals to make them acceptable to us concerned residents? For example, if it was somehow possible, what if they were compelled to build a lavish new UPK thru 6th public school to take up the first 4 floors of a new skyscraper at Pier 6? What if the skyscraper included provisions for a subway extension shuttle between Borough Hall and, say, Ikea, via Atlantic Ave at Furman?

    Or, alternately, are people opposed to any development whatsoever, under any conditions, because of an obstinate refusal to see the neighborhood undergo any further change of any kind?

  • TeddyNYC

    While some people are opposed to any development in the area, my issue is with the particular location being unsuitable for more residential development. I’m all for the LICH site being redeveloped, just on a smaller, more reasonable scale.

  • Remsen Street Dweller

    I don’t think you are seeing this development clearly. The real estate industry and the politicians it has in its pockets have made it clear that they are not interested in the neighborhood for anything other than a personal piggy bank. Thus they stole our hospital, library, movie theatre and don’t listen to a word anyone in the community has to say.

  • Jeffrey Smith

    All of you here are missing a single major point: what are real effective
    Permanent countermeasures to the endless nonesense

    There are only two real permant stop to all this; First, you need a replace- ment to the present weak roll-over ladies tea clotch which at present (mis)represent this neighborhood. ONLY when you well financed FIGHTING ORGANIZATION will you get any security, safety…or peace.

    Second, you need to deliver a to the developers…and their financial sources
    a simple message; if any member of our families or associates are in any way harmed by the people YOU have brought into this area, YOU are going to be held responsible…and guess what that means. Because as long as BBP types can cause unli!itrd mahem in an area and no matter the toll of victims, they get to walk away whistling, the uncontrolled violence to our homes and family can/will continue, ONLY when assaults on us equals well, (very) personal jeopardy for the authors of this situation,…will any of this stop.

  • Jorale-man

    Good points. Gothamist shows a real lack of understanding of the basic issues at play. I guess they want to rile up their commenter peanut gallery.

    I haven’t read the WSJ report but based on Claude’s report, it probably has a heavy pro-developer slant.

  • Jeffrey Smith

    I really suggest you read (and try to absorb) my reply to davoyager above. The pack of marshmello responses to the behaviors of the BBP and especially its authors, is exactly WHY the crips, bloods, assorted scum and the BBP Corp feel VERY safe bringing serious violence to this neighborhood.

    Why not, there’s no PERSONAL consequences for the damage thier actions.

  • StudioBrooklyn

    With respect, it seems you missed my point: my hypothetical was proposed as a way to suss out whether opposition to development is conditional upon what that development comprises, and its residual effects upon our already stretched-thin infrastructure and amenities.

    It sounds like you’re saying opposition to development should be based on the principle that development happens as a result of corruption, rather than for any reason having to do with the details of the development itself.

    For the record, I have no illusions about the corruption that has been embraced within our system of local (and larger) government, which creates a sustained handshake between politicians and venture-capitalists.

  • Jeffrey Smith

    But WHY is that? Read my reply to davoyager above. They can do all this because there are no PERSONAL CONSEQUENCES. Without (the most) serious personal consequences, its all a joke.

    Cause personal consequences folks, and you’ll see how fast all of this nonesence stops…..

  • fultonferryres

    You’re Trump’s campaign manager, right?

  • StudioBrooklyn

    Right but again, hypothetical.

  • judifrancis

    Indeed. We are also tired of being lied to. They have the money, they no longer need the housing. These lands should now be desiginated park lands (as that was the whole point for having housing in the first place – to build and sustain the park). And legal authorities should now investigate why the John Street property needed to be built, too.

  • Eleanor B

    email from BHA this morning begins:

    The BHA and coalition partners are issuing three reports on Monday, February 29, 2016 that demonstrate that existing Brooklyn Bridge Park development will generate $800 million in surplus funds over the next 50 years. As a result, the BHA and partners have concluded that no residential or commercial development on Pier 6 is necessary, allowing for a significant addition to parkland space and for the creation of a welcoming, and desperately needed, park entrance at Atlantic Avenue.

    The BHA, with its partners People for Green Space Foundation and Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund, commissioned two independent reports by nationally recognized experts, one in marine engineering and one in commercial real estate. These firms found that Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation (BBPC) has dramatically underestimated the property tax revenue it will receive from existing development in the Park and has recently altered its many-year planned approach to pier maintenance to adopt a plan that requires an unnecessary increase in immediate expenses and a shorter useful life.

    this is not about NIMBYism. it’s about fraud

  • bklyn20

    You are missing the point: housing should not be in public parks. This is how the park was planned decades ago. Then the idea of “eyes in the park” came from some quarters and, since it was the Bloomberg era, 360 Furman/1BBP was turned from JW printing facility to luxury condos.

    Ok, that building was already there, although a community resource of some kind could have been put there instead. (Now we have a surfeit of “eyes in the park” and our own little-but scary-crime wave.) More and more buildings have gone up, and the potential for more green space has gone way, way down.

    I believe, as do many others, that if housing is the way to create or improve parks, only desirable areas will have parks; Brownsville and the like will never see improvement. All of our elected officials are against more building in BBP – except the Mayor. I hear that there’s some green space near Gracie Mansion. Put your money where your moss is, Sir, and build!

    Now we have many more condos in the Park, and less park in the Park. The PierHouse is the size of Mt Rushmore. We have a ribbon of park wrapped around an awkward aggregation of condominiums.

    We have a sliver of park reigned by bureaucrats who are paid with city tax dollars, yet they don’t have to listen to the opinions of the park’s users. Let this park have its last chance for more open space. Let the last empty “development parcels” stay empty of concrete and asphalt, while we still have the chance. Let what’s left of the Park BE PARK.

  • Reggie

    Claude, a tip: If you include the titles of stories behind paywalls, readers can highlight the headline, right-click and search for it and then read the story from the search results.

  • Jeffrey J Smith

    What did you expect, a straight financial statement?
    There HAS to be personal consequences for those who fomented this.
    Someone has to go to jail. or worse.

  • Claude Scales


  • StudioBrooklyn

    “…if housing is the way to create or improve parks, only desirable areas will have parks; Brownsville and the like will never see improvement.”

    100% agree!

    But my understanding is that the BBP isn’t a “park” in the strictest sense…it’s a “development perk” and, clearly, subject only to how much pushback they’re willing to deal with from the community.

    Anyway…I posed a hypothetical question, I wasn’t advocating for anything I didn’t explicitly mention.

    There’s no money in shilling on local blogs anymore, guys, all the jobs went abroad! :D

  • Kit

    Sounds like this could be good news. I visited the Promenade this afternoon for the first time in a while and got a good look at the Pierhouse. Only thing about it I like is that people paying > $1 million for their condos will have a straight-on view of the BQE. Should be great for resale values.

  • StoptheChop

    The “NIMBY NIMBY!” hurlers are the ones who seem to have Entitlement Syndrome– developers should be allowed to build wherever they want, as big as they want, so the “anti-Nimbyists” can live wherever they want — even if that development has huge negative impacts on the very neighborhoods they’re attracted to…..

  • StoptheChop

    Indeed. Their mantra is “your community is so wonderful that was can’t wait to move in to destroy exactly those wonderful qualities– and we’re counting on the thousands of newcomers not to know the difference!”

  • StoptheChop

    Great comment. FYI, OBBP wanted to lease some of the ground floor space to a pre-K program, but BBP wouldn’t allow it under the terms of the OBBP Ground Lease (or allow the Lease to be amended). Then low and behold, one of the Pier 6 highrises would have exactly that, as a way to build support for the development. Hmm…..

  • StoptheChop

    Actually, BBP was indeed meant to be a park, when a bunch of community activists worked to achieve just that 15-20 years ago. Then, they were told that they could only have a park if its operations were self-funded. And somewhere along the way, the “park” became an “economic development project”. I imagine that the community wouldn’t have been so interested if Bloomberg had said “ok– I want to develop your waterfront with housing, a hotel, a shopping mall/office building and have nonstop events held there, but I’ll connect it with a green ribbon of park space in exchange.”