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ZippyTheChimp
September 21st, 2003, 07:17 PM
Brooklyn Bridge Park Website (http://brooklynbridgeparknyc.org/)

A small part of the 67 acre Brooklyn Bridge Park has quietly been completed. The area is just south of the Manhattan Bridge and connects with the existing Fulton Ferry State Park.

A few early morning views:

http://www.pbase.com/image/21558150.jpg

http://www.pbase.com/image/21558338.jpg

Shell of the Tobacco Warehouse
http://www.pbase.com/image/21558384.jpg

Undeveloped lot north of the Manhattan Bridge. Site A in the plan
http://www.pbase.com/image/21558099.jpg

From the Brooklyn Heights promenade at Montague St. The existing MTA building (probably an access to the IRT tunnel) will remain. I don't know what the steel is for, but I read somewhere that there was once a grand staircase at this spot, and one plan would incorporate the MTA building in a bridge over the BQE to the promenade.
http://www.pbase.com/image/21558201.jpg

Gulcrapek
September 21st, 2003, 07:19 PM
I wondered what the steel was for too.

Thanks for the pictures. I had no idea a new segment had opened.

LeCom
September 21st, 2003, 11:42 PM
I remember that section nearing completion in the spring. I want to go there sometime soon.

Kris
September 22nd, 2003, 03:26 PM
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
PR- 265-03
September 22, 2003

MAYOR MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG AND GOVERNOR GEORGE E. PATAKI OPEN NEWEST SECTION OF BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK

New 1.5-Acre Segment is Part of a 70-Acre Master Plan to Transform Brooklyn Waterfront

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Governor George E. Pataki today opened the newest segment of Brooklyn Bridge Park. This 1.5-acre segment was converted from a parking lot into lush green parkland as part of a far-reaching City/State plan to transform a 1.3-mile stretch of the formerly industrial Brooklyn waterfront. In July of 2001, work began to provide increased public access to Brooklyn’s historic waterfront, and today’s opening celebrated the $6.6 million, city-funded renovation of this portion of the park. The Mayor and Governor were joined by Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Deputy Mayor for Administration Patricia E. Harris, Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe and Empire State Development Corporation Chairman Charles Gargano at a press conference at the park.

“The opening of this critical portion of Brooklyn Bridge Park is a prime example of this administration’s commitment to providing unprecedented public access to New York City’s waterfront,” Mayor Bloomberg said. “This project is an important step in the Brooklyn Bridge Park development process and will provide new recreational opportunities at the water’s edge for thousands of New Yorkers of all ages.”

“Over the last eight years, we have established the Hudson River Park, protecting 550 acres of open space along the Hudson, and two new parks along the East River, one in Queens and one in Brooklyn,” Governor Pataki said. “Reclaiming the waterfront is a right of all New Yorkers, and the opening of this newest section of Brooklyn Bridge Park underscores our commitment to opening up our waterfronts and making available new recreational opportunities for scores of New Yorkers while preserving our state's unique natural and cultural resources, and building on our commitment to promoting urban greenspace and waterfront for the people of New York City and visitors to the region.”

“This is Brooklyn at its best. When we reclaim our waterfront, we reclaim our past while ensuring our future. Brooklyn Bridge Park is a once in a lifetime opportunity to create something that will out last all of us here today, which is why I was thrilled to be able to help fund this historic project,” Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz said. “This park is a great example of what can happen when government and the community work hand in hand creating an unmatched urban oasis.”

“Brooklyn's historic shore is being reclaimed by the people of New York City,” Commissioner Benepe said. "This park is the most significant public project on the Brooklyn waterfront since Robert Moses created Shore Parkway in the 1930s. It will stand alongside Prospect Park as one of the most important open spaces in Brooklyn. We encourage all city dwellers to take a break from the hectic pace of city life at Brooklyn's latest green gem.”

“It is wonderful to have watched the conversion from this parking lot to this spectacular park in such a short period of time. It truly is a symbol for all us about the future of the Brooklyn Bridge Park and our city,” said Marianna Koval, Executive Director of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Coalition.

The New York City Department of Parks & Recreation has stabilized and reconstructed the shoreline, using large granite boulders to replace the rubble. On the southern edge, the rocks were pulled back to create public access to the water. Large granite steps and a pedestrian path lead to the scenic viewing spot. A new plaza with bluestone paving and special seating links Brooklyn Bridge Park to Empire Stores/ Fulton Ferry State Park, serving as an entranceway for both green spaces. Native shoreline plantings have improved the wildlife habitat at the river’s edge. Trees, shrubs and wildflowers have also been planted. Pedestrian paths, new sidewalks, benches, fencing, park lighting and a nautical flagpole make Brooklyn Bridge Park even more enjoyable for all New Yorkers.

The children’s play area has a nautical theme, featuring a 50-foot ship’s hull and a spray shower shaped like a paddle wheel ferry. The playground segment of the project was completed in December 2001, just five months after the groundbreaking. The next phase of construction extends the waterfront experience and is expected to start in fall of 2003.

This new park lies within the historic district of Fulton Ferry, now known as DUMBO (Down Under the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges Overpasses). When the first commercial ferry service between Long Island and New Amsterdam started in 1642, this neighborhood was established as a hub for maritime commerce. From 1850 to 1912 the Catharine Slip Ferry carried passengers from Main Street – the site of this project – to the shores of Manhattan. With the completion of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges in 1883 and 1902, ferry service dwindled, but the Brooklyn waterfront remained an active port for many years.

The decline of maritime commerce coupled with a surge in the area’s residential population helped to inspire the creation of this waterfront park. In 2002, the efforts of the Local Development Corporation and the Brooklyn Bridge Park Coalition, along with elected officials, and community residents spurred the creation of Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation (BBPDC) officially formed by Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Pataki. The BBPDC, a subsidiary if the Empire State Development Corporation, is creating a master plan for a 1.3-mile park stretching from the Manhattan Bridge to Atlantic Avenue on City, State and Port Authority properties.

Any commercial development of the balance of the land will be guided in character and quality by the Master Plan with all revenues dedicated to the operation and maintenance of the park. In addition to green space for active and passive recreational uses, the park will include indoor recreational and cultural facilities and commercial retail such as shops and restaurants along with the possibility of additional development. Plans call for the development of sports fields, playgrounds, fishing piers, promenades, and other recreation space, as well as green spaces, a hotel and conference center, as well as restaurants.

Last Spring, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation retained a team lead by Landscape Archiect Michael Van Valkenburgh, former Chair of Harvard's Landscape Architecture Division, to create a design for Brooklyn Bridge Park. Van Valkenburgh's projects include the redesign of Washington DC's Pennsylvania Avenue, Teardrop Park in Battery Park City and Pittsburgh's Allegheny Waterfront Park.

The BBPDC is comprised of eleven directors, six appointed by the Governor and five appointed by the Mayor. Members appointed by the Governor are Chairman Charles Gargano (ex-officio), Commissioner Bernadette Castro (ex officio), Julio Mercado, John Watts, David Offensend and Valerie Lancaster Beal. Those board members appointed by the Mayor are Vice-Chairman Daniel Doctoroff, Deputy Mayor Patricia E. Harris, Commissioner Benepe, Joanne Witty, and Gilbert Rivera. James Moogan, who has more than two decades of service with New York State Parks, is the Development Corporation's Executive Director.

CONTACT:

Edward Skyler / Robert Lawson (212) 788-2958

Lisa Stoll / Mollie Fullington (Governor) (212) 681-4640

Megan Sheekey (Parks & Recreation)
(212) 360-1311

billyblancoNYC
September 22nd, 2003, 05:24 PM
Oh yes, the NYC waterfront is coming together niceely.

Hudson River Park, Riverside Park South (Trump), Brooklyn Bridge Park, Queens West, Greenpoint/Williamsburg rezoning, and various other waterfront initiatives are going to make NYC such a better place. It's amazing it's been so neglected for so long.

Clarknt67
November 12th, 2003, 11:36 AM
The steel structure that's rising on the uplands of the pier is unfortunately a ventilation tower for the subway running beneath it. It promises to be quite an eyesore in the Park huh? Sad that the MTA didn't see fit to collaborate with the park planners before they barreled ahead with it. It seems a compromise could have been reached (I mean, how necessary can this big structure be if the subways have been running 100 years without it?)

ZippyTheChimp
November 12th, 2003, 01:58 PM
So has the plan for access from the promenade been eliminated?
There was nothing mentioned in the park coalition newsletter, and only this on the park website:


It is envisioned that a vertical connection up from the Park to the Promenade could be created at Montague or Remsen Streets.
Since you live in the neighborhood, you're going to have to become our park reporter.

Clarknt67
November 13th, 2003, 10:52 AM
So has the plan for access from the promenade been eliminated?
There was nothing mentioned in the park coalition newsletter, and only this on the park website:


It is envisioned that a vertical connection up from the Park to the Promenade could be created at Montague or Remsen Streets.
Since you live in the neighborhood, you're going to have to become our park reporter.


I'm proud to be nominated. The Brooklyn Bridge Park Coaltion holds meetings the first Thursday of every month. I'll make more of an effort to attend (I go sometimes).

I'm thinking the Promenade connection on the website is an outdated idea. The community is very loath to futz with the Promenade (understandably and it is a landmark, which will present difficulties). There is a proposal for a vertical entrance off the north end of the Promenade, at Squibb park (a tiny basketball park. I expect this will be the only access point from the promenade.

One exciting development is the Port Authority has asked for development proposals for Piers 6-12, as they're perparing to relinquish them. The BBPC has jumped all over pier 6 as Atlantic Avenue dead-ends into it. This could provide a grand public entrance to the park, from a busy commerical street.

This will offset much of the community opposition that centered on lack of access points. The only major access points were at Front street, a fairly busy commerical street, and Jorealemon st., a small cobblestone brownstone street. Many local residents feared traffic from the park would overwhelm the small, quiet street of the Heights.

Pier 6 would provide a major southern access point for the southern neighborhoods, Cobble Hill, Carrol Gardens, Red Hook, etc. Politics seem to garantee Pier 6 will go to the Park.

A major Cruise line (Carnival? Celebrity? I forget) has expressed interest in docking at Pier 7. It looks likely they'll get it.

Edward
November 13th, 2003, 02:04 PM
A major Cruise line (Carnival? Celebrity? I forget) has expressed interest in docking at Pier 7.
Carnival. See the thread Cruises from Brooklyn? (http://forums.wirednewyork.com/viewtopic.php?t=243)

billyblancoNYC
November 14th, 2003, 09:29 AM
Carnival better get it. That would be a MAJOR screw up if they let that project slip away.

Clarknt67
November 17th, 2003, 03:52 PM
from NY POST

GETTING ON RIGHT TRACK IN B'KLYN


By GERSH KUNTZMAN
------------------------------------------------------------------------
November 17, 2003 -- THE Dodgers may never return, but the trolleys that gave the team its name could be coming back to the streets of Brooklyn for the first time in more than 40 years.

This stunning news was buried in a presentation made last week by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Coalition, which is building a $150 million, 70-acre patch of green along the Brooklyn waterfront.

The park is going to be magnificent - "One of the greatest urban parks in the world!" according to Borough President Marty Markowitz - except for one flaw: It winds 1.3 miles from Atlantic Avenue to Vinegar Hill.

Which is why a trolley would be perfect.

"A trolley would connect the southern and northern ends of the park," said Michael Van Valkenburgh, who will be designing the park. "There's a guy in Red Hook who has trolleys that would be perfect."

That "guy" is none other than Bob Diamond, who has been dreaming, begging, petitioning, agitating and otherwise pining for a trolley that would link Red Hook to Downtown Brooklyn.

Diamond sunk more than $400,000 and two decades into his dream - but succeeded in sinking only a half-mile of trolley track.


He has two more miles of track - plus 17 working trolley cars - but they're all about to be junked.

"I'd love to make them available - but I mean, like, immediately," Diamond told The Post. "My landlord has given me until [today] or else he's going to sell my cars for scrap."

You don't have to be an overpaid urban planner to see the appeal of a new Brooklyn trolley.

For one thing, it's historic (the name of the borough's celebrated baseball team is a shortened form of the term "trolley dodgers").

For another, what's the use of spending $150 million on a park - or hundreds of millions more on reviving Downtown Brooklyn - if no one can get around it?

The proposed trolley would run along Furman Street and under the Brooklyn Bridge along Front Street.

With a little more vision - and a little more money - it could be extended to Cadman Plaza, where six subway lines come together.

And you could complete the loop by having the trolley pass through the long-abandoned tunnel under Atlantic Avenue to the river - a tunnel Diamond discovered years ago.

"This is what I've been saying all along!" Diamond said. "But you know how it is: Every person who was ahead of his time has always ended up jumping off a bridge and being recognized after they're dead. I don't want that."


gersh.kuntzman@verizon.net

Clarknt67
November 17th, 2003, 03:53 PM
An excellent idea that has been kicked around. Ecologically desirable, and a good answer to concerns about increased foot and car traffic the park would cause.

ZippyTheChimp
November 17th, 2003, 04:24 PM
An article on Bob Diamond's trolley travails in this thread. (http://forums.wirednewyork.com/viewtopic.php?t=113&highlight=trolley)

Furman St
http://www.pbase.com/image/19393523.jpg

Clarknt67
November 17th, 2003, 04:50 PM
In case anyone's interested there's a master plan for the park posted here:

http://www.bbpdc.org/Process/Session_1/Session_2/master_plan_summary.html

What's there is the original master plan as produced 2 years ago. There have been changes and revisions based on community feedback. (One thing that changed for sure was they've abandoned the idea of making the tidal pool a grassy marsh. Local environmental activists convinced park planners that the current ecosystem was rich enough and shouldn't be tampered with.)

Clarknt67
November 17th, 2003, 05:03 PM
An excellent idea that has been kicked around. Ecologically desirable, and a good answer to concerns about increased foot and car traffic the park would cause.

Nets7476
November 17th, 2003, 07:10 PM
Are they talking true electric trolleys? Or SF-styled cable cars? Either is good but I'd prefer the old trolleys that can still be seen in Philly and New Orleans.

Gulcrapek
November 17th, 2003, 07:22 PM
I think the trolleys Diamond has/had, which are original and (obviously) old style.

billyblancoNYC
November 18th, 2003, 09:29 AM
Trolleys would be amazing and make life in Brooklyn that much better. It would be a thrill to see and ride the trolley, it would cut down on car traffic, it would connect an area poised to explode (Red Hook) with development to an area already developed and ready to go to the next level (downtown). Add to that it making the park more accessible to everyone, it seems like a no-brainer. Hopefully the city feels the same way.

Clarknt67
November 18th, 2003, 10:50 AM
Yeah, i think it should be a no-brainer too. there are so many practical reasons they'd be a good idea. And Red Hook could really use some public transportation. Trolley service could really spur development of the area.

But also, as a recreation area, Trolley's would bring an old-world charm. How many families would make a day trip to the park just so the kids could ride the trolley? (And how many kids will beg their parents to let them ride the trolley?)

There's also a proposal for a boat-building museum to be situated in the park. It will be nice to see Brooklyn appreciating it's history.

billyblancoNYC
November 18th, 2003, 03:05 PM
Agreed. In SF, everyone rides the cable car... at least once.

Kris
December 3rd, 2003, 07:30 AM
December 3, 2003

Brooklyn Waterfront Landmark Awaits New Life

By GLENN COLLINS

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2003/12/02/nyregion/03empire2.jpg
The Empire Stores warehouse, at left, faces a classic view of the Brooklyn Bridge and Lower Manhattan's skyline.

It is called the Empire Stores, and for more than 50 years the cavernous, forbidding warehouse has been abandoned, a magnificent ruin between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges along the East River.

A signature of the Brooklyn skyline for at least 130 years that has transfixed residents and, to an extent, defined the waterfront, it has nonetheless resisted all efforts of developers, public officials and community stewards to reclaim it.

Now, Empire State Development Corporation, owner of the warehouse, has, through a subsidiary, signed an agreement with Boymelgreen Developers to transform it into a $100 million gateway to Brooklyn from the East River.

According to this plan, the echoing spaces, cobwebs and rusting iron shutters of the 400,000-square-foot structure, a city and state landmark in the neighborhood known as Dumbo, are to yield to a Chelsea Market-ish conglomeration of restaurants, retail shops, art galleries and performance spaces. Its opening is scheduled for 2007.

The proposal has been met by skepticism from another builder, and watchfulness from the community, but the development corporation has expressed only jubilation. "We are taking back the waterfront, and this building, with two bridges as bookends, is a Brooklyn showcase," said Charles A. Gargano, chairman of the development corporation and of its state-and-city-run subsidiary, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation, which will lease the property to Boymelgreen for 39 years.

Mr. Gargano said that 63 firms expressed interest in the renovation, but in the end three submitted bids. "Boymelgreen had the most to offer, in terms of the proposal and the maintenance that will be involved," which, he said, amounted to "several million a year."

The Brooklyn-based Boymelgreen is hardly an unknown, with 20 projects under development in the five boroughs, which represent an investment of more than $1.5 billion, including 23 Wall Street and 15 Broad Street in Manhattan.

Both Gov. George E. Pataki and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg have issued huzzahs. "Not only will these wonderful buildings be restored, they will be the prototype for supporting a park with community-friendly economic development," Governor Pataki said.

And Mayor Bloomberg gushed: "The mix of office, retail, restaurant and gallery space in this historic structure will really make the waterfront park a destination, and enhance the growing Dumbo neighborhood."

But the deal has been questioned by David C. Walentas, the developer who, years ago, launched the real-estate transformation of Dumbo — the acronym means Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass — and whose control of millions of square feet of mixed-use space there has won him the sobriquet Mr. Dumbo.

"I would be delighted if someone would do this, and quickly, because it would make my neighborhood more valuable," Mr. Walentas said of the development. "But it will sit there. And nothing will happen."

Mr. Walentas, who was one of three developers vying for the Empire Stores revivification, contended that Boymelgreen had overbid for the right to develop the project. "My offer was substantially less," Mr. Walentas said, explaining that high rents at Empire Stores were unrealistic.

However, James F. Moogan, president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation, defended the deal. "This is a realistic bid, and we have realistic expectations," he said, adding that Boymelgreen made a nonrefundable $1 million payment on signing the agreement. "That shows us they believe it's viable. This proposal underwent substantial financial analysis by city and state agencies."

T. William Kim, the Empire Stores project developer for Boymelgreen, said that "this is one of our priorities, and there is no question that it will be completed." He said Boymelgreen, in partnership with an Israeli businessman, Lev Leviev, will put $40 million into the project and finance the rest of the $100 million with its customary investment partners.

Empire Stores sits on landfill deposited in the late 18th century and early 19th century, which extended the reach of the Village of Brooklyn, the future borough's first civic settlement.

A report written by the architectural firm Beyer Blinder Belle, said that the first warehouse buildings at the site, called the Empire Stores (as in storehouses) even then, date back to the 1850's. By 1869 or so, larger private warehouses built by a merchant, James Nesmith, and his son Henry already hugged the shoreline. The finishing touches came in 1886, three years after the Brooklyn Bridge was completed.

Once a storehouse for spices and green coffee beans, the monolithic warehouse is actually composed of seven structures, and has load-bearing, two-foot-thick walls of brick masonry and interior walls of fieldstone. It was framed with massive first-growth lumber from America's primordial pine forest.

In the 1880's, Herman Melville, toiling on Wall Street in the New York Customs House, would have seen the warehouse complex right across the harbor. But he never could have predicted that it would become Brooklyn's 21st-century counterpart of Moby Dick. The Empire Stores remained the great white whale of New York architectural preservation, since, as an industrial building, it flew below the radar of history.

The warehouse declined with the pre-eminence of trucking and railway transportation, and was mostly abandoned in the 1950's. After brief ownership by Con Edison, Empire Stores was taken over by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation in 1978.

During the Lindsay administration there were proposals to transform it into a wholesale meat market. During the Koch administration, there were plans for a festival marketplace akin to the South Street Seaport, not to mention a lawsuit by Mr. Walentas against the city. Another development proposal was made in 1991, but went unheeded. In 1999 Mr. Walentas announced a plan to make the Empire Stores a centerpiece of a $300 million cultural and retail complex, but this galvanized community groups into opposing what they said was overdevelopment.

These days, the Empire Stores, on Water Street between Dock and Main Streets, endures in Stygian darkness behind its iron shutters. The buildings still yield the perfume of spices and coffee-bean remnants still crunch underfoot; a flashlight reveals disintegrating floors and onetime workers' graffiti on the walls.

The warehouse was declared a landmark inside and out by both the state and the city in the 1970's. "We want to keep as much of the historic interior as possible," said Jay Valgora, the design principal for Boymelgreen's restoration architect, WalkerGroup, part of the WPP advertising holding company.

It is the largest preservation redevelopment attempted by WalkerGroup, which has developed projects in New York, Tokyo, and Bilbao and Salamanca, Spain. Mr. Valgora's design calls for a ground-floor grand arcade on the side overlooking the Manhattan skyline and the Brooklyn Bridge; a terrace and esplanade would allow access to cafes and retail stores, a mix somewhat like that at Chelsea Market, the successful arcade in Manhattan created from a former Nabisco cookie factory.

He would also construct several glass-and-steel atriums coexisting with the old walls, creating courtyards spanned with glass bridges. Unlike the South Street Seaport, Mr. Valgora said, the space would "not be an evocation of Ye Olde New York." Instead, he said, "we're hoping for destination retail stores, such as unique Brooklyn design and furniture companies."

Above the warehouse, atop a new public park on the roof, would be a curving sculptural structure that would be lit at night. "We hope," Mr. Valgora said, "it can become another symbol for Brooklyn."

All of Mr. Valgora's architectural additions must be approved by the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. And beyond that, the project must undergo an environmental impact study.

The mixed-use proposal for the warehouse is part of a community-generated master plan from 2000, guiding the economic development of Brooklyn Bridge Park, a 67-acre stretch of waterfront between Atlantic Avenue and Jay Street that would be turned into a riverside promenade with recreational and cultural amenities and limited commercial development.

The plan will thus be closely scrutinized by the community. Residents have opposed traffic-clogged streets and other threats they saw in more grandiose proposals. Mr. Moogan, president of the development corporation, said that Community Board 2 had been briefed on the Boymelgreen plan. He said, "We are committed to sustained public involvement," through the development corporation's 25-member citizen's advisory council.

Marianna Koval, executive director of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Coalition, an alliance of some 60 community groups, said that the Empire Stores was "the jewel in the crown of this park." Having seen elements of the Boymelgreen plan, she said the coalition would monitor the development, but "is cautiously optimistic."

Others in the neighborhood are more openly enthusiastic. "I would welcome other restaurants," said Buzzy O'Keeffe, who became a pioneer in the transformation of the Brooklyn waterfront after fighting for 12 years to be able to open the River Cafe in 1977. "My basic feeling is that any improvement down here is good for the area."

http://graphics7.nytimes.com/images/2003/12/02/nyregion/03empire.jpg
Yojany Ramirez, a New York State park ranger, examines a hoist inside the Empire Stores warehouse. Some of the old equipment, including the hoist, remains more than a century after the building's heyday.

Copyright 2003 The New York Times Company

Clarknt67
December 3rd, 2003, 09:31 AM
New York Post 12/03/03

BROOKLYN TROLLEYS GET THE HOOK


By GERSH KUNTZMAN
------------------------------------------------------------------------
December 2, 2003 -- A proposal to bring trolley service to the Brooklyn waterfront is being derailed again.

Bob Diamond, whose historic trolley cars were part of a now-scuttled plan to connect Red Hook to the F train, was served with eviction papers on Thanksgiving demanding he remove five trolleys from a pier where they have been housed since the 1990s.

The eviction notice gives Diamond until Dec. 31 to remove the cars, one of which dates back to 1897.

The eviction could jeopardize a recent proposal to incorporate trolleys into Brooklyn Bridge Park, the $150 million, 70-acre sliver of green that is being built along the waterfront.

Diamond says he'll have to dismantle the cars to remove them because his rail lines were severed when a barge hit the Red Hook pier in August 2001. "This is irreplaceable equipment, but I'll have to break it all apart to get it out of there," he said. "This is like letting Penn Station be destroyed."

The Brooklyn Navy Yard is housing 12 more Diamond-owned trolleys - and has threatened to evict Diamond and sell his cars for scrap, he said. All 17 of Diamond's cars have been gathering dust since his plan to build a trolley link to the F train fell through last year.

"I love Bob Diamond, but I have no choice but to evict him," said landlord Greg O'Connell, who has given Diamond space for free. "There are other nonprofits that could use the space and make a real contribution to the neighborhood."

Clarknt67
December 3rd, 2003, 10:17 AM
Here's Brooklyn Papers article about Bob Diamond's fued with Arthur Melnick over Trolley service in Northern Brooklyn. It's a shame that like-minded people have to fued with one another, the could certainly accomplish more together.

http://www.brooklynpapers.com/html/issues/_vol26/26_48/26_48bp.pdf

I tried (and failed) to extract just the text.

billyblancoNYC
December 3rd, 2003, 10:26 AM
I've been waiting for the Empire Stores to get going. Sounds great - retail, restaurants, cultural space. This is justs what should be done there and it is in a perfect setting. 2007 is not too bad for such a project. Love Walentas' sour grapes... baby. He has enough to be happy about, damnit!

ZippyTheChimp
December 3rd, 2003, 10:43 AM
The acronym is silly enough, but I never realized there was a Mr Dumbo. I wonder if he has big ears?

Clarknt67
December 3rd, 2003, 10:47 AM
Yeah Walentas sour grapes is great. I like the fact he said his bid was significantly less. No surprise since he's a cheap mother****er. I have friends who have tried to do business with him and have watched deals fall through because he refuses to enter any deal that doesn't garantee he makes an exploitive profit. (Good businessman, bad community member.)

One look at the apartments he's developed in Dumbo tells the story: world class price tags, Kmart materials and appliances.

billyblancoNYC
December 3rd, 2003, 01:58 PM
Really? I thought he was smart to let businesses and artists in for little to no rent, then when it boomed... so did the rents and condo prices.

Clarknt67
December 3rd, 2003, 02:44 PM
Really? I thought he was smart to let businesses and artists in for little to no rent, then when it boomed... so did the rents and condo prices.

I did say he was a smart businessman. and when it boomed who was the one who jacked up the rents and condo prices? Walentas. And at whose expense? The artists and scrappy low-profit businesses that had been paying rent for years, and even renovated and maintained his dilapadated buildings.

That's why I accused him of being a bad community member. He's singlular in his focus of greed. Not that he doesn't have the right to be, but the yuppication of Dumbo has come at a great price of long-term residents, just as the same occured 20 years ago in Soho.

billyblancoNYC
December 3rd, 2003, 03:39 PM
Sorry, I meant Really re: your citing his cheap build-outs.

As far as his business sense, it does suck that artists are being bumped. NYC just needs to focus on building artist housing again, not only low-income housing. Are there any plans for this?

Gulcrapek
December 3rd, 2003, 04:32 PM
Hurrah for the Empire Stores, ugh for the trolley eviction.

The Stores fascinate me every time I'm at the park there. I think one of the buildings has modern, usable bathrooms in it accessible by the public.

Clarknt67
December 3rd, 2003, 06:42 PM
Sorry, I meant Really re: your citing his cheap build-outs.

Yes, his condos are obviously cheaply built. Keep it in mind, you're hearing it from a man who knows his way around Ikea blindfolded. But I've gone to openhouses in Dumbo and thought "$400K for a one-bedroom made from a warehouse and you're showing me that cheap formica and bargain-basement close-out appliances?"


As far as his business sense, it does suck that artists are being bumped. NYC just needs to focus on building artist housing again, not only low-income housing. Are there any plans for this?

I haven't heard anything about artist housing do they distinguish between low-income and artist housing? I guess it would be cool if they did so some notorious welfare recipient doesn't squeeze out a painter or dancer that's working hard toward a goal. (Not to be unsympathetic to the lower classes.)

Clarknt67
December 3rd, 2003, 06:52 PM
Hurrah for the Empire Stores, ugh for the trolley eviction.

The Stores fascinate me every time I'm at the park there. I think one of the buildings has modern, usable bathrooms in it accessible by the public.

Yeah, it's a bummer about the trolley's being evicted, I hope they aren't destroyed (which seems likely).

I talked with friend of mine who's on staff with the Brooklyn Bridge Park Coalition. I got the impression Trolley's were more of a long shot, that there would probably be shuttle bus service, but we can keep our fingers crossed.

BTW, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Coaltion meets at 6:30 pm the first Thursday of every month at their offices at 334 Furman Street (just under the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, where Jorealemon St. dead ends into the Piers).

I'll post reminders, but know this: the next meeting is January 8 (yes, it's the SECOND thursday but as the first is New Years Day...)

There is no meeting tomorrow (for the month of December).

Clarknt67
December 27th, 2003, 04:52 PM
Bummer.


New York Daily News
------------------------------------------------------------------------

Dang, dang, dang goes the trolley
*
By HUGH SON
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

*
The city is pulling up a two-block stretch of trolley tracks near the Red Hook waterfront, paving over the derailed dreams of Brooklyn's most ardent streetcar enthusiast.

The move brought Bob Diamond - whose life's mission has been to return the clanging cars to Brooklyn - to tears last week as he watched construction workers toil on Conover St.

He lamented that the line he envisioned as stretching from Red Hook to downtown Brooklyn was never completed after the city halted funding two years ago.

"The people running the city have no foresight and vision for the future," said Diamond, 44, who said he spent $100,000 of his own money on the tracks.

"I would say for the money they spent removing the tracks, they could have just finished it," he added.

Unlike the Red Hook line's slow, fitful and incomplete creation over the past decade, the work to remove tracks and freshly pave over the streets will be swift, promised Matt Monahan, spokesman for the city's Design and Construction Department.

"We'll be cleaning those blocks and removing tracks to make them safe and drivable by January," Monahan said.

The uncompleted tracks, as well as garbage that had collected there, made the streets impassable for cars, he added.

Meanwhile, the last remaining vestiges of Diamond's failed dream - the historic trolley cars themselves - are in jeopardy.

Diamond was served with eviction papers demanding he remove five historic trolley cars stored at the nearby Beard St. pier by the end of this month. But the trolley cars are trapped there, he said, because of an August 2001 barge accident that severed rail lines.

"There's no way to get them out of the building short of cutting them up into little pieces," Diamond said.

The trolley tracks that are being removed once led to a warehouse on the Beard St. pier, where trolley cars would have rolled out to pick up commuters.

Originally published on December 22, 2003

http://www.brooklynrail.com/NEWS_26.HTML

Clarknt67
December 27th, 2003, 05:07 PM
Next Public Meeting: January 8, 2004 The Coalition's Neighborhood Advisory Committee will meet at 6:30 p.m. in the Brooklyn Bridge Park Coalition Offices, 334 Furman Street at the corner of Joralemon.*

The committee meets regularly on the first Thursday of the month to discuss issues regarding the development of the Park.* Open to the public.*
RSVP to info@bbpc.net by e-mail, or by calling (718) 802-0603.

Gulcrapek
December 27th, 2003, 05:08 PM
The city does good work, eh? How much do you want to bet that within 5 years a light rail line is proposed that would cover a similar route, but this time with the backing of certain politicians?

(and the project would be millions over budget and schedule)

ZippyTheChimp
December 28th, 2003, 07:08 PM
Just a gut feeling, but I get the impression that Bob Diamond is a likeable incompetent.

Clarknt67
December 29th, 2003, 12:41 AM
Just a gut feeling, but I get the impression that Bob Diamond is a likeable incompetent.

I haven't met him so I can't comment on his likablity.

But many many great men have failed to convince the public of the wisdom of public transportation projects in America. The car culture is ingrained deep here.

ZippyTheChimp
December 29th, 2003, 01:10 AM
See the Newsday article in this thread. (http://forums.wirednewyork.com/viewtopic.php?t=113&start=0&postdays=0&postorder=a sc&highlight=bob+diamond)

ZippyTheChimp
January 27th, 2004, 06:36 PM
I couldn't find an article, but I heard that the Port Authority has transferred ownership of piers 1-5 to the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corp, and because of the savings in not having to maintain them, donated $85 million to the park.

The park funding is in place, and construction will start next year.

Gulcrapek
January 27th, 2004, 07:00 PM
That's always nice.

Clarknt67
January 27th, 2004, 07:18 PM
One of the Piers (I think 5) isn't actually owned by the PA. I know some people on the Park Coalition, I'm checking with them.

Clarknt67
January 27th, 2004, 08:37 PM
It's sounds to me that the $85 million isn't new funds, just a re-interation of what was called "State" funds (the PA is a state agency) which we've known about for some time.

PORT AUTHORITY BOARD COMMITS $85 MILLION
FOR CONSTRUCTION OF BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK

www.panynj.gov


168-03 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 23, 2003



Bistate Agency to Donate Brooklyn Piers for New Park


The Port Authority Board of Commissioners has committed $85 million for the planning, design and construction of Brooklyn Bridge Park, which will be built on surplus piers that will be donated to a state agency.

The 63-acre property, known as Brooklyn Piers 1, 2, 3 and 5, will be donated by the Port Authority to the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation (BBPDC), an Empire State Development Corporation subsidiary responsible for the park’s design and construction. The Port Authority and BBPDC will enter into a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate the property transfer and funding.

Governor George E. Pataki said, “Brooklyn Bridge Park will be a world-class park in a world-class borough. When completed, the park will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with such New York City jewels as Prospect Park and Central Park.”

New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said, “We continue to make enormous progress in the continuing construction of Brooklyn Bridge Park, which will be the biggest park to be built since Prospect Park once it is completed. We are committed to working with more the State on the design and development of this major park that will allow New Yorkers to reclaim Brooklyn's waterfront, and I want to thank the Governor and the Port Authority for their ongoing support.”

Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “This funding commitment will ensure that an underutilized property will have a new role as a vital and active part of New York harbor’s waterfront, attracting residents and tourists alike to a beautiful new waterfront park with spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline.”

Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “The concept for Brooklyn Bridge Park was developed through an extensive community process that resulted in an outstanding park plan that has broad community and political support. The detailed master planning and environmental review of the park is currently underway and is expected to be completed by the middle of 2004.”

Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, “Since 1995, the Port Authority has invested nearly $34 million to maintain the physical integrity of the piers in anticipation of the park’s future development. An additional $8 million is included in the Port Authority’s current five-year capital plan to complete this state-of-good-repair program.”

In the early 1980s, the Port Authority determined that the piers were no longer needed for their original maritime use given the evolution of much of the maritime trade to containerization. In 1994, the Port Authority officially declared the property as surplus.

In 1997, the Downtown Brooklyn Waterfront Local Development Corporation was formed to develop an illustrative master plan for the park. That plan, completed in 2000, provides the basic framework for the current park planning and design.

In May 2002, Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg announced the formation of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation and committed $85 million in state funds and $65 million in New York City funds towards the park’s construction. The Environmental Impact Study (EIS) on the park plan began earlier this year. The transfer of title is expected to occur upon completion of the EIS.

The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit rail system; the Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.

Clarknt67
January 27th, 2004, 08:47 PM
Note they don't mention Pier 4, which is privately owned.

PA is also in the process of relinquishing Piers 6-12, they've asked for development ideas and will award the piers to the most feasible and appropriate uses for the respective communities.

Pier 6 looks like a lock to be annexed for the Park. Atlantic Avenue dead-ends into it, making it a perfect high-traffic enterance to the park. This will help silence or—at least quiet—NIMBY's complaints about the foot and car traffic the park will bring to Brooklyn Heights.

Pier 7 seems a lock for a Carnival Cruise Line terminal. The Cruise industry is really up in arms about the lack of useful piers in NYC, I'm sure the gov't will be anxious to placate them, and stem the rush to Bayonne, NJ.

Besides, it will be a great view from the edge of the park to see a big cruise ship (and you know any Cruise line is going to pay close attention to keeping their Pier looking nice). Plus the Park will be incorporting a large (350-room) hotel, so tourists could easily tack a few days of NYC sight-seeing onto their weeks cruise.

It's great news all around!

Gulcrapek
January 27th, 2004, 08:51 PM
Is Pier 4 the one that looks like a piece of rotten driftwood?

ZippyTheChimp
January 27th, 2004, 09:17 PM
I think the number 85 million is a coincidence. The PA is bi-state, and not really a public agency, as is the MTA for example. The PA can't levy taxes or receive any funds from either NY or NJ, and is completely financed by it's own operations.

Clarknt67
January 28th, 2004, 10:22 AM
Is Pier 4 the one that looks like a piece of rotten driftwood?

Yes.

Clarknt67
February 21st, 2004, 04:47 PM
Is Pier 4 the one that looks like a piece of rotten driftwood?

Yes.

I recently heard mention that Pier 4 is the last surviving pier from an earlier generatoin (perhaps original) piers. Which explains why it's so different looking. It's probably going to become a fishing pier in plan.

Gulcrapek
February 21st, 2004, 10:05 PM
I didn't think there was anything worth salvaging from it... but if they say so then I'll see it one day.

Clarknt67
March 8th, 2004, 04:12 PM
I typed this in, so typos reflect on my abilities rather than the Brooklyn Papers.

Brooklyn Papers Feb. 28th
by Deborah Kolben

Brooklyn Bridge Park, the 70-acre commercial and recreational development along the Brooklyn Heights and Dumbo waterfront, moved one step closer to reality this week when the city reached an agreement to turn over $65 million for design and construction costs.

“This is huge,” said Sharon Soons, a spokeswoman for the Brooklyn Bridge Park Coalition, an independent non-profit group of 60 organizations that has been involved with the project’s planning for almost 15 years.

The difference between the city year’s old pledge of the money and what was announced this week is that the city has now signed an agreement that enables the money to flow from the city budget to Brooklyn Bridge Park, said Economic Development Corporation spokeswoman Janel Patterson. Construction is slated for completion within a decade.

In December, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced an agreement to kick in $85 million in construction costs and agreed to turn over piers 1, 2, 3, and 5. between Old Fulton Street and Atlantic Avenue once an environmental impact statement is completed.

The 1.3-mile development, stretching from Jay Street near the Manhattan Bridge to Atlantic Avenue is part of a far-reaching plan to transform a stretch of the formerly industrial and maritime Brooklyn waterfront. In September, a small segment of the park opened in DUMBO.

Operation and maintenance of the project’s park component will be funded in part by revenue generated from commercial properties associated with the project.

Developer Shaya Boymelgreen will be converting the vacant Empire Stores, a row of Civil War-era brick warehouses fronting the Empire-Fulton Ferry Park and Water Street between Main and Dock Streets, into a Chelsea Market-like commercial complex.

Designed for general storage and distribution of spices, tobacco and coffee arriving from around the world, the complex is slated to house a mix of galleries and stores.

“The public good that Brooklyn Bridge Park provides and has the potential to provide is worth every penny of the city’s support,” said Evan Thies, a spokesman for City Councilman David Yassky, whose district includes a portion of the site.

Clarknt67
March 8th, 2004, 07:10 PM
By Deborah Kolben
The Brooklyn Papers

When the Republican National Convention rolls into town this summer, Manhattan won’t be the only borough getting a piece of the action. While Madison Square Garden will host the four-day extravaganza, Brooklyn ’s trendy DUMBO neighborhood is a likely diversion, The Brooklyn Papers has learned.

Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park in DUMBO, tucked between the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridge overpasses, will be the site of a Grand Old Party-sponsored blowout bash for the nearly 15,000 news media personnel coming to town, according to sources working on the plans. “That ’s a lot of people,” said Sharon Soons, a member of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Coalition, an advocacy group for a planned 1.3-mile recreational and commercial waterfront development that would include Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park. And the party is just one piece of the pie.

Marty Golden,one of three Republican state senators in New York City, is trying to lure the GOP to southern Brooklyn with the promise of baseball and hotdogs. A delegate dinner at Gargiulio’s, a Brooklyn Cyclones baseball game and a trip to Nathan ’s Famous, all in Coney Island, top the list Golden submitted to the New York City Host Committee, a nonpartisan group working with convention planners. “Senators, governors, and high-ranking members of Congress will be walking our streets and seeing our sites and we want to welcome them so that Brooklyn is something they want to come see again,”said John Quaglione,a spokesman for Golden. Meanwhile, Councilman James Oddo, the minority leader and one of just three Republicans in the City Council, hopes to lure the Texan president to a “quintessential Italian Sunday dinner in Bensonhurst.”

Even Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, a lifelong Democrat,is fighting to bring Republicans across the bridge. “Marty Markowtiz welcomes everybody to Brooklyn,”said Markowitz spokeswoman Sharon Toomer. The Republican National Convention, the first to be held in New York City, will run from Aug.30 to Sept.2.

Clarknt67
March 8th, 2004, 07:12 PM
Meanwhile, Councilman James Oddo, the minority leader and one of just three Republicans in the City Council, hopes to lure the Texan president to a “quintessential Italian Sunday dinner in Bensonhurst.”

I suppose it's too much to hope that would include a good old fashion whacking?

How about if Oddo just smacks Dubya's hair like the dad in Saturday Night Fever did Travolta's? :wink:

Kris
March 15th, 2004, 01:16 PM
A Park Between the Bridges (http://www.gothamgazette.com/community/33/majorissues/88)

Clarknt67
March 15th, 2004, 05:18 PM
It is not surprising that many people support the construction of Brooklyn Bridge Park, 70 acres of new parkland that would extend a mile south of the Manhattan Bridge. The park, after all, would remove unsightly buildings along the piers, which remain as relics of obsolete maritime industry, and help revive the neighborhood economy

What an odd statement. I wasn't aware the "neighborhood" economy needed reviving. There almost no available apartments in the Height/DUMBO area and almost no empty storefronts.

????

The Park is so far off as to offer no relief to the immediate regional recession.

Clarknt67
April 27th, 2004, 05:53 PM
Watchtower building sold

The Jehovah's Witnesses have made a deal to sell their 1 million-square-foot building on the Brooklyn waterfront to RAL Development Services, a residential development company.

The purchase price for the 12-story building, at 360 Furman St., was not disclosed. The religious group's Watchtower Bible and Tract Society had been handling worldwide shipping and distribution of Bibles and religious literature from the facility, but is relocating those operations to other buildings in Brooklyn and upstate New York. It will remain as a tenant in the building for one year.

RAL says it will coordinate development of the building, which was built in 1928, with the city's and state's plans to develop the Brooklyn Bridge Park. Manhattan-based RAL recently converted the former Arthur A, Levitt state office building at 270 Broadway to a residential and commercial use building, with 39 luxury condominiums.

Copyright 2004, Crain Communications, Inc

Edward
October 4th, 2004, 12:15 AM
Historic fireboat John J. Harvey passing Brooklyn Bridge Park (http://www.wirednewyork.com/parks/brooklyn_bridge_park/default.htm). 2 October 2004.

http://www.wirednewyork.com/piers/pier63maritime/fireboat_harvey_2oct04.jpg (http://www.wirednewyork.com/parks/brooklyn_bridge_park/default.htm)

ZippyTheChimp
December 5th, 2004, 12:27 PM
A new segment of the park is nearing completion - under the Manhattan Bridge to Adams and John Sts. The shoreline will be natural, with rocks and a sandy cove.

http://www.pbase.com/image/37140120.jpg

http://www.pbase.com/zippythechimp/image/37140173.jpg


View north from the completed section. There are two lots remaining near the white building on the left. At Jay St, there is a small water inlet (the current plan boundary).Beyond is a large Con Ed transformer field that the park website states may become avilable in the future for park use.
http://www.pbase.com/zippythechimp/image/37140272.jpg

NYatKNIGHT
December 7th, 2004, 10:47 AM
Nice. I'm glad they kept that tree on the waters edge. (first photo)

ZippyTheChimp
December 7th, 2004, 01:18 PM
Errrr...I'm not so sure that tree is going to stay. They have not begun any landscaping. I don't know what kind of tree it is, but the only places I have seen them is long abandoned lots. It may actually be a weed. Weed or not, it looks good.

There is quite a bit of construction activity in the area. To the right of the last photo (Washington St?), a warehouse is being converted. The lot next to Pete's Restaurant (Water St under the Brooklyn Bridge) is finally getting a 3 storey building.

Kris
December 23rd, 2004, 11:47 PM
December 24, 2004

Brooklyn Waterfront Park Inches Closer

By DIANE CARDWELL

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2004/12/23/nyregion/24brooklyn.large1.jpg
Rendering of Brooklyn Bridge Park, which officials are set to approve.

After several false starts, state and city officials are set to sign off on a new, final master plan for the Downtown Brooklyn waterfront that would include playing fields, a marina, stores and a new residential and commercial hub at the foot of Atlantic Avenue.

The plan for the 1.3-mile shoreline park from Dumbo to Cobble Hill is a crucial step forward for an often contentious decade-long effort to develop the area, an effort that has frequently fallen victim to community disagreements and bureaucratic delays. This time around, officials believe that they have broken the logjam and can finally move ahead with the park.

The design scheme, by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, calls for a succession of hills, open plazas and recreation zones snaking along the water and a series of canals and boardwalks winding around and above the piers. The development would include shaded sports fields atop existing piers, 10 acres of water for kayakers, marshland habitats, playgrounds, restaurants and stores. A new hotel with housing would go up near the Brooklyn Bridge, as well as residential developments in Dumbo and on Atlantic Avenue.

The plans being prepared by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation will open the formal design phase and allow an environmental review to be completed, which would, officials hope, enable the corporation to take possession of land for the project by sometime next year. Then, construction could begin.

"It represents a lot," Charles A. Gargano, chairman of the Empire State Development Corporation, said of this latest phase. "We had to figure out what we could build with the money that we had available, and then we had to know how much revenue we would be getting" from the restaurants and other retail outlets.

Officials at the development corporation "not only want to have a park that people will like, but they want to use this unusual occasion to also build a great park," said Mr. Van Valkenburgh, whose firm is also working on part of Hudson River Park on the West Side of Manhattan. To create something "like the romantic parks of Olmsted and Vaux" meant thinking about how to make a great park that reflects "what's different about the time we live in and who we are."

To that end, Mr. Van Valkenburgh and his team have planned a park that could easily accommodate several kinds of activities, he said, while overcoming the physical limitations of the long, skinny space and its marginal location under the roaring Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

Some of the new buildings and structures, for instance, would function as landmarks that, like the bridges, would help orient visitors in the park and draw them through it. Walkways that run below the piers would bring people down to the water and away from the noise of the highway. The businesses associated with the park would cover the costs of maintaining it, officials said, as well as make it into an all-weather attraction.

"We see building a spectacular park there as having tremendous economic value," said Joshua J. Sirefman, director of the mayor's office of economic development and rebuilding. "This is a critical piece of making it a great destination," he added, calling it a "major driver for activity" on the waterfront.

Several times since the completion of the first master plan, in 2000, construction seemed to be about to start. On a raw spring day in 2002, for example, Gov. George E. Pataki and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg joined a bevy of other officials on an East River pier in Brooklyn to announce the formation of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation and the commitment of $85 million in state funds and $65 million from the city to build the park.

Groundbreaking was to begin in a year, they said then, and the park would take eight more years to complete. A little more than a year later, the development corporation released a design scheme, called the Concept Plan, which built on the first master plan.

Within a few months, a parking lot where the city built a playground in 2001 was transformed into a park, and it seemed that a ribbon of green snaking from Jay Street to Atlantic Avenue would soon come into view.

Officials concede that there have been delays and point to the complications of acquiring the land for the park. They say things have progressed more quickly since Wendy Leventer quietly replaced James Moogan as president of the development corporation in March. Still, speed in creating an 80-acre waterfront park is a relative concept.

"Because we're government, we don't do anything in under a year," Ms. Leventer said. Once the environmental study is completed, probably by next fall, officials said, the corporation can begin identifying developers and making deals.

"We're thinking that if we're lucky there's not going to be a shovel in the ground until '08, just because that's the way the timing goes," Ms. Leventer said, adding that construction would take another three to four years.

"Which," Mr. Van Valkenburgh added, "is pretty fast."

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2004/12/24/nyregion/24brooklyn_map.gif

Copyright 2004 The New York Times Company

billyblancoNYC
December 24th, 2004, 12:25 AM
I was just looking for updates about this 2 days ago. Seems the revised maintenance updates are set at around $15mil per year, hence the hotel, apartments, etc. I also heard that Brooklyn Brewery might move to Pier 1 (the large, mostly commercial pier) and have a beer garden, etc.

The whole plan is so friggin' amazing that I really wish it would just hurry up already.

krulltime
December 24th, 2004, 10:31 PM
2008? I can't wait. Please hurry!!! :(

Clarknt67
December 29th, 2004, 05:15 PM
2008 is such a long time to be waiting to break ground :cry:

I guess this answers my question on why they repaved the uplands from Pier 1 & 2. They just completely redid the parking lot, which I thought was strange since they'll need to tear it all up to plant grass!

billyblancoNYC
January 3rd, 2005, 02:32 PM
PARK-ING SPACE
http://nypost.com/news/regionalnews/37690.htm

By PATRICK GALLAHUE
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
January 3, 2005 -- Think living near the park is luxurious? Try living in the park.
Planners for one of the city's largest park developments could soon be offering just that in Brooklyn.

They are exploring the possibility of putting around 700 private residential units in the middle of the planned park to help pay for its $15.4 million in annual maintenance costs.

"Once you get to that point [of self-sufficiency] you don't have to compete with other parks for scarce resources," said Wendy Leventer, president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corp., which is charged with building the recreational space.

The 80-acre, $150 million park will stretch 1.3 miles from the DUMBO waterfront, north of the Manhattan Bridge, all the way to Atlantic Avenue, over what are now five decaying piers.

The housing is slated to be co-ops. Neighborhood leaders have been told they could be 16 stories and 30 stories high — on either end of the park.

Brooklyn Bridge Park, which has been in the planning for more than five years, was always intended to be financially self-sufficient in order to prevent further stretching parks budgets.

During the early planning stages, community groups agreed to allow 20 percent of the land to be devoted to private uses, including a restaurant, hotel and marina.

But with the master plan finally nearing completion, the development corporation announced yesterday that the park has undergone several major changes including the addition of high-rise buildings, possibly on either end of the park.

More housing could be adjacent to the Brooklyn Bridge, mixed into the low-lying hotel building.

And planners expect housing to be such a windfall they anticipate needing 10 percent less private space than originally expected.

"With these new developments we'll be able to give the park an additional 10 percent of open space," said Michael Van Vankenburgh, the park's landscape architect.

But Councilman David Yassky called the budget projections "highly speculative" and said, "They've a proposed significant development on the waterfront. That may be necessary to fund the park but we really don't know that at this point."

Also to keep costs down, the planners are looking at making Brooklyn Bridge Park the first major public park in the city to be powered by renewable energy.

Designs now include solar panels over basketball courts and wind turbines adjacent to the piers, which they hope will generate one-third to 40 percent of their energy needs.

Gulcrapek
January 3rd, 2005, 04:02 PM
I like the changes, though I don't think 30 storeys is appropriate there. If it's to be built, it should be at the southern/western end.

ZippyTheChimp
January 3rd, 2005, 05:28 PM
Detailed map of the park boundaries and the surrounding neighborhood.
It's not the revised master plan.
http://www.bbpc.net/docs/ConceptPlan.pdf

Derek2k3
January 5th, 2005, 05:52 PM
For some reason I want that giant Ferris wheel proposed for Downtown here...sorry Gul.

Kolbster
January 5th, 2005, 07:13 PM
im excited, it's really good for my neighborhood as well!
Along with this project and the conversion of the old wharehouses to a shoppingmall...there is gonna be an influx of people in Brooklyn heights and Dumbo

Derek2k3
January 8th, 2005, 11:25 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/06/garden/06NATU.html?oref=login

There's a rendering of the park with a prelim of one of the new buildings.

NoyokA
January 8th, 2005, 01:12 PM
The tower looks nice in that pic. Although it won't look like that in its final form I hope architectural distinction is part of the design program.

Gulcrapek
January 8th, 2005, 03:48 PM
Meh, non-member access expired.

Kris
January 8th, 2005, 04:49 PM
http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2005/01/05/garden/06natu.3.big.jpg
A planned restoration of the East River shoreline and wetlands in Brooklyn, also designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh.

RedFerrari360f1
January 8th, 2005, 05:49 PM
Quote:Meh, non-member access expired.

Its free to sign up.

Kolbster
January 8th, 2005, 06:05 PM
Nice pic Kris, is that an artist's vision or is that an actual rendering...vision right?

ZippyTheChimp
January 9th, 2005, 12:35 AM
Quote:Meh, non-member access expired.

Its free to sign up.
New York Times Mulls Charging Web Readers

Fri Jan 7, 4:07 PM ET

By Martha Graybow

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The New York Times Co. is considering subscription fees to the online version of its flagship newspaper, which now is available for free, but it has no immediate plans to do so, the company said on Friday.

One of the paper's biggest rivals, Dow Jones & Co. Inc.'s Wall Street Journal, charges for its online edition. A New York Times spokeswoman said the company is reviewing whether it should make any business changes to the online version but that no shifts were imminent.

"We are reviewing the site to see whether or not there would be any areas where we should change the business model," said the spokeswoman, Catherine Mathis, adding: "This is not new. We've been discussing this for some time."

According to the upcoming issue of BusinessWeek magazine, whose cover story focuses on The New York Times Co., an internal debate has been raging at the newspaper over whether its online edition, which had about 18.5 million unique monthly visitors as of November, should adopt a subscription fee.

N.Y. Times publisher Arthur Sulzberger Jr. was quoted in the article as saying: "It gets to the issue of how comfortable are we training a generation of readers to get quality information for free. That is troubling."

The online edition of the newspaper is available for free to registered users, although some content, such as archived articles, are available only if readers pay a fee.

Paid Web sites can help publishers draw new circulation revenue, but free online editions can be attractive to advertisers because they attract many more readers.

Newspaper industry consultant John Morton, who heads Morton Research Inc., said he thinks many newspapers want to wean readers off free online content and transform their Web sites into paid-only publications.

Free editions of newspapers on the Web are "quickly falling out of favor," he said. "I think you will see newspapers selling electronic subscriptions or print subscriptions, or a combination of both, which is what the Wall Street Journal does, and has been very successful at."

The Journal had about 701,000 paid subscribers for its Web edition as of the third quarter. Online Journal subscribers pay $79 a year, or $39 if they also subscribe to the print version.

In a statement, Dow Jones' president of electronic publishing Gordon Crovitz said his company "would be delighted" if the N.Y. Times began charging online subscription fees.

"We have never understood why a publisher would charge for its news in one medium, such as print, then give it away for free in another medium, such as online," he said.

Mathis said that when the online version of the New York Times was first launched in the mid-1990s, it experimented with charging readers outside the United States a subscription fee. She said that plan was dropped in 1998 in favor of a free site for all registered users.

Copyright © 2004 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved.

NewYorkYankee
January 9th, 2005, 04:22 PM
I hope they dont charge fee's. I read the NYT on here everyday.

Clarknt67
January 12th, 2005, 05:05 PM
For some reason I want that giant Ferris wheel proposed for Downtown here...sorry Gul.

How funny, I was just thinking how cute a ferris wheel would look down there! The Santa Monica pier has one, why can't we?!?!?!

Kris
February 12th, 2005, 10:28 PM
February 13, 2005

THE CITY

Selling Brooklyn Bridge Park

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/dropcap/f.gifor years, Brooklyn's underused waterfront has tantalized developers, Kings County citizens and New York politicians. And for most of those same years, Brooklynites have seen their hopes rise and fade over various plans to bedeck the shore with lush waterside parks and hotels and playgrounds, all with stunning views of Manhattan and the East River.

Now, almost three years after Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Gov. George E. Pataki stood on a raw, unadorned site and vowed that a Brooklyn Bridge Park would indeed be built, the latest design is finally coming into focus. Like the plans that came before it, this one makes the long strip of shoreline look like a wonderland.

But it bears careful watching by community leaders and Brooklyn's citizenry. The goal here is for Brooklyn's waterfront to become a real public treasure, not a private development with a few token patches of public space.

The promising new design by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates is a network of public recreation areas, boardwalks and commercial sections with restaurants and shops. There would be fields and marshland habitats and plenty of public access to the water's edge, which is the purpose of these urban riverside parks in the first place. The big question is the extent of the private development. Officials have insisted from the beginning that the park must maintain itself, so - as is also true with the planned Hudson River Park in Manhattan - some commercial activity will be necessary to help pay the bills. The Van Valkenburgh design proposes a hotel near Brooklyn Bridge and some private housing, including a 30-story apartment tower on Atlantic Avenue.

The tower is intended to provide the park with a dramatic entrance, but 30 stories is a lot of drama for an area that is supposed to be giving visitors a sense of relaxation. There is also the question of how much control the apartment dwellers will exercise over the park.

The tower's defenders say that its vertical design will allow for more parkland, giving the 1.3-mile-long site a ratio of 90 percent parkland to 10 percent private development. Given how important the development is to Brooklyn residents, they ought to have a say in that trade-off. Right now, the community has little sense of the details.

Information is especially scarce about how private development will mesh with the public spaces. We are also interested in knowing whether the state expects extra revenue from the private development, beyond the $15 million or so needed each year to run the park. There are valid questions about whether lower apartment buildings would work better for that area of the city. And we want to make certain that the public areas of the park are built before or at the same time as the private development - not private first, public later.

Even without a master plan, some waterfront areas from Manhattan Bridge to the Brooklyn Bridge area have started to look much better. An unsightly parking lot has been turned into a garden. A shoreline that once looked like a dumping ground now appears clean and inviting. And there are decent places to walk along the river or sit and ogle the splendid view. Those modest improvements should be making the public even hungrier for the more ambitious park development of floating walkways and marshlands.

The Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation needs to make a more intense effort to show these plans around and explain them, listen to questions and respond to both praise and complaints.

This park has been too many decades on the drawing boards. The last thing it needs is another full stall, which it risks if its planners fail to solicit and hear the voice of Brooklyn's army of activists.

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

Kris
February 26th, 2005, 11:46 PM
February 27, 2005

THE CITY

New Hopes for Brooklyn Bridge Park

To the Editor:

Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates' plan for Brooklyn Bridge Park (editorial, Feb. 13) brings us tantalizingly closer to the world-class park we have envisioned for so long. It would allow New Yorkers to experience the water's edge through floating bridges, canals, winding pathways and paddling zones. The open plazas, hills and recreational areas would give our park-starved borough a range of park experiences on a spectacular harbor-side setting.

The plan limits the commercial development's footprint to 10 percent of the park, rather than the 20 percent that the community proposed as the limit. This creates more parkland than anticipated, 72 acres, while generating a stable source of revenue necessary to care for the park.

The community needs to be briefed on the details and have a voice in the trade-offs, and public meetings are in the works to achieve this. Some adjustments to the concept will surely be made. But as an organization that has spent the last 18 years working toward this park, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy believes that the city and the state have given us a rare opportunity to create a magnificent park and we all need to move forward quickly to make the park a reality.

Tensie Whelan
Chairwoman, Brooklyn Bridge
Park Conservancy
Downtown Brooklyn

Copyright 2005 (http://www.nytimes.com/ref/membercenter/help/copyright.html) The New York Times Company (http://www.nytco.com/)

NewYorkYankee
February 27th, 2005, 10:23 AM
This should be nice!

BrooklynRider
February 28th, 2005, 03:07 PM
Not too popular after the first unveiling. See article:

http://www.brooklynpapers.com/html/issues/_vol28/28_09/28_09bp.pdf

Wendy Leventer is not endearing herself to the community abnd, like the Atlantic Yards, development planning is taking place almost entirely behind closed doors. Part of the park places a new thirty storey residential tower at Furman Street and more housing is being built into the plan directly beneath the Brooklyn Promenade. It is going to shape up to be quite a fight.

The initial meeting in 2000 was very positive and inclusive. This new plan came out amidst a lot of suspicion. The whole plan is being built on the premise that the park must be self sustaining. They go through all this behind the doors stuff, come out with a big glossy model and no financial plan. So, how does anything get built, justified or rejected with no financial plan. They say it will be released in two weeks, but it would seem that a major plan model would be predicated upon a previously agreed upon financial plan.

The cart's before the horse on this one. Expect delivery of a park sometime between hell freezing over and pigs flying. Brooklyn Heights Association is well-organized, well financed and successfully fought Robert Moses. People are already crying over the possibility of losing ther views.

billyblancoNYC
February 28th, 2005, 11:30 PM
Please, the BK Papers gets great stories but is a NIMBY mouthpiece. They conplain about any and every development in Brooklyn. They are never satisifed with any plans and harld ever even post opinions in favor of anything.

ZippyTheChimp
March 1st, 2005, 07:14 AM
If a park has to be economically self-sustaining, I think commercial development is preferable to residential.

And why is the keyword self-sustaining attached to all new park development? NYC is near the top of the list for urban parkland acreage, but near the bottom for percentage of budget allocated to parks. A large percentage of maintenance costs are already funded by private donations.

Parks generate revenue by their existence.

Clarknt67
May 2nd, 2005, 05:01 PM
http://www.brooklynpapers.com/html/issues/_vol28/28_18/28_18nets3.html


After meeting, ‘park’ plan foes see pols as allies
By Jess Wisloski
The Brooklyn Papers

A meeting between local elected officials and established community groups held at Borough Hall April 22 to address concerns over plans for Brooklyn Bridge Park left both sides of the table realizing they have their work cut out for them.

The project is a commercial, housing and open space development that would stretch along the waterfront from Atlantic Avenue to the Manhattan Bridge.

“We were very impressed that all the elected officials came,” said Laurie Maurer, a Cobble Hill architect, citing the long list of attendees, which included local City Council members David Yassky, Letitia James and Bill DeBlasio; state senators Velmanette Montgomery and Martin Connor; members of Congress Nydia Velazquez and Major Owens; Assemblywoman Joan Millman; and Borough President Marty Markowitz.

“A bunch of people spoke,” said Maurer, referring to the civic leaders who presented objections to the drastically altered version of the park plans released this year, which they say privatize the park by supplementing recreational space with open areas that lack any active programs and block the park’s main entrances with luxury condominium apartment buildings.

“It is not a Brooklyn park and they seemed really well to understand that,” said Maurer’s husband, Stanley Maurer. The couple own a home in Brooklyn Heights.

Cobble Hill activist Roy Sloane — who organized the meeting led by local park advocates including the former head of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Coalition, Anthony Manheim, and Community Board 6 Chairman Jerry Armer and First Vice Chairwoman Pauline Blake — said everyone left the meeting feeling as if the elected officials had really understood them.

“At this point there can be no doubt that all our elected officials understand what our underlying concerns are, and why we have those concerns,” Sloane said after the meeting. He said he was impressed and surprised that the meeting, scheduled for only an hour, lasted just over three hours, with nearly all the elected officials staying for the duration.

According to meeting attendees, who came from DUMBO, Vinegar Hill, Fulton Ferry Landing, Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Fort Greene and Park Slope, elected officials seemed none too pleased with the park plans, either.

Sloane said that “much to our surprise we found many of [the elected officials] shared our concern and our deep frustrations.”
“After an hour and 15 minutes there became a frank interchange between both parties,” he said. “We now all feel that our local elected officials have genuinely heard what our concerns are and they made a commitment to address them. But there were no specifics as to what they were going to do.”

The idea for the meeting, which was held in the Borough Hall community room at 3 pm, came after several weeks of discussions among members of the Cobble Hill Association, who live near the southern end of the park, which has an entrance at Atlantic Avenue.

Those community members have been vocal about their concern over plans to build two condo high-rises, one as tall as 30 stories, on the uplands of Pier 6.

Soon, many other neighborhood organizations and community members followed suit.

The 450 new housing units for that end of the park aren’t the only residential high-rises planned, and DUMBO neighbors at the northern end of the park had already issued a letter of dissent to the president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation, Wendy Leventer, to plans for a 16-story, 150-unit luxury building to be built on an open space at John and Adams streets.

Michelle Whetten, the new president of the DUMBO Neighborhood Association, said she was glad her group was able to offer a PowerPoint presentation on the effects the building in DUMBO would have on the north-end residents.

“We told them we have been basically unable to form any thoughtful input without the broken-down costs [of why the plan relies on housing],” she said. “It’s difficult for us to form an opinion without any numbers we can even look at,” she said, and mentioned that the politicians seemed to agree.

“It was surprising that we all have the same questions.”

Nicholas Evans-Cato, president of the neighboring Vinegar Hill Association, prepared the slideshow. “The people we wanted to be there were there,” he said, noting that it was a positive meeting.

An additional 150 condo units is planned for a building next door to a hotel at the end of Old Fulton Street at Fulton Ferry Landing.

Leventer, whose state authority is charged with planning the park, has cited the need for housing as the only viable revenue-generating source to help the park fulfill its mandate to “pay for itself.”

But to the chagrin of community activists who worked to develop the park over the last 20 years — which was created as an alternative to a Port Authority of New York and New Jersey plan to sell the property to housing developers in the early 1980s — no alternative revenue sources, such as commercial developments that would create more foot-traffic for visitors and tourists have yet been provided by Leventer or her agency.

Although he called their presentation more of a general airing of problems felt around the community, Evans-Cato said there was pointed discussion about the leadership of the BBPDC, and even members of the park’s Board of Directors had been complaining, according to the elected officials.

But until something changes significantly, he said, it’s hard to pinpoint the next step.

“You’re really looking at the stage being set, you’re not hearing the music,” he said.

“Because she was not invited to the meeting, Wendy [Leventer] says she cannot comment on what was proposed,” said Empire State Development spokeswoman Deborah Wetzel.

Elected officials dodged answering questions after the meeting, but according to one legislative aide, plan to meet again.

“We declared victory on Friday,” said Sloane this week.

“Today, of course, is a new day. But we were very pleased with our local elected officials.”

Gulcrapek
June 18th, 2005, 01:47 PM
Hehe... they kinda look like dancers.

pianoman11686
July 27th, 2005, 12:29 AM
Agency Adopts Park Plan for Brooklyn Waterfront

By ROBERT F. WORTH

Published: July 27, 2005

State officials approved a draft plan yesterday for an 85-acre waterfront park near Downtown Brooklyn that would include playing fields, marinas, restaurants and offices, and 1,200 units of luxury housing.

The proposed plan for a 1.3-mile shoreline park stretching from the Manhattan Bridge to Cobble Hill is an important step forward in a contentious effort over nearly 20 years to develop the largely neglected waterfront area. The park plan and a draft environmental review will go before public hearings in September.

By far the most controversial part of the plan is the proposal to build or renovate five residential buildings, including a new 30-story tower. The decision to include housing was first made public in December, as part of a plan to make the park finance its own upkeep. But the number of housing units, first revealed yesterday, elicited angry reactions from a number of community groups that have opposed the plan.

"The question in the community has been, is this a park with some housing in it, or is this a housing project with a large amount of public space," said Roy Sloane, a former president of the Cobble Hill Association who helps organize opponents of the project. "It now appears to be the latter."

The opponents have long contended that the park lacks adequate recreational features and that building so much luxury housing will effectively make much of the waterfront area into a backyard for the rich.

But officials with the Empire State Development Corporation, whose board adopted the 14-page project plan and a draft environmental review yesterday, vigorously disputed that view.

"Ninety percent of the park will be used for open space," said Charles A. Gargano, the chairman of the corporation. "We need a revenue stream, but we've tried to minimize the footprint of the development."

Property taxes on the housing would go toward the park's annual upkeep, which is estimated to be $15.2 million a year, he said.

One model for the project is Hudson River Park in Manhattan, which has included development projects to help pay for its upkeep, Mr. Gargano said. Those projects also provoked some community opposition.

The city has agreed to contribute $65 million and the state $85 million to build the project, on parkland owned by both.

If it goes forward, building on the park project is expected to begin in 2008 and to be completed by 2012, according to the plan released yesterday. The park's design, by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, includes "canals, boardwalks and floating bridges that wind around the existing piers." There would be 12 acres of paddling waters for kayaking, rowboating and other water sports. The entrances to the park would be at Atlantic Avenue and Fulton Ferry Landing and in Dumbo (for Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass).

The project would also include a 224-room hotel, restaurants and cafes, 150,000 square feet of retail space and 1,100 parking spaces.

But it is the residential element that has galvanized opposition among many Brooklynites. Although a few civic groups have come out in favor of the plan, opponents say the housing element was pushed through largely in secret. Some have accused the park's planners of catering to developers, particularly at 360 Furman Street, a privately owned warehouse near the northern edge of the park.

Mr. Gargano said the park's planners agreed to help Robert Levine, the owner of 360 Furman Street, convert the building more quickly to residential use as part of a deal in which the building's tenants would help finance the park's upkeep.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company

ZippyTheChimp
July 27th, 2005, 06:09 AM
One model for the project is Hudson River Park in Manhattan, which has included development projects to help pay for its upkeep, Mr. Gargano said. Those projects also provoked some community opposition.
There is no residential development in Hudson River Park.

lofter1
July 27th, 2005, 08:51 AM
State officials approved a draft plan yesterday for an 85-acre waterfront park near Downtown Brooklyn that would include ... 1,200 units of luxury housing.

"Ninety percent of the park will be used for open space," said Charles A. Gargano, the chairman of the corporation. "We need a revenue stream, but we've tried to minimize the footprint of the development."

Property taxes on the housing would go toward the park's annual upkeep, which is estimated to be $15.2 million a year, he said...the park's planners agreed to help Robert Levine, the owner of 360 Furman Street, convert the building more quickly to residential use as part of a deal...
If this goes through it will create a precedent that could open the floodgates.

The mantra will become: "If you want a NICE park let us put up one exclusive luxury tower over here in the corner."

billyblancoNYC
July 27th, 2005, 10:49 AM
There is no residential development in Hudson River Park.

I think they mean commercial uses to help pay for maintenance of the park.

ZippyTheChimp
July 27th, 2005, 11:03 AM
I think they mean commercial uses to help pay for maintenance of the park.Gargano cited HRP as an example to justify the Brooklyn plan. But commercial development exists in many parks, including Central Park, and those developments enhance the park.

The objection is the planned residential development, to which the public has no access.

ZippyTheChimp
August 13th, 2005, 08:33 AM
Draft Environmental Impact Statement (http://www.brooklynbridgepark.org/index.cfm?objectid=62AADAD2-E90D-5118-5CAD8170717B16DF&navid=EE3D25A4-3048-7098-AFFFCF51D62FC0BF)

Two articles from Brooklyn Papers (http://www.brooklynpapers.com/index.html)

Public review starts as EIS draft released
By Jess Wisloski
The Brooklyn Papers

Following the state’s July 26 approval of a general project plan for the Brooklyn Bridge Park, planners this week announced the date of the only hearing that will take public comment on plans for a waterfront housing, open space and commercial development along the Brooklyn Heights waterfront.

The Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation (BBPDC) on Tuesday released copies of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) for the park plan at a breakfast press conference in Brooklyn Heights and discussed some of the more contentious points of the development plan.

The public hearing, set for Monday, Sept. 19 (5 pm-9 pm, at Polytechnic University’s Dibner Auditorium, 5 Metrotech Plaza) nearly closes the state’s obligations for public review. Following the hearing, the BBPDC, a state authority mandated with planning and building the 1.3-mile development from the Manhattan Bridge down to Atlantic Avenue, will have 45 days to collect and submit comments to its parent authority, the Empire State Development Corporation.

Sharing the table with BBPDC President Wendy Leventer at Theresa’s restaurant near Hicks Street Tuesday was Kate Collignon, a vice president of the city’s Economic Development Corporation, and Edward Applebome, a planning consultant for AKRF, the company that prepared the EIS.

Also present were Tom Montvel-Cohen, a consultant to Michael Van Valkenburgh Architects, and Lee Silberstein, a spokesman for the park designer.

Reading through the draft EIS executive summary, Applebome said, “Most of the impacts of this project are beneficial.”

The draft noted the creation of 1,210 new residential condominium units, 225 hotel rooms, 151,200 square feet of new retail space, and the creation of 86,400 square feet of new restaurants, cafes, and other eateries in the study area.

Two buildings, one 95 feet tall and the other 315 feet, situated near the Atlantic Avenue entrance to the park promise more than 900 luxury condominium units with ground-floor retail all of which, the document states, will create protective “eyes” on the park.

The height of an existing industrial building at 360 Furman St. that is to be converted to condos would reach 224 feet.

The National Cold Storage Warehouse buildings between piers 1 and 2 off Old Fulton Street will be replaced by a 225-room hotel and a building with 150 residential units.

A secondary access road will be built so vehicles can get to the two buildings, which will include an adjacent waterside restaurant, and a spa, and a 300-space parking lot.

North of the Brooklyn Bridge, a two-story 1936 warehouse called the Purchase Building, which currently houses the city’s Office of Emergency Management, will be demolished, the draft EIS states.

A state oversight agency responsible for determining the historic value of buildings authorized its demolition.

“The building is in what, at least to the park designers, is a very important view corridor,” said Applebome.

A building at the Con Ed site, just north of the Manhattan Bridge in DUMBO, at John Street between Adams and Pearl streets, will bring a 170-foot condo tower.

The 130-unit building with ground-level retail would serve “to advance the development of this area as a major point of entry into the park” according to the DEIS.

Planners said the height of the residential buildings can be accommodated thanks to zoning overrides, which the state-run project will employ.

“A general project plan is developed without regard to zoning,” said Leventer. “This is done with something called a zoning override.”

Any zoning changes on the property, currently zoned for low-rise manufacturing, preserve a maximum envelope with which each project can be built. According to Silberstein, all the heights of the proposed buildings are at maximum build-out.

Other impacts, such as traffic, air quality, noise, infrastructure, construction and parking, were not found to have significant impacts, though traffic problems did merit mitigation in several places.

The draft EIS states that 15 of 49 intersections would suffer “significant impacts” from the park, but all but two would be mitigated, the document states.

The off-ramp to the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway at Cadman Plaza West and Adams Street would remain unmitigated, as would Atlantic Avenue at Court Street during peak nighttime hours.

Overall, the project would bring “beneficial impacts on land use, open space and visual resources, and it would not create significant adverse impacts on community facilities,” according to the document, but the community has yet to respond.

Judi Francis, a resident of Willow Place in Brooklyn Heights, which will be faced with three of the new residential towers, said she’d only read the document preliminarily. Francis opposes the projected housing development scheme.

“We’ve got a list of detailed questions we’ll be producing next week,” she said.

Silberstein, speaking for the planners, encouraged community members to review the DEIS by going to their community board or local library or reading it on the Web, at bbpc.net


Groups clash over ‘Park’

Heights-area residents don’t see eye-to-eye on development plan

http://www.brooklynpapers.com/html/issues/_vol28/28_32/28_32postcard.jpg
Postcard parody created by Brooklyn Heights resident Judi Francis based on a rendering by Brooklyn Bridge Park architect Michael Van Valkenburgh.

By Jess Wisloski
The Brooklyn Papers

Brooklyn Heights and Cobble Hill residents who support the idea of a waterfront park that would stretch from the Manhattan Bridge to Atlantic Avenue, but who at the same time disagree with the new Brooklyn Bridge Park plan’s reliance on high-rise condominium development. are banding together to voice their dissent.

Unlike typical park developments, headed by the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation, the 1.3-mile waterfront project is mandated to pay for its own $15.2 million yearly maintenance. The construction and design is headed by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation (BBPDC), a state authority controlled by the Empire State Development Corp., and the city and state have committed a combined $150 million for the park’s initial development cost.

In December, the BBPDC revealed its plans to build luxury housing as the primary revenue generator.

Dissatisfied by the lack of a stance on the revised park plan by the Brooklyn Heights Association, and cheerleader-like support for the housing-dependent plans by the non-profit advocacy group the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, Heights resident Kenn Lowy has formed the Friends of Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The fledgling group, he says, aims to fill a role he believes the Conservancy has abandoned: providing constructive criticism based on public concerns about the plan.

Calling it “a mix of various organizations and individuals,” the group includes members of the Willowtown and Brooklyn Heights associations, as well as the State Street Block Association, Cobble Hill Association and other community members. Willowtown is an area in southwest Brooklyn Heights near the development site.

“There are a lot of people in Brooklyn Heights who know who the BHA [Brooklyn Heights Association] is, but never really hear from them, so they don’t really know what’s going on. And a lot of people in the southern part of the Heights are kind of disappointed that the Heights has an association that doesn’t really care about anything that happens in their part of the neighborhood,” Lowy said.

“They feel it’s OK to have all these apartment buildings without even really looking into the alternatives.”

He said the Friends of Brooklyn Bridge Park effort is intended, in part, to counteract what members perceive as a newly adopted pro-housing, pro-development bent of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy (formerly the Brooklyn Bridge Park Coalition).

“We’re filling the gap that organizations like the Heights association and the Conservancy — the organizations we thought we could depend on — are just not doing. They’re not advocating for the park we thought they would,” Lowy said.

“We’ve gone through a lot of the plan,” he added, “and we’re finding more questions than answers.”

Conservancy officials explained this week that their group has not so much advocated for the housing, as considered it the most efficient way of making the park self-sustaining.

“We want to help make sure there are no misunderstandings or misrepresentations of the park, so we’re all commenting on the same thing,” said Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy communications director Virginia Terry, who said the Conservancy, which holds park fundraisers and free movie nights throughout the summer considered it their “responsibility and mission to get out all the information we can get.”

She referred to the Conservancy’s “Special Editions” newsletter, which featured renderings supplied by the BBPDC.

The BBPDC, in fact, has relied on the Conservancy to post its renderings and the just released draft Environmental Impact Statement for the project on their Web site while the BBPDC Web site lies largely dormant and un-updated.

Lowy said that those kinds of collaborations usurp any independent authority the Conservancy might have once enjoyed rendering the group little more than an unofficial public relations arm of the BBPDC.

“We have serious concerns with some of the mailings that the Conservancy is handing out,” he said.

“They seem to be playing fast and loose with the truth as far as we’re concerned,” he added, noting points made in the Conservancy’s brochures that talked about a park with recreational programming that he and his cohorts say they have yet to see.

“I don’t know anything about this group,” said Terry when asked about Friends of Brooklyn Bridge Park. “We are advocating for a park for the public, green space, waterfront access, all the educational, cultural and recreational programming that should come with a great waterfront park.

“Of course, with that will come a mix of publicly and privately funded programming, but we also know — and the community has long wished — that this be a self-sustaining park.

Judi Francis, a member of the Willowtown Association, has advocated for something called a Park Oversight District, or POD, where Heights residents in closer proximity to the park would pay a public tax that would go towards a park fund, instead of creating a 1,200 units of luxury waterfront condo development concentrated at the park’s Atlantic Avenue end.

“The quotes that I read from the Conservancy and elsewhere that say this is full of playing fields miss the point,” Francis said.

Francis and the Willowtown Association have created a promotional postcard, using the BBPDC’s view of the 30-story tower as seen from Atlantic Avenue, with the words, “Greetings from Brooklyn Bridge Park City,” overlayed onto it.

“There is a perception that the BHA speaks for all the residents of Brooklyn Heights,” said Francis. “That is not true. We have met with hundreds of Heights residents who are opposed to this park plan. We therefore want to get the word out, thus we developed the postcard.”

She and other members of the association planned to hand out the postcards at Thursday night’s Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy-sponsored screening of “Chinatown” in Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park to counteract what Francis sees as propaganda being disseminated by the Conservancy at the popular weekly film series.

The Conservancy’s Terry maintains that housing was preferred for being a low-impact way to create revenue.

“We take the view that housing is a good alternative because it can efficiently and reliably maintain these yearly costs without taking a substantial part of the footprint,” she said. “We also believe that housing has the potential to enhance the overall waterfront experience.”

Judy Stanton, executive director of the Brooklyn Heights Association, said she wasn’t so concerned about how many new residents the planned buildings would bring to the neighborhood as she was about protecting views, one of the BHA’s mandates.

“We were worried about how [development of 360 Furman St.] would affect views that people have now,” she said, referring to the condo conversion of a former watchtower Bible & Tract Society book and video plant on Furman Street between Joralemon Street and Atlantic Avenue as part of the park plan. The developer has been told he can add up to two stories to that building.

Down the block a 30-story condo tower would be built.

“Depending on where [the developer] is going to put [the addition] is this now going to be more a view-blocking factor? That’s what we’re worried about,” she said.

Francis said none of her neighbors’ concerns has been addressed by the BHA, BBPDC or Conservancy, including whether or not Joralemon Street would be closed to traffic, as originally considered.

Stanton said she couldn’t imagine the street would be able to stay open, even with 940 new condominium units at its base.

“Somebody’s going to tell me I’m naïve, but we’ll just push right back,” if the city insists on keeping the street open. “The way they put it at the BBPDC, [they] can’t close Joralemon Street, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has to do that, but there are going to be a lot of people pushing the DOT. I believe the elected officials will push. So until I’m told absolutely no, I’m going to believe it’s not unrealistic.”

Clarknt67
August 15th, 2005, 12:20 PM
If this goes through it will create a precedent that could open the floodgates.

The mantra will become: "If you want a NICE park let us put up one exclusive luxury tower over here in the corner."


This park is already unprecedented. The Port Authority agreed to turn the land over contingent on the park being self-supporting, not drawing from existing NYC and NYS park budgets. Hence this scheme to finance the park.

My problem I have with people complaining about this residential is, while I'm sympathetic to their concerns, they aren't offering an alternative. I know for a fact that the BBPC has explored alternate commericial development, and some is in place, but not enough.

I fear, absent an alternative, the whole project derail and the land may revert back to the PA for use as Piers.

Ninjahedge
August 15th, 2005, 01:48 PM
There is a fairly easy solution.

No high rises!

The best thing about the heights is that you have a clear view of the city!

There is a good 50-100 feet of clear-air between the "heights" and the river itself, so making buildings that do not go past this, or some sort of wedge-shaped airspace would be preferable.


I think making the area closest to the water some sort of cafe-space, with shops and the like open to the riverfront, would be one of the best suggestions. I do not think that much else, besides a good bike path or something, could be realistically done that would be self supporting (no more volleyball courts please.)

If they put in 6-8 story condos with either classic styling or park-area type rooves closest to the road, and then slowly ramped them down leaving a good 30-50 feet of open plaza for the riverfront it would look and feel excelent.

But that is not the cheapest solution, so it will probably neve be done as such...

billyblancoNYC
August 15th, 2005, 02:20 PM
The project needs to generate about, likely over, $15million per year for maintenance. Some low-rises and cafes won't do the trick. There really only one very tall building...and it's Pier 6. Anyone know if it's blocking views from the hospital?

Ninjahedge
August 15th, 2005, 03:15 PM
Would it just be the hospital?

And 15M a year is about 1M a month (1.25M a month).

If they were fair sized rental units at 80% occupancy you could easiy get 2K per unit (take a look at Hoboken) per month. That leaves 625 units. On 8 floors that is approximately 79 units (occupied), 98 units total per floor. on 1 mile of property, say 80% again usable (open space), 5280*80% = 4224ft of linear space available.

Going one unit deep (all have a view if they are high enough) 4224/98 = 43 feet wide per unit. for $2K per month in the HEIGHTS with a Manhattan view (or close to it), you could make the units 800-1000SF.

Lets be nice and say 1000SF. You would need 23 feet in depth for a 43 foot wide unit. That is not too deep! Most buildings in NYC in the old brownstone style are MUCH deeper than that!. You could make them all 40 feet deep, and make many more units per building and fill the requirement.


It is very possible, but the problem is that it is not an easy one-shot deal here. It would mean less profit, and it would not come in as quickly.

Hell, if you want, you could even sell these units as condos and put the fund into an endowment that only the interest from it would be used for maintainance. 100SF units in BH are going EASILY for $750,000 a shot, and cost about 20% of that to build......


Achiee! What a beaurocratic boondoggle this is!

ZippyTheChimp
August 15th, 2005, 05:24 PM
The project needs to generate about, likely over, $15million per year for maintenance.

The park will be about 80 acres. $15 million would be over $187,000 per acre, compared to about $20,000 per acre allocated for Central Park maintenance.

NYC parks (especially signature parks) do generate income, in ways that have nothing to do with private development within the park.

1. They enhance real estate value in the surrounding area, adding to the tax base.

2. They attract conservancy and "friends of" groups that assist in maintenance.

The second point highlights how the city has been steadily decreasing its responsibility in park maintenance. With the budget crisis in the late 70s, parks became a low priority. Groups like the CP conservancy (formed in 1980) began to provide funds for park maintenance. Even with the improved budget picture during the 90s, the city began to rely more and more on these private donations.

In the period 1988-2003, the city reduced park funds by 30%, even during the late90s dot.com boom. The 2003 budget allocated $155 million to parks, just 0.4% of the $44 billion budget, the lowest percentage in decades.

Some facts from 2003:
NYC has the largest total parkland of any city in the US with over 36,000 acres. Chicago has over 11,000 acres, but its parks budget is $350 million, and does not rely heavily on private funding.

Public spending per resident on parks:
NYC - $54
CHGO - $131
US AVG - $80

NYC private park funding - $50,000,000 per year, 3 times the amount of any other city.

Central Park looks so good because 85% of its budget is provided by the Central Park Conservancy.

City Hall has been getting a free ride for a long time.

billyblancoNYC
August 16th, 2005, 10:55 AM
I agree with you. It's a shame that the city is so stingy with the parks.

Check out this website:

http://www.ny4p.org/
http://www.parks1.org/ - JUST 1% of the budget would really make NYC parks great.

Clarknt67
August 17th, 2005, 01:08 AM
The project needs to generate about, likely over, $15million per year for maintenance. Some low-rises and cafes won't do the trick. There really only one very tall building...and it's Pier 6. Anyone know if it's blocking views from the hospital?

You're right this is only one major high-rise and it's planned for new the intersection of Atlantic Ave, Pier 6 and the BQE bridge. Personally, I'd rather have it there than have a ton of townhouses lining Furman St. Why is it preferable to spread the house around than concentrate it on one high-rise? there will be plenty of views, it won't be any harder to see around than the anchorage of the Brooklyn Bridge which is in the middle of the Park as well.

Ninjahedge
August 17th, 2005, 08:24 AM
Because it is guaranteed that one high rise will not be in the same feel and style as 99% of Brooklyn Heights.


If you keep an open mind, and strict decision making council, "spreading" these townhouses out may not ammount to much more than a more attractive drive than what is currently there.


Everybody seems to think that whenever a park is mentioned there is somehow enough room for a baseball field or something..... ;)

billyblancoNYC
August 17th, 2005, 10:17 AM
You're right this is only one major high-rise and it's planned for new the intersection of Atlantic Ave, Pier 6 and the BQE bridge. Personally, I'd rather have it there than have a ton of townhouses lining Furman St. Why is it preferable to spread the house around than concentrate it on one high-rise? there will be plenty of views, it won't be any harder to see around than the anchorage of the Brooklyn Bridge which is in the middle of the Park as well.

While that would be nice. and might be preferrable, the arguement would then be that too much space is being taken up by non-park uses. The benefit of having a few larger towers is that the floor space used is much lower, hence there is more space for the actual park.

JCMAN320
August 17th, 2005, 09:41 PM
This high-rise will ruin what should be a great park. I can't believe they want to squander this opprutunity by putting a highrise in the park. They should take an example from Liberty State Park which bans highrise development in it's borders. Parks like Central Park and Liberty State Park are perfect examples of great urban parks. They should go back to the drawing board an take out the highrise and make it more of a park and not a development.

BrooklynRider
August 17th, 2005, 11:20 PM
I'm not as concerned with heights of peripheral buildings as I am with sight lines. Nothing should block the views from the Promenade - because without the views that park is just an alley. The park itself seems extremely narrow, so I think this or any building has to be built in a way that doesn't make the park look like a sidewalk. Also, I think I am more concerned with the influx of traffic into the area from the IKEA (ugh!) and cruise terminal is the bigger worry. Traffic and the accompanying fumes, noise and congestion are serious quality of life issues. A tall, misplaced building is rude and intrusive - but less harmful in the long run.

Clarknt67
August 17th, 2005, 11:39 PM
This high-rise will ruin what should be a great park. I can't believe they want to squander this opprutunity by putting a highrise in the park. .

Are you familiar with the blueprint plans? Have you seen them? The black rectangle in the lower right is the footprint of the contested tower. Notice it's at most 5% of the footprint.

http://brooklynbridgepark.org/images/05_Aerial-Diagram.jpg

Also this rendering only includes piers 1-5, pier 6 is now included, so the area is about another 20% bigger.

I don't see why it's "ruining" the park.

JCMAN320
August 18th, 2005, 12:08 AM
It makes the park look restrictive eventhough it's only 5% it can't cradle the building it doesn't hug it. The park looks like it is being held back.

ZippyTheChimp
August 18th, 2005, 12:19 AM
I don't think the issue is the size of the footprint relative to the park. Would the same footprint within the much larger Prospect Park be even more acceptable? The point is that it is a prominent private residential development within the park.

I think the reason that so many people are upset is that after decades of trying to get this park launched, and finally moving forward with a plan that did not mention residential development, the city springs this change.

It smells of bait and switch - now that the park is a reality, people won't rock the boat and risk stalling the entire project.

Ninjahedge
August 18th, 2005, 08:30 AM
I will repeat. GO TO HOBOKEN, Wehawken, and Edgewater. Look at what they are doing there to get an idea of what this will be like.


And also take a look at buildings in the NYC area that do things like have parks on the roof. What is wrong with having a buildnig that takes up 15% of the ground space if it is shoreter than the promenade AND it has publically accessable green space on top (say 80%). If they want to do something different, this is probably one of the only places they can afford to do so.

BrooklynRider
August 18th, 2005, 10:03 AM
At the risk of sounding like I don't want to go to New Jersey....

Ninja, can you snap any photos for us?

Ninjahedge
August 18th, 2005, 10:42 AM
I could, when I go up to edgewater next, but take a look at Google Earth or Maps with satelite image.

One of the bigger buildings built right next to the river (with enough room for a plaza-park, but walling off river street) is 333 River Street. Plunk that into Google Maps (or Earth if you have it) and start traveling up the river.

I do not know how recent their satelite images are, but they will give you an idea of the placement of a lot of these buildings......

I am looking. The 333 river street is that big "E" building. It goes up a good 15 stories and noly has a 6-8 foot sidewalk between it and the street. It is part of the "River Street Canyon".

If you go south, you will see the two office buildings they built. You will also see the plaza strip with all the trees. There are some lots that are salted for future development including the W hotel tower and another office building resemblingthe previous two (BTW, they can be seen from Manhattan at night pretty easily. They have big neon pyramids at their tops :p).

If you go nort past Stevens University (the curvy part of the road) you will see the old Maxwell House site. It has been demolished and they are planning to construct, you guessed it, mid rise "luxury" condominiums. Look to "City Living" for details.

North of THAT is the shipyard development. While some of it is nice, they tried to cram as much as they could into as small an area as possible. While the marina/ferry stop is nice, it feels squashed next to the 20 story condo buildings.

These 20 story buildings were built right in front of OTHER 20 story buildings that previously had the NYC skyline view. Nice, eh?

To add insult to injury, they are building more a little north of that.


Now go north past the lincoln tunnel helix and you are, for 2 seconds, in Weehawken. I think Union City is next, then Edgewater. You might be able to see some of the developments, or planned ones. Some have units so close that you can reach from your balcony to adjust your neighbors DTV antenna.

And they are also close enough that you can jump from your window over to the standard 3' municipal sidewalk running alongside.

And no, I do not believe they have any space for a path or walkway along the river like what was discussed for the past 10 years or so.


So, if you look at the "popcorn" condo development along the Jersey side, you can get an idea of what might happen if things are not planned. If you look at areas like Hoboken, you will get that feeling for mismatched architecture and the claustrophobic walled in feeling.

I do not think it will ever get as bad in BH, but you have to fight for whatever you can get when dealing with developers, or they will take all thatthey can and leave you with a park that is barely big enough to walk your dog.....

billyblancoNYC
August 18th, 2005, 11:48 AM
Parks like Central Park and Liberty State Park are perfect examples of great urban parks.

Central Park is surrounded by high rises.

Ninjahedge
August 18th, 2005, 11:57 AM
Central Park is surrounded by high rises.

But there are no high rises IN the park.


I dont think CP was a good example though...

JCMAN320
August 18th, 2005, 05:40 PM
Ok well Liberty State Park is a terrific example of a well planned urban park.

billyblancoNYC
August 19th, 2005, 11:17 AM
But there are no high rises IN the park.


I dont think CP was a good example though...

Agreed...different, but similar effect, no? In BBP, the buildings will be on the Eastern edge.

Ok, I'm being a little picky, but my point is that parks in urban areas are surrounded by buildings. I don't think that a few high rises will ruin 80 or so waterfront acres looking out at DT NYC.

Ninjahedge
August 19th, 2005, 11:22 AM
Ok well Liberty State Park is a terrific example of a well planned urban park.

Except the fact that they did the entire walkway in brick/stone.

Ever try rollerblading on that??!?

Clarknt67
September 20th, 2005, 12:09 PM
Fewer park condos urged
BY JOTHAM SEDERSTROM
DAILY NEWS WRITER
Tuesday, September 20th, 2005

A waterfront park overlooking lower Manhattan could work with fewer luxury condos than a plan floated by the state calls for, local leaders said yesterday.

Councilman David Yassky and other Brooklyn officials outlined a plan yesterday for the Brooklyn Bridge Park that would increase taxes paid by developers and cut the number of condos by a third.

On the drawing board for nearly 20 years, the park was originally seen as a 1.3-mile waterfront esplanade that would include a recreation center, swimming pool and playing fields.

But new plans for the 80-acre park released last winter also included several luxury condo towers. Planners argue the residential buildings will raise money for the park to make it "self-sustaining," but critics charge they take up scarce open space.

"We don't want a reduction, we want the condos out," said Roy Sloane, vice president of the Cobble Hill Association.

Yassky said defects in the state plan could be dealt with short of throwing it out entirely. At a Borough Hall press conference, he proposed additional taxes on developers supplementing revenue from scaled-down condos. Two buildings just outside the park on Jay and Washington Sts. in DUMBO could be added to the revenue stream, he said.

Cost-cutting measures, such as using police instead of private security, would cut nearly $2 million from the current proposal, and a restaurant on the model of Tavern on the Green in Central Park could be added, he said.

A spokeswoman for the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corp. said the alternate proposal would be considered along with other comments at a public hearing on the park scheduled for last night.

Wendy Leventer, president of the development corporation, said in a statement that its mandate required "that the park be self-sustaining. The park plan reflects that reality."

http://www.nydailynews.com/boroughs/story/347877p-296897c.html

Clarknt67
September 20th, 2005, 12:12 PM
September 19, 2005
Proposed Brooklyn Park Draws Class Lines
By NICOLAI OUROUSSOFF

When is a park just a glorified front lawn? That's the question behind the proposed Brooklyn Bridge Park, a 1.3-mile-long waterfront project overlooking one of the most spectacular views in the world: the glimmering wall of towers that rises across the East River at the tip of Manhattan.

The plan, which will be debated late today at a public hearing, has drawn understandable criticism from neighborhood groups in Brooklyn. Their main objection involves a hotel-residential complex and two luxury apartment towers that planners say will pay for the park's maintenance. Those buildings aren't exactly egalitarian in spirit: they'll allow wealthy New Yorkers to lap up the view in blissful seclusion from the picnicking proletariat below.

We live in an age, sadly, when little public benefit arises before a developer takes a cut.

But if the project falls short of the lofty standards set more than a century ago by Frederick Law Olmsted - whose nearby Prospect Park remains one of the great expressions of democratic ideals - it would nonetheless be a major civic asset. Designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, it advances the greening of New York's waterfront while embracing the piers, freeways and bridges that remain its most potent industrial symbols.

It's a big improvement over a 1990's proposal that threatened to litter the waterfront with luxury high rises and retail marketplaces. Intense public opposition killed that project, showing that there are limits to what New Yorkers will hand over to profit-hungry developers.

The new design, by contrast, is conceived as a collage of urban images strung out along a gentle lawn. A long faceted berm sprinkled with trees would extend along the park's western edge, shielding it from traffic roaring by on Furman Street and the Brooklyn Queens Expressway. That flow would be punctuated by five landscaped piers extending like fingers into the water.

The piers, which would be packed with soccer fields, basketball courts and kayak launches, reflect the current craze for recreational activity that has transformed public parks from pastoral landscapes to hyperactive open-air gyms. Still, Valkenburgh seems to intuitively understand that the city's heroically scaled infrastructure can be as intoxicating, in its own way, as a manicured lawn.

The faceted surfaces of the berms, for example, would muffle the noise from the cars streaming by on the expressway above, but visitors strolling through the park would still be able to glimpse occasional views of the cars. (Picture the fragments of buildings you spot through Central Park's canopy of trees, with Brooklyn's horizontal vista replacing Manhattan's vertical towers.)

Similarly, visitors approaching from the north would spot the tip of Manhattan, framed by the powerful stone and steel anchors of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. As you round a bend at Fulton Ferry Landing, the entire length of the park would suddenly be visible, punctuated by a single residential tower.

Promising details are scattered along the way. A network of floating walkways and bridges, for example, connects some of the piers, allowing pedestrians get a closer view of the briny columns that support them.

But some elements are disappointing. The project's success will obviously depend on how it is woven into nearby neighborhoods. People will flow into the heart of the park in a kind of pincer movement northward from Atlantic Avenue and southward from Old Fulton Street. But in its current incarnation, the Atlantic Avenue entrance looks tenuous instead of grand. (The Joralemon Street entrance, in a quaint neighborhood of residential brownstones, is appropriately discreet.)

And in a small adjustment with major consequences, planners have eliminated a bridge that would have spanned a cove just north of the Manhattan Bridge. Without it, the area north of the cove becomes virtually inaccessible, reducing it to a front lawn for one of the residential towers.

The project's architecture, at least so far, is a tougher sell. The only building that has been designed, a proposed indoor athletic field by James Carpenter Design Associates, is not much more than a gigantic hangar. Its most unusual feature is a roof of lightweight synthetic panels.

The panels, which look like inflated pillows, rely on the same technology as the transparent domes of Nicholas Grimshaw's 2001 Eden Project in Cornwall, England. What makes the material unusual is its remarkable flexibility - it can be molded into virtually any form. Here, you wish Mr. Carpenter had taken advantage of that possibility to create a more provocative structure.

The rest of the buildings, which have yet to be designed, may eventually pose an even trickier problem.

The slender silhouettes of the residential towers that are to anchor the park's far ends could emerge as compelling architecture if handled with some skill. Far more challenging is the immense scale of the hotel-residential complex near Fulton Ferry Landing, just south of the Brooklyn Bridge. With a 98,000-square-foot footprint, it will devour valuable park space at a critical juncture in the design. This would further diminish the sense that the park belongs to all of us, equally.

This issue, more than the design aesthetic, is likely to prevent the park from ranking among the city's most inviting public spaces.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company


http://www.nytimes.com/2005/09/19/arts/design/19park.html

krulltime
November 17th, 2005, 08:58 PM
Bridge park may open 2 yrs. early


BY ELIZABETH HAYS
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
November 17, 2005

As criticism continues to swirl around the planned Brooklyn Bridge Park, officials are pushing full speed ahead and hope to complete most of it two years early.

Work on the $150 million park - which will stretch from Atlantic Ave. to the Manhattan Bridge - was originally supposed to begin in 2008 and take four years.

But at a Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corp. board meeting yesterday, planners said they now plan to begin construction in spring 2007 and have most of the project completed by the end of 2010.

"The sooner we can deliver the park to the public, everybody wins," said Wendy Leventer, the park development corporation's president. "Eighty-five percent of the park will be delivered two years earlier than anticipated. It's hard to argue with that."

The remainder of the park will still be finished in 2012, officials said.

Critics accused officials of trying to move quickly to push through the unpopular condo towers proposed for the park.

"It's a race. They're just trying to ram the development through," said outspoken opponent Roy Sloane of the Cobble Hill Association.

"I think it's them trying to do whatever they can to stymie a lawsuit," added Judi Francis, who heads a group that is raising money to sue the state over the plan.

At issue are four luxury apartment towers that were added to plans for the park last winter - sparking outrage from some neighborhood groups who argue housing doesn't belong in a public park. Officials from the state-run Empire State Development Corp., which is overseeing the project, argue the residential development is needed to raise $15 million a year in maintenance costs to make the park self-sustaining.

Charles Gargano, chairman of the state development corporation, downplayed the controversy and said the debate over the condos had nothing to do with the accelerated schedule.

"It's not political," Gargano said, adding that board members are eager to complete the park as soon as possible. "We're not going to please everyone, but if we can please 99.9%, that's pretty good."

Judy Stanton of the Brooklyn Heights Association, which has been largely supportive of the plan, said: "We're eager to have a park. I just hope the speed will not come at the expense of design improvements and other improvements that we've been seeking."


All contents © 2005 Daily News, L.P.

ZippyTheChimp
November 20th, 2005, 07:19 AM
I had questioned the projected cost of maintenance that was used to justify residential development in the park.

The park will be about 80 acres. $15 million would be over $187,000 per acre, compared to about $20,000 per acre allocated for Central Park maintenance.


New York Daily News - http://www.nydailynews.com (http://www.nydailynews.com)

$2M for patrols?


By ELIZABETH HAYS
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER
Sunday, November 20th, 2005

Plans for Brooklyn Bridge Park call for nearly $2 million a year to be spent on privately funded security guards - some armed - to patrol the park and its controversial condos.

Hiring the 21 guards has sparked outrage among elected officials and advocates, who charge it's a waste to pay for private security instead of using city cops.

"It's an unnecessary expense," said Marcia Hillis of the DUMBO Neighborhood Association, a critic of the current park plan - which calls for building private luxury housing in the public waterfront park to pay its $15 million maintenance budget.

"It's an amenity for the condominiums," added Hillis. "If it's a public park, it should be protected by the public."

The criticism comes as opponents continue to urge park planners to pare down its maintenance budget to reduce or eliminate the need for condos.

"Security is something that should be [provided] the way we do everything else," said City Councilman David Yassky (D-Brooklyn Heights). He has called on the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corp. to ax the private security as a way to cut back the housing.

Documents released by the development corporation list annual security costs at $1.97 million, based on an average of two armed guards and six unarmed guards per shift, plus unspecified equipment.

Other parks, such as Prospect Park and Central Park, do not employ armed park guards, officials said.

A Brooklyn Bridge Park spokeswoman downplayed the security expense and insisted other large, high-profile city parks also employ private security.

"We envision a similar arrangement for Brooklyn Bridge Park" as with other parks, said spokeswoman Deborah Wetzel.

Battery Park City spends about $2 million for 44 officers and Hudson River Park spends $3.9 million for 49 officers, officials said.

Wetzel said security makes up 13% of the Brooklyn park's budget, compared with 16% at Hudson River Park.

Prospect Park Administrator Tupper Thomas said Prospect Park relies almost exclusively on the NYPD, though it spends about $120,000 a year for three unarmed Parks Department officers to patrol the parade grounds.

Thomas said she thought the private security proposed for Brooklyn Bridge Park was necessary - with or without the proposed housing because she believes the park is in an isolated location.

"Without the housing I think you'd have to have more," said Thomas, who believes housing will bring more people to the park and make it safer.

But other critics charged the private security as elitist. "Why do we have to have a private security force? Is it to keep people out?" demanded City Councilwoman Letitia James (D-Fort Greene). "We're paying for a private park." Wetzel called the argument "unfounded." She also said it is "unlikely" the private guards for the Brooklyn Bridge Park will be armed - though armed guards are listed in financial papers.

lofter1
November 20th, 2005, 11:27 AM
Park spokesperson Wetzel says it is "unlikely" the private guards for the Brooklyn Bridge Park will be armed - though armed guards are listed in financial papers ...

Clearly another idiotic bureaucrat who sees the public as a flock of stupid sheep.

I had questioned the projected cost of maintenance that was used to justify residential development in the park.

$2M for patrols?

Plans for Brooklyn Bridge Park call for nearly $2 million a year to be spent on privately funded security guards - some armed - to patrol the park and its controversial condos.

A Brooklyn Bridge Park spokeswoman downplayed the security expense and insisted other large, high-profile city parks also employ private security.

"We envision a similar arrangement for Brooklyn Bridge Park" as with other parks, said spokeswoman Deborah Wetzel.

... "Why do we have to have a private security force? Is it to keep people out?" demanded City Councilwoman Letitia James (D-Fort Greene). "We're paying for a private park."

Wetzel called the argument "unfounded." She also said it is "unlikely" the private guards for the Brooklyn Bridge Park will be armed - though armed guards are listed in financial papers.

ZippyTheChimp
November 28th, 2005, 08:11 AM
Park Development Opponents Aim To Fund Court Fight

BY DAVID LOMBINO - Staff Reporter of the Sun
November 28, 2005
URL: http://www.nysun.com/article/23560

Opponents of the $150 million state and city plan to build the Brooklyn Bridge Park will gather tomorrow night to raise money to finance a bid to alter the project through the courts.

The agency in charge of the project, the Brooklyn Bridge Development Corporation, plans to finance the maintenance of the 85-acre park, estimated at $15.2 million a year, with money generated from the development of four residential buildings on the site, including a hotel-residential complex and two luxury towers.

The president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund, Judi Francis, who lives near the site of the proposed residential development, calls the plan for luxury towers inside a public park "a fatted pig surrounded by parsley."

"We are fighting for a park, and fighting against a development project that is giving away park land to real estate developers. It is very basic,"
she said yesterday.

Opponents say the current plan will limit accessibility, reduce the amount of recreation, and serve the interests of those Brooklyn residents who will use the park as a backyard, over those who might travel from farther away to use it.

The plan's advocates see tomorrow night's gathering as the kind of forum where "facts and history are forgotten and ignored," the director of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, Marianna Koval, said.

Ms. Koval supports limited private development as a necessary evil. "In New York City, you can always stop things. The harder challenge is to build something. The perfect is the enemy of the good," she said.

Earlier this month, state and city officials announced an accelerated construction schedule under which portions of the 1.3-mile-long park could be completed by 2009. The development corporation is scheduled to vote on the final project plan and environmental impact statement in December, and construction could begin next year.

In 2002, a development corporation made up of several community leaders proposed a park that would be self-financed through an off-site parking lot, a recreation center that would charge users, and a hotel. Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg supported the plan, dedicated $150 million in state and city funds to it, and created the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation to oversee its construction.

A Cobble Hill resident who served on the local development corporation, Roy Sloane, said the state and city hijacked the community's project, which had included many delicate compromises.

Mr. Sloane, the former head of the Cobble Hill Association, said the government's decision to use private development to finance the park coincided with the purchase of an adjacent lot by a developer, Robert Levine, whose property is now slated to house some of the park's condominiums.

Ms. Koval has a vastly different interpretation of events. She says that when the state and city took over planning in 2003, budget restraints made it necessary to downsize the community-derived plan, and a revised annual maintenance estimate required the creation of more lucrative sources of revenue. Ms. Koval said a more transparent state and city process could have mitigated some of the opposition's anger.

Another advocate of the current plan charged that tomorrow's gathering is not an attempt to modify the park, but to stop it. In a widely distributed e-mail message, a former staffer for state Senator Martin Connor, Howard Graubard, wrote, "This agenda of this meeting is a red herring served up by folks disingenuously (or self-deludingly) protecting their own interests while trying (whether intentionally or not) to shaft the general public."

Tomorrow's meeting is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Congregation Mt. Sinai in Brooklyn Heights.

Ninjahedge
November 28th, 2005, 08:55 AM
So, I don't get it.

Would this $$ be coming from the public pockets?

Also, does this woman think that the cops can just patrol the new park as if it were nothing extra and would cost nothing to the people?

I think she is just playing politics. I agree the $2M/yr is a little heavy, but if part of that is covered by the fees on the condos......

antinimby
December 8th, 2005, 01:01 AM
Shift in park condo plan

http://www.therealdeal.net//breaking_news/2005/12/07/images/3607.jpg

By ELIZABETH HAYS
DAILY NEWS STAFF WRITER

Brooklyn Bridge Park planners are proposing to chop 10 stories off one controversial condo tower - only to add them to another building, the Daily News has learned.
The new designs, which will be unveiled at a community meeting tonight, cut an unpopular 30-story condo tower at the park's southern entrance on Atlantic Ave. down to 20 stories, a source said.

However, a 10-story building next door on Pier 6 will grow to 20 stories - though it would also be narrowed to take up less park space and make the entrance more welcoming.

"It's rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic," quipped vocal critic Judi Francis of the Willowtown Association, who also leads the Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund.

The changes are one of two alternative designs for the Atlantic Ave. entrance that will be included in plans now up for state approval.

"It's an improvement, but it doesn't go nearly far enough," said City Councilman David Yassky (D-Brooklyn Heights), who has called for less housing in the park.

The other proposal keeps the two buildings at their current heights but makes the 10-story building narrower.

In a statement, park spokesman Lee Silberstein said the changes were an "effort to address the community's concerns while still meeting the mandate that the park be self sustaining ...[and creates] more parkland."

The changes come after months of controversy have surrounded the upcoming $150 million park, slated to stretch from the Manhattan Bridge to Atlantic Ave. when completed in 2012.

Neighborhood groups have criticized plans to include five luxury condo towers and a hotel inside the park, though planners charge the buildings are necessary to pay for the park's $15 million yearly maintenance costs.

"Until they're talking about getting rid of housing for Pier 6, we're not going to be happy here in the south," said Roy Sloane of the Cobble Hill Association.

Other community leaders were less critical.

"Any reduction in the 30-story building is good. We've asked for that," said Judy Stanton of the Brooklyn Heights Association, which has largely supported the plan.

"If there's no other choice but to raise the smaller building a little but reduce the footprint, I'd sure take reducing the footprint."

Marianna Koval of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy said she welcomed the changes.

"I think they have responded to concerns many people in the community had about the height and far improved the major southern entrance to the park."

http://www.nydailynews.com/boroughs/story/372207p-316608c.html
Originally published on December 7, 2005

antinimby
December 8th, 2005, 01:06 AM
"Until they're talking about getting rid of housing for Pier 6, we're not going to be happy here in the south," said Roy Sloane of the Cobble Hill Association.Their happiness is all that matters, of course.

lofter1
December 14th, 2005, 10:26 AM
New plan for river park in Brooklyn

by amy zimmer
metro new york
DEC 13, 2005

http://ny.metro.us/metro/local/article/New_plan_for_river_park_in_Brooklyn/334.html


METROTECH — A plan to turn a swath of the Brooklyn waterfront into an Olmstead-like park became clearer last night when the park’s designer unveiled a new model of the plan. It includes basketball courts, piers for kayaks and even space for a farmer’s market under the Brooklyn Bridge.

But the most controversial element of the park — high-end high-rises to generate tax revenue to pay for the park’s maintenance — remained part of project although revised by designer Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates.

“The housing can’t be eliminated, but we can make the 30-story building shorter,” said Wendy Leventer, president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation, a subsidiary of the Empire State Development Corporation that is charged with overseeing the park. The city and state gave $150 million for park construction on the condition that the $15 million yearly upkeep would be funded by the park itself —hence the development.

The designers presented two options at Atlantic Avenue, the park’s southern tip: either keep the 30-story building and build a 14-story building narrower than originally planned to create more parkland at the entranceway, or have two 20-story buildings there — still with the additional parkland — and then convert an additional existing building nearby into condos. In response to criticism, the designers also nixed a roadway that would have serviced a hotel near the Brooklyn Bridge entrance.

“I don’t think a park should have any buildings,” said Robert Puca, a Prospect Heights resident and member of Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn.

But Marianna Koval, co-executive director of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy who has been involved with park planning for over a decade, thought the re-design addressed these concerns.

Ed Ziskind, a Columbia Heights resident, looked forward to one day being able to run and play tennis in the park. “And the buildings don’t look like they'll block my sight lines, so I’m happy.”

ZippyTheChimp
January 6th, 2006, 10:22 AM
Park exhibit at Architectural League thru Feb 08, 2006.

Derek2k3
January 6th, 2006, 12:48 PM
http://aiany.org/eOCULUS/2005/images/1220/k_OnView_ArchLeague_BklynPk.jpg

Brooklyn Eagle
Park Plan Looking Better and Better
by Henrik Krogius (Krogius@brooklyneagle.net), published online 01-06-2006 (http://www.brooklyneagle.com/categories/category.php?category_id=10&id=4675)

ZippyTheChimp
January 18th, 2006, 10:45 PM
Empire State Develoment News

Press Office
(212) 803-3740

FOR RELEASE: IMMEDIATE
1/18/2006

GARGANO: BROOKLYN BRIDGE PARK PROJECT RECEIVES FINAL APPROVAL WITH AFFIRMATION OF GENERAL PROJECT PLAN

Empire State Development Chairman Charles A. Gargano announced that the board of directors of Empire State Development Corp. today gave final approval to the General Project Plan (GPP) for Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The proposed 85-acre Brooklyn Bridge Park will stretch approximately 1.3 miles along the East River from Atlantic Avenue to north of the Manhattan Bridge, transforming the downtown Brooklyn waterfront into a civic space for all New Yorkers.

“With today’s vote we move closer to the realization of a project that will provide Brooklyn with its first new park in 135 years,” Chairman Gargano said. “Brooklyn Bridge Park will give residents, visitors and tourists a beautiful and multifaceted recreational area offering stunning views of the New York City skyline. Our ultimate goal is to provide people with valuable open space, with no more development than absolutely necessary to ensure that the Park is self-sustaining.”

“Brooklyn Bridge Park is another great example of what can be achieved when all the stakeholders work together,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Rebuilding Daniel L. Doctoroff. “The plan approved today will guide the creation of one of New York City's most magnificent parks – one that reclaims nearly a mile and a half of the City’s waterfront, allows New Yorkers unprecedented opportunities for interacting with the water’s edge and complements our commitment towards improving New Yorkers quality of life in the surrounding communities.”

Today’s approval means that Brooklyn Bridge Park will enter the final stages of design and commence construction in 2007. Brooklyn Bridge Plaza, the first section of the park to be completed, will open in 2009. 85% of the park will be completed by 2010.

Brooklyn Bridge Park, a collaboration between the State of New York and the City of New York, will replace abandoned piers, parking lots and storage sheds to serve as public space in one of the most majestic locations in New York Harbor. It will be the first major park built in Brooklyn since Prospect Park, and will be one of the most significant public investments in the creation of a park outside of Manhattan in more than a hundred years.

Today’s approval culminates a period of formal public review that began in July 2005 with the adoption of the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and General Project Plan for the park. The park design has evolved significantly in response to public comments as well as further design work.

When completed in 2012, the park will offer rolling hills, civic plazas, a bicycle path, restored marshland, 2 large playing fields for soccer, field hockey, softball, cricket and football, 6 basketball courts, 10 handball courts, 2 volleyball courts, an in-line hockey rink, 3 tennis courts, 3 playgrounds and open lawns for lounging.

The park will provide unparalleled waterfront access, with 4 miles of canals, boardwalks and floating walkways that wind around the piers. A total of 12 acres of safe paddling waters will be created for kayaks, rowboats, and other water sports, and the park will include fishing piers and a marina.

Since the project’s plan was issued, a series of hills have been added to the uplands along the marine piers. The hills will reduce noise from the highway, will create new spaces for lounging and walking, and will provide elevated views of New York harbor and Lower Manhattan. The major entrances in D.U.M.B.O., at Old Fulton Street and at Atlantic Avenue have been further developed and widened to provide green and welcoming entrances to the park with convenient recreation.

The design and construction of Brooklyn Bridge Park is made possible by funding committed by Governor George E. Pataki and Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg in 2002. The state will contribute $85 million and the city will contribute $65 million. The state and city will also contribute the valuable waterfront land and piers that will become the park, conserving the land for recreational use.

The park’s estimated capital construction budget is $130 million. Park maintenance and operations are estimated at $15.2 million a year. In order to ensure constant upkeep and not make the park compete for limited government resources every year, the surrounding community and elected officials opted to make the park self-sustaining from revenues generated on the site.

In response to public input and additional design work, the residential development planned for the uplands of Pier 6 has been modified from the previous proposal. This entrance to the park will now contain almost one acre of additional open space. The park plan now contains a maximum of 1,240 units of housing, a maximum of 225 hotel rooms, 188,000 square feet of retail uses, 138,000 square feet of restaurants, cafes and other eateries, 30,000 square feet of meeting space, 95,000 square feet of offices, 90,000 square feet of showroom space, and 1,183 parking spaces.

The Brooklyn Bridge Park plan has been the subject of considerable public review. The Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation (BBPDC) has held over 60 meetings with the public since unveiling the park master plan in late 2004. ESDC held a well-attended public hearing on September 19, 2005, with a public comment period on the proposed project that was open until November 2, 2005. An additional 30-day comment period on the Final EIS for the project began in December 2005 and was held open until January 17, 2006.

Revenue-generating uses will take up only 10 percent of the available park space. The development will be sensitive to the surrounding neighborhoods, including the rules that protect the views from the Heights above the park. Development will be concentrated at the edges of the park, located at each of the entrances, creating residential activity similar to other successful parks in New York. The BBPDC has committed to building only the minimum amount of development necessary to sustain the park.

Deza
January 19th, 2006, 05:31 PM
But there are no high rises IN the park.


I dont think CP was a good example though...
And there won't be high rises IN Brooklyn Bridge Park, either. The high-rises are at the edges of the park, seprated by a public road no different than CPW or Prospect Park West separates the parks from the surrounding neighborhoods. In exchange for turning some land over for housing, the public gets 80+ acres of open space where now there are underutilized piers that nobody could access. How is this a bad thing? Offer to build the exact same park in Hunts Point or Sunset Park and they'd rightfully jump for joy. But the reaction of some people here would make you think they are proposing a waste transfer station!! Maybe that's just what Willowtown and Cobble Hill deserve instead.

ZippyTheChimp
January 19th, 2006, 06:03 PM
There is no residential development at all in Central Park.

There is no residential development at all in Hudson River Park.

There is residential development in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

BrooklynRider
February 24th, 2006, 09:33 AM
Landmarks Commission OK’s Purchase Building’s Demolition
by Dennis Holt (Holt@brooklyneagle.net), published online 02-24-2006



Structure under B’klyn Bridge Interfered with Plans for Park
BROOKLYN — One of the major elements of the Brooklyn Bridge Park plan has nothing to do with building anything — instead, it involves removing a historic, although under-used, city-owned building that rests on the site plan.
Drawing a lot of attention over the years has been the 1930s-era Purchase Building, which rests completely beneath the Brooklyn Bridge. For many years it was only lightly used, as a warehouse, although since 2002, it has been used as a temporary headquarters for the city’s Office of Emergency Management (OEM).

Three different recommendations, in the context of the plans for Brooklyn Bridge Park, have been to tear it down completely, to tear part of it down, or to not touch it at all. The main objection to the building is that it would interfere with the view of the Manhattan shoreline from the future park.

On Tuesday, February 21, the last official word was probably heard. The Landmarks Commission voted 7 to 2 to permit its destruction. It will issue an advisory opinion to the city to that effect. Since the State Department of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation has already made a similar decision, the case to preserve the building seems to have been defeated.

The currently approved plan for Brooklyn Bridge Park calls for its demolition. The new OEM building in north Walt Whitman Park is about to be finished, and personnel are expected to move from the Purchase Building into the new one “sometime this summer.”

If this takes place, it is likely that the Purchase Building will meet the wrecking ball before this year is out.

The fate of the building has been controversial, without creating rancorous controversy. Those arguing for its removal maintain that view planes looking either east or west will be improved. Those defending the building’s existence argue that views won’t be improved that much, that the building has architectural value, and that it has become a recognized adjunct to the Brooklyn Bridge area. Nothing has been planned for the building site, but park plans do call for an outdoor ice skating rink during the winter season.

Many of the people who appeared at a crowded meeting at Tuesday’s Commission meeting were concerned about the relative “ease” with which a city-owned building in a landmarked historic district (the Fulton Ferry Landing Historic District) could be torn down.

The Brooklyn Heights Association, the Boerum Hill Association, the Fort Greene Association, and the DUMBO Neighborhood Associaiton, all sought to save the building, considering it a valuable example of the 1930s modern style. Some preservationists hoped that a visitors’ center or restaurant could be installed in the building.

Some people in the area have cautiously, and privately, expressed anxiety over the strength of the landmarks laws to protect buildings in designated areas or as designated structures.



© Brooklyn Daily Eagle 2006

ablarc
February 24th, 2006, 09:47 AM
Some people in the area have cautiously, and privately, expressed anxiety over the strength of the landmarks laws to protect buildings in designated areas or as designated structures.
...and with good reason, judging from the Landmarks Committees record of the past year or so. We've lost the East River power station and 2 Columbus Circle, and it looks like we'll lose those beaux-arts townhouses and the Automat, as well as all those projects londonlawyer mentions.

ZippyTheChimp
February 24th, 2006, 10:06 AM
http://www.pbase.com/zippythechimp/image/19391192.jpg.

lofter1
February 24th, 2006, 10:13 AM
I've always had a fondness for this odd little building, but IMO the demolition / removal will be a smart move -- no great loss and a great enhancement to the Brooklyn Bridge park area.

ZippyTheChimp
February 24th, 2006, 10:23 AM
When I lived in Brooklyn Heights, it was the only thing in the area that wasn't considered decrepit. Now it seems the situation has reversed.

BPC
February 24th, 2006, 02:38 PM
There is no residential development at all in Central Park.

Built last century before there was really a "city" in the area.


There is no residential development at all in Hudson River Park.

Technically correct, but there is LOTS of new residential development right across West Street, which would be within the confines of the wider Brooklyn Bridge Park.


There is residential development in Brooklyn Bridge Park.

And in Battery Park City. Opposition to this idea is, IMHO, antiquated. Residential development brings a more permanent human presence to the park, making it a safer, livelier, better place. New York City is filled with plenty of commercial-free parks which are complete crap.

Clarknt67
February 24th, 2006, 03:09 PM
It's always with trepidation I check in with this thread since I am so enthusiastic about this park, and it seems the news is always bad.

I'm ambivalent about this building going away. It probably will be a good thing, liking the existing park (Empire Fulton Ferry) and the rest of the parkland on the piers. I do love deco design though.

Also, it's said that building is the basis for Pinky & the Brain's world headquarters. If you ever watch the cartoon, watch for it.

ZippyTheChimp
February 24th, 2006, 06:59 PM
Built last century before there was really a "city" in the area.
People were evicted from the land when Central Park was built. Other facilities were added later, such as Tavern on the Green and the museum - so I do know what the point is. THERE IS NO RESIDENTIAL DEVELOPMENT IN CENTRAL PARK.


Technically correct, but there is LOTS of new residential development right across West Street, which would be within the confines of the wider Brooklyn Bridge Park.Across West St is not Hudson River River. It is privately owned property. What does the width of the park have to do with it?

And in Battery Park CityBattery Park City is not a park. There is no residential development in Wagner or Rockefeller Parks.


Residential development brings a more permanent human presence to the park,There is plenty of residential density around the planned park.


New York City is filled with plenty of commercial-free parks which are complete crap.Commercial is not residential. If you reread the thread, I already stated that I would favor commercial development.
Central Park and Hudson River Park both have commercial development; that is fine.

Clarknt67
February 24th, 2006, 07:30 PM
It seems pointless to me to compare Central Park's inception development to Brooklyn Bridge Parks. We're living in a different world. Part of the entire PREMISE of BBP was that it be self-supporting, which CP is not. The Port Authority would never donate the Piers to the park project if it was going to eat up as many state & city funds as Prospect & Central.

The residential development is intended to offset maintenance costs. People who complain about the condos NEVER seem to offer a alternative.

You say you favor commercial, but most of Pier 1 is devoted to a hotel, the Empire stores is slated for commerical. They've cut the Chelsea Piers-style gymnasium from the plan because there appears to be no developer interest.

I don't know how else you propose financing this?

ZippyTheChimp
February 24th, 2006, 07:53 PM
Central Park budgeting was completely reorganized in 1980.

Central Park gets most of its maintenance budget from private financing. In fact, NYC is at the bottom of the list among big cities in the percentage of budget that is allocated to parks, and on the top of the list in private financing.

The truth is that the city doesn't want to work to maintain parks. Commercial development means that the city would have to oversee it; it is easier to just lease out the land and let the developer worry about it.

If the city would just double the park budget to 1 percent of the total, these constant arguments over funding would disappear. A tax is already being considered at HRP.

BPC
February 25th, 2006, 09:40 PM
Battery Park City is not a park. There is no residential development in Wagner or Rockefeller Parks.

Now you are just dealing with semantics. The land under all of BPC -- parks and apartments -- is owned by the same entity. If you put an apartment building in the Brooklyn Bridge Park, it will no longer be a "park," just like the site of my building is no longer a "park," even though it is as close or closer to the green space than the apartment building in BBP will be. It is EXACTLY the same situation. Now, you could argue that BPC should not be the model for the BBP, and that would be fine, but judging from your locale, I suspect that is not your argument.

BPC
February 25th, 2006, 09:46 PM
In fact, NYC is at the bottom of the list among big cities in the percentage of budget that is allocated to parks, and on the top of the list in private financing.

If true, that would be a function not of the nominator but of the denominator. In other words, the reason the parks budget is such a small % of the City's overall budget is because the City's overall budget is enormous --something like $40 billion, larger than any STATE other than NY or California, and on a per capita basis and WAY beyond what any other city spends. The fact that NYC spend billions more on City-owned hospitals and other services than every other city government does not make our parks any worse for wear.

ZippyTheChimp
February 25th, 2006, 10:53 PM
^
You brought up Battery Park City. It is not a park, and I would not consider it a model for any park.

Your suppositions concerning the NYC budget are incorrect. You could have just researched the information.

New York has 36,000 acres of parkland.
Chicago has 11,000 acres of parkland.

the Mayor’s [Bloomberg] FY 2007 Preliminary Budget proposes $198 million in City Funds for Parks – a decrease of $14 million from the FY 2006 Adopted Budget of $212 million

The Chicago Park District proposes a FY2004 budget of $351 million.

With the improvement in NYC parks (signature parks anyway) over the last few decades, there is an assumption that the city has increased funding. In reality, the already low funded is routinely decreased year after year. Private funding is now over $50 million per year. The parks that get the money are donor targeted, so Central Park looks great and High Bridge Park is crap.

It's the main reason why more mature (and expensive) trees were not planted at Columbus Circle.

The original idea for private funding was to offset some of the maintenance budget, but now it's decreed that parks have to be self sustaining I guess the city wants to get out of park maintenance altogether; it's moving in that direction. The next shoe to drop will be a policy whereby the city will not commit capital funding to build a park unless it can be shown to produce a reasonable ROI.

BPC
February 26th, 2006, 01:02 AM
The problem with my "research" is that it does not really jibe with your numbers. For one thing, the NYC Parks Department seems to think that it only has 28,700 acres of parks, not the 36,000 acreas you claim it has. Second, your budget numbers are way too low. The source of your confusion may be that the NYC Parks get s their cash from two separate sources -- a CAPITAL budget (about $465M in 2004) and an operating budget (about $200M in 2005). Nor does this include all the money spent by the state on their parks in the City (e.g., all the parks in BPC). All told, we are talking about a serious cash commitment. If Chicagoans really spend more than we do per capita for their parks, God bless them. But I would tend to doubt it. From my visits to that fine city, I have seen the same sort of problem you level on NYC -- some very fancy showcase parks (eg, Millenium Park, Lincoln Park, Grant Park) and a lot of rather shabby neighborhood parks. Such is the way of the world, it would seem.

ZippyTheChimp
February 26th, 2006, 07:58 AM
The budget numbers are for maintenance. All entities separate capital expenditures from day-to-day expenses. I didn't include capital capital expenses because the point of contention is park maintenance. I was expecting something more entertaining after,,,
a function not of the nominator but of the denominatorbut I guess your tank is empty.

Budget for BBP - $15 million.
Mayor cuts Parks budget $12 million

BPC
February 26th, 2006, 09:01 PM
Zip, the point of my comment was that complaining about the Parks budget in terms of a percentage of the overall budget is pointless. This City spends way more than other other cities, so of course our parks budget is less on a percentage basis. But that statistic does not really tell us anything about the state of our parks, which depend on absolute, not relative, dollars. On an absolute basis, it seems we spend a lot.

Kris
March 7th, 2006, 12:05 PM
http://www.metropolismag.com/cda/story.php?artid=1807

ablarc
March 7th, 2006, 01:00 PM
Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates also designed Teardrop Park, which gets mixed reviews.

lofter1
March 7th, 2006, 01:18 PM
Teardrop and Brooklyn Bridge are parks on the opposite ends of the spectrum -- one enclosed, intimate and nearly private, the other open and "democratic".

IMO Teardrop is a great little space.

These guys know what they're doing ... from the article:


Van Valkenburgh knows that landscape architecture needs a new model attuned--like everything else--to a world in which the real and the simulated, the past and the present, the natural and the man-made are fluid.

This is landscape architecture's new paradigm. "Nearly every significant new landscape designed in recent years occupies a site that has been reinvented and reclaimed from obsolescence or degradation as cities in the postindustrial era remake and redefine their outdoor spaces," noted then Museum of Modern Art Architecture and Design curator Peter Reed in a brochure accompanying last year's exhibition Groundswell: Constructing the Contemporary Landscape.

"So many of the sites we're handed today are leftover, never-would-have-been-looked-at-twice-thirty-years-ago kinds of places," Van Valkenburgh says to me one morning last December in a conference room at his office, located in a loft building half a block from Union Square. At 54 years old, he is intense, passionate--momentarily hot-tempered even--and informal, dressed in a sweater, flannel pants, and Merrell slip-ons. The window boxes outside are filled with Japanese skimmia, an evergreen shrub. Principal Matthew Urbanski, a former student of Van Valkenburgh's at Harvard's Graduate School of Design and his closest collaborator for the past 15 years, sits across from him. Both speak in the language of ideas, thinking things through together as they go and often finishing each other's sentences.

"Landscape is so much about the circumstance of the found condition," Van Valkenburgh says. "It's a lot more 'I asked the landscape what it could be' rather than the other way around," Urbanski adds.

... Brooklyn Bridge Park's public planning process (it has just completed its environmental review) has been particularly vituperative, with a steady stream of community activists, developers, and politicians all staking their claims on the design, represented in a 31-foot-long model that was on display in an office workshop until it was moved to an exhibition at the Architectural League of New York. As a result the architects exude a palpable sense of public imperative, making the place feel more like a nonprofit than a fancy design studio. None seems eager to wave a hand and have it their way.

Van Valkenburgh likes to compare the firm's approach to that of Alice Waters, the godmother of organic food, who trumpets the connection between how food tastes and the honesty and social responsibility with which it's produced. "Landscape operates on that level for us," Van Valkenburgh says.

as the architects tell it, winning the commission for the park--awarded through a public proposal process in July 2003--was a fluke. They had shown the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation the nascent possibilities of the site, but they didn't expect to be asked to explore those possibilities themselves. Their experience with the technicalities of waterfront construction and marine engineering enabled them to recognize the richness of what existed there already--such as the well-maintained massive pier structures. Their plan would stretch the budget further than the others--but more crucially their proposal for the park wouldn't depend strictly on the formal.

... Van Valkenburgh bristles at even the implication of the question "What are your forms?" He insistently defines himself in opposition to Modernist landscape architecture--the style of work made famous by designers like Peter Walker, George Hargreaves, and Kathryn Gustafson, with its preference for the neat and photographable. Along with his Watersian focus on honest ingredients, he prefers Tom Stoppard's aphorism in the play Arcadia: "The unpredictable and the predetermined unfold together to make everything the way it is." Van Valkenburgh glosses, "It's an essential underlay of what landscape is as a medium: the combination of understanding the things that are givens and then setting it up in a way so that the occurrence of the undeterminable is a welcome consequence."

... "Tapping into the intellectual power of Olmsted parks does not come from a desire to imitate the past in the stylistic sense," Van Valkenburgh wrote. "Rather, it comes from recognizing common interest in transforming sites into purer versions of themselves, thus sublimating an extensive public program."

For Van Valkenburgh, landscape architecture is at least partially reductive: it's about "subtracting to reveal." It doesn't impose ideas; it inseminates them, often literally, by spreading seeds. It is an "in vitro" act--the artificial occurrence of a natural process. Accordingly, the design of Brooklyn Bridge Park does not scrape away "the unpredictable and the predetermined." It celebrates them.

ZippyTheChimp
March 14th, 2006, 07:16 AM
Below the Manhattan Bridge.
http://img84.imageshack.us/img84/7144/bbp021ua.th.jpg (http://img84.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bbp021ua.jpg) http://img69.imageshack.us/img69/9569/bbp011tz.th.jpg (http://img69.imageshack.us/my.php?image=bbp011tz.jpg)

Clarknt67
May 14th, 2006, 05:49 PM
http://www.brooklynpapers.com/html/issues/_vol29/29_19/29_19nets2.html

Starchitect joins Bridge ‘park’ team

By Gersh Kuntzman
The Brooklyn Papers

Architect Robert A.M. Stern will work as a consultant to the Brooklyn Bridge Park waterfront development.

Stern will “prepare design guidelines … for the uplands of Pier 1, Pier 6, and the John Street site,” according to a press release by the Empire State Development Corporation, the lead agency in the construction of the residential, commercial and open space project.

An ESDC spokeswoman declined on Wednesday to answer questions about Stern’s role.

Residential construction inside the 1.3-mile-long development is the most-controversial element of the plan.

Supporters of a waterfront park who oppose the planners’ current vision object to apartment buildings in the site, while boosters say maintanence fees generated by such buildings will pay for construction and upkeep of a park that all can enjoy.

Current plans call for 1,240 units of housing, a 225-room hotel, nearly 520,000 square feet of retail, restaurant, office and showroom space, plus 1,183 parking spaces. Much of the non-green construction is slated for the upland area at Pier 1, which sits south of the existing waterfront esplanade at the end of Old Fulton Street; Pier 6 at the foot of Atlantic Avenue; and at John Street.
Stern’s urban planning has come under fire ever since he worked with Disney on its master-planned Florida town, Celebration.

On the preservation side, Stern has been an outspoken supporter of Edward Durrell Stone’s 2 Columbus Circle, the quirky building being transformed from a Modernist monolith into a glass-walled home for the Museum of Art and Design.

Clarknt67
May 14th, 2006, 05:52 PM
http://www.brooklynpapers.com/html/issues/_vol29/29_06/29_06nets06.html

On the market
'One Brooklyn Bridge Park' unveils sign


The building at 360 Furman Street is ready for condoization.

The Brooklyn Papers / Greg Mango

By Gersh Kuntzman
The Brooklyn Papers

What’s in a name? Everything, if you want to sell multi-million-dollar apartments that sit on deserted Furman Street next to the traffic-choked Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.

So it should come as no surprise that the owner of a utilitarian, former Watchtower Bible and Tract Society edifice at 360 Furman St. is now calling it “One Brooklyn Bridge Park.”

“That’s the marketing name, but its address will always be 360 Furman St.,” explained Kathleen McMorrow, a spokeswoman for the developers, RAL Companies & Associates.

RAL bought the 1920s-era building from the Jehovah’s Witnesses intending to convert it for residential use. Facing an uncertain fate in the city’s land-review process, the company lobbied to have the building included in the Brooklyn Bridge Park development, arguing that maintenance fees from its 448 units could help maintain the project’s green space.

But the deal has been widely criticized by opponents of the 85-acre waterfront development, who claim the Brooklyn Bridge Park is being built merely to provide a front lawn for its luxury buildings. In all, more than 1,200 units of housing are planned for the “park.”

“I am mortified that 360 Furman is using the name ‘Brooklyn Bridge Park’ to sell apartments,” said Roy Sloane, who, as a member of the Cobble Hill Association, came up with the name Brooklyn Bridge Park after a prior incarnation, Harbor Park, failed to win public approval.

“Everyone loves the name, Brooklyn Bridge Park,” Sloane continued. “It’s a shame that the state is basically giving it to [developer] Robert Levine for nothing — and throwing in $150 million [in public construction money] to landscape his front yard.”

Studio apartments at 360 Furman St. will start at $550,000 and sales are expected to begin this summer.

Meanwhile, days after the “One Brooklyn Bridge Park” sign went up on the side of 360 Furman St., the Public Authorities Control Board formally approved the transfer of Piers 1, 2, 3 and 5 from the Port Authority to the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation.

Empire State Development Corporation Chairman Charles Gargano called the pro-forma approval an “important step in building the first major new park in Brooklyn in more than 135 years.”



One Brooklyn Bridge Park's sales website is: http://onebrooklyn.com/
Some nice drawings of the plans to convert them to condos there.

Kris
May 17th, 2006, 03:51 AM
May 16, 2006
In Brooklyn, Group Sues to Block New Park
By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE

A community group filed a lawsuit yesterday in State Supreme Court to block plans for a new park along the waterfront. The group, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund, opposes a plan approved by state officials earlier this year to rehabilitate the 1.3-mile-long stretch because the plan calls for luxury housing in the park to help subsidize its cost. The lawsuit seeks to reinstate an earlier park plan that does not include the housing, as well as require state officials to analyze the impacts, like traffic congestion and parking shortages, that other development in the area might have on the park.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

Kris
June 1st, 2006, 02:38 AM
May 31, 2006
Piers Transferred to Park Agency
BY THE NEW YORK TIMES

A group of East River piers has been transferred from the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to a new agency that is developing the planned Brooklyn Bridge Park, the mayor and the governor announced yesterday. The Port Authority transferred ownership of Piers 1, 2 and 3 and part of Pier 5 to the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation. The 85-acre park, stretching from Atlantic Avenue to north of the Manhattan Bridge, is a joint effort by the city and state. City officials said Brooklyn Bridge Park would be the borough's first major new park since Prospect Park opened 135 years ago. Construction is scheduled to begin next year, and the park should be 85 percent completed by 2010, officials said.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

Clarknt67
June 1st, 2006, 10:23 AM
Short day at park
BY ALISON FOX and ELIZABETH HAYS
DAILY NEWS WRITERS
Monday, May 29th, 2006

A popular waterfront park next to the Brooklyn Bridge is known for its breathtaking sunset views of Manhattan - if it's open, that is.
Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park, which draws visitors from all over the world, is only open from 8 a.m. to dusk - or even earlier.

The short park day has sparked outrage from many parkgoers who find themselves being abruptly kicked out at one of the most enjoyable times of the day.

"It's early," said Etienna Giannelli, 7, of DUMBO, who was learning to fish off the boardwalk with his dad, Pierre, when a ranger ordered them out about 6:30 p.m. Tuesday.

"Why do they want to close the park when people are having fun and then everything gets sad?"

Pnicole Cojuangco, 21, from Long Island, said, "It's a waste of a nice day." He arrived at the park with a friend about 6:45p.m. one day last week only to find it already locked up.

The state park's early closing time is in stark contrast to the hours at most public city-owned parks, which are typically open from 6a.m. to 1 a.m. unless the community has requested an earlier closing.

In fact, Brooklyn Bridge Park, a waterfront city park directly adjacent to Empire-Fulton Ferry, is open until 1 a.m. - though there are no gates to actually close it.

"The state should get it together and keep that one open as well," said James Hyde, 47, of Carroll Gardens, as he played with his dog in Brooklyn Bridge Park about 7 p.m., after the state park was locked up.

"It is the nicest time to be here with the sun setting and the nice breeze off the water," Hyde added.

State Park officials said Empire-Fulton Ferry's early closing time is in keeping with other state-run parks throughout the state, which typically close at dusk.

"In terms of staffing, cleanup and security, that's how we do it in state parks," said spokeswoman Wendy Gibson.

There are only six state parks in the city, though at least two - Riverbank in Manhattan and Roberto Clemente in the Bronx - are open until 11 p.m., she acknowledged.

Gibson said those parks have longer hours because they have "year-round programming."

After an inquiry by the Daily News, Gibson said officials may extend Empire-Fulton Ferry's hours.

"We are looking to expand the hours at least on the weekends until 11 p.m.," said Gibson, when she called back a second time, though she could not say when the later closings would begin.

"It's got phenomenal views, and it's a destination that people are drawn to not just during traditional hours," she added.

City Councilman David Yassky (D-Brooklyn Heights) called the state's intention to extend the hours at least two days a week "a good start."

"But it doesn't go far enough," said Yassky, who also said the park should open earlier to accommodate joggers, dog-walkers and others who would like to visit the park before 8 a.m.

Christian DiPalermo, executive director of New Yorkers for Parks, said the state should set its hours in keeping with city parks.

"These are urban parks, and they are different than state parks out in the Adirondacks," said DiPalermo. "Our hope is that the state would show a little discretion and put their hours more in line with the city parks, especially during the summer."


http://www.nydailynews.com/05-29-2006/boroughs/story/421930p-355842c.html

Clarknt67
June 1st, 2006, 10:24 AM
God forbid people should horse-play in a park!

Rigid rules rile parkgoers in DUMBO
BY JEGO R. ARMSTRONG
and ELIZABETH HAYS
DAILY NEWS WRITERS
Wednesday, May 31st, 2006

An early closing time isn't the only complaint parkgoers have about DUMBO's Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park.
The popular state-run waterfront park has far more rules than city parks - including bans on bikes and dogs.

Both are allowed in most city parks, including the adjacent city-run Brooklyn Bridge Park.

"They need to lighten up," said John Soster, 39, a teacher and cyclist from Bushwick who was reprimanded for walking - not riding - his bike through the park last summer.

"I've been chastised," he added. "What are they so uptight about?"

Another parkgoer told the Daily News she has seen rangers tell kids to stop playing ball - and teenagers complained they've been scolded for running around in the park.

"A couple of my friends and I were told to stop running and horsing around or we'd have to leave," said Kenyon Harris, 17, who now avoids the state park because of the rules.

Empire-Fulton Ferry also has rules against commercial photography and filming, both of which require a permit. Parkgoers said hard-nosed park rangers can take this regulation too far.

Louis Benitez, 31, a Queens marketing manager, said a ranger made him put away his hand-held video camera - even though he was just filming his fiancée and passing boats.

"I was like, 'Come on. It's just for our leisure,'" said Benitez, who recently was forced out of the park because he was there with his friend's dog. "They're pretty strict."

City parks also have regulations against commercial photography, but dogs and bikes are generally allowed, a city spokesman said.

A state parks spokeswoman did not return calls for comment.

On Sunday, The News chronicled the widespread frustration that the Empire-Fulton Ferry closes its park at dusk - and even earlier. Parkgoers charged they are often abruptly kicked out at one of the nicest times of the day. At least one day last week, the park closed at 6:30 p.m.

Following an inquiry by The News, a state parks spokeswoman said they "were looking to expand" the hours to 11 p.m., at least on weekends.

Community Board 2 district manager Robert Perris said he has gotten complaints about the strict rules at Empire-Fulton Ferry - and the sometimes overly aggressive rangers.

"They sometimes treat people like they're doing something really wrong for relatively minor things," said Perris. "The response can seem much heavier than the 'crime.'"


With Hope Reichbach

http://www.nydailynews.com/05-31-2006/boroughs/story/422211p-356385c.html

ablarc
June 1st, 2006, 11:19 AM
Why is it a state park, anyway?

Doesn't the State seem to get everything wrong?

Isn't it really Pataki and his minions that have screwed up the WTC rebuilding?

ZippyTheChimp
June 1st, 2006, 12:04 PM
I think it's because the Empire Stores and the Tobacco Warehouse are state-owned landmarks.

A few years ago, I was in the roofless warehouse, waiting for the sun to line up with the arched window openings and the Brooklyn Bridge, With about 20 minutes to go, they asked me to leave.

ryan
June 1st, 2006, 12:17 PM
NYS Parks are actually quite nice (and well funded), though it does seem odd to have one in the middle of the city.

Clarknt67
June 1st, 2006, 06:13 PM
That park has been there a long time. I remember when it was a small jewel in the middle of a warehouse district. Now, to the north there is park where there once was a parking lot.

Clarknt67
June 2nd, 2006, 11:36 AM
‘Park’ will be known for its buildings, not space
By Ariella Cohen
The Brooklyn Papers
Buildings — not open space — will give the Brooklyn Bridge Park its identity, a member of the project’s design team said last week.

Condo towers within the footprint of the 1.3-mile commercial and recreational development are the most controversial element of the design — and, in fact, are now the subject of a lawsuit to prevent their construction.

That didn’t prevent a member of the design team from championing those buildings at a community meeting last week.

“These buildings will give the park its identity,” Paul Whalen, a representative of newly hired architect Robert A.M. Stern, said last Thursday.

“One building could be like a lantern” on the waterfront, said Whalen. Others could be glass-walled “icons in the sky” or feature curved, Frank Gehry-style architecture.

Stern’s firm has been hired to draw up design guidelines for the project’s five commercial developments — which will include 1,200 luxury apartments and retail and commercial space.

Maintenance fees from the commercial development will fund the upkeep of the plan’s recreational component.

The scheme has already provoked one lawsuit against its lead state agency — but at the meeting, some opponents focused on making the best of what may be the “necessary evil” of development, as Cobble Hill Association President Roy Sloane called it.

Nonetheless, Sloane added that the condos need to be designed “so people who live in the buildings won’t think the park is their front yard.”

http://www.brooklynpapers.com/html/issues/_vol29/29_21/29_21nets1.html

BigMac
June 5th, 2006, 01:03 PM
Curbed
June 5, 2006

Brooklyn Bridge Park Update: Park for All Seasons

by Lockhart

http://www.curbed.com/archives/2006_06_bb3.jpg

http://www.curbed.com/archives/2006_06_bb2.jpg

http://www.curbed.com/archives/2006_05_bb1.jpg

[Renderings courtesy Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (http://www.mvvainc.com/); map from onebrooklyn.com (http://onebrooklyn.com/)]

A reader alerts us that the website for development 1 Brooklyn Bridge Park, known in a former lifetime as 360 Furman Street, aka that Jehovah's Witness Building, has gone live. We'll dig in momentarily on the building, but first, let's surf the interactive park map, complete with copious renderings, that they've created for the Brooklyn Bridge Park. Warning: annoying flash interface; chilly scenes of winter.

Copyright © 2006 Curbed

Clarknt67
June 6th, 2006, 05:44 PM
There's a art deco warehouse building under the bridge, which I guess they will definately raze for this skating rink. It was debated whether to leave it, truncate it or demolish it entirely.

Clarknt67
June 7th, 2006, 11:46 AM
More on Curbed about 1 Brooklyn Bridge Park

http://www.curbed.com/archives/2006/06/07/development_du_jour_one_brooklyn_bridge_park.php

Kris
June 22nd, 2006, 03:38 AM
June 22, 2006
Brooklyn: City Can Oppose Riverfront Lawsuit
By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE

A State Supreme Court justice ruled yesterday that the city could join state officials in opposing a lawsuit aimed at blocking plans for a 1.3-mile-long park along the Brooklyn waterfront. Lawyers for the Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund, a neighborhood volunteer group that filed the lawsuit in May, argued that the city was irrelevant to the lawsuit and was joining it largely to create extra work for them. The group opposes the plan in part because it calls for luxury housing to help subsidize the cost, and seeks to reinstate an earlier plan that does not include the housing. City and state officials support the existing plan.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

antinimby
June 22nd, 2006, 04:03 AM
Ugh! :slap forehead:
NIMBYs. Why does everything have to be done their way or else?

pianoman11686
July 22nd, 2006, 11:39 PM
Debate Rages on Housing at Planned Brooklyn Park

By SAM ROBERTS

Published: July 23, 2006

If 1,200 or so high-rise apartments, a hotel and other private buildings occupy about one-tenth of the land reserved for a park project, is it still a park?

The city and state are poised to transform a 1.3-mile stretch of derelict docks and warehouses in Brooklyn Heights into a ribbon of recreation. The 85-acre site, which offers breathtaking views of Manhattan, would include lawns, rolling hills, ball fields, bikeways, a marina, a restaurant, a hotel and, to the dismay of some neighborhood residents, three new luxury apartment towers ranging in height from 95 to 315 feet, along with parking.

The debate over the Brooklyn Bridge Park reprises controversies over the West Side of Manhattan and raises fundamental urban planning questions: When is a park not a park? And how far should government go in granting concessions to developers — in this case, allowing profitmaking housing on public land — to subsidize nonessential public services?

Both sides in the debate, which is also being played out in court, ascribe dark motives to their opponents.

Last week, the Sierra Club weighed in, declaring that “the park had been co-opted by the interests of real estate developers” and warning that “for the very first time, private housing, parking and what might also be a private marina” were being planned inside a park.

Supporters of the plan say that the critics would go to any lengths — even no park — to discourage people from driving into the neighborhood or traipsing through from subways and buses.

“The opposition is people who may have their views blocked, people who on principle oppose commercial development of any kind within the context of creation of a park, and people who may feel they agreed to the concept but now that they know what it is they oppose it,” said Adrian Benepe, the city’s parks commissioner. “Some of the opponents like the neighborhood the way it is and don’t want outsiders,” he continued.

As a park, the site presents challenges — it sits isolated below the Heights and much of it is cut off by the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. Still, until recently, the project seemed a paradigm of cooperative, if prolonged, planning.

The process began in 1982 after the Port Authority proposed, and then decided against, selling unused piers for private development.

In 2002, the city and state governments agreed to build a park on upland and piers from Atlantic Avenue to Jay Street, just north of the Manhattan Bridge, for about $150 million.

The community generally accepted that, with parks being shortchanged in city and state budgets, this project would have to be self-sustaining — that is, some private sources of revenue would have to be found to pay for the annual expenses of operations and maintenance, projected at $15 million.

The devil was in the details, and critics say the latest proposal, to include housing within the 8.2 acres on which commercial development is permitted, is a Faustian bargain.

“It’s not a park anymore,” said Irene Van Slyke, who lives in Boerum Hill and is vice president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund, which is suing to block the housing and to require further analyses of potential traffic congestion.

A memorandum of understanding between the city and state, signed in 2002, provided that commercial development could be permitted on up to 20 percent of the site — a hotel, restaurant, big-box stores, for example — that would generate sufficient revenue from concessions and taxes to subsidize the park. Planners concluded that luxury housing would produce the most tax revenue and that, given the views and the demand, it could be limited to 10 percent of the site, generally on the fringes.

The land would be owned by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation, a public agency; and property tax payments, or their equivalent, would be reserved for the park’s maintenance and operations, rather than going to the city’s general budget.

“It became clear that the thing that was going to generate the most revenue on the smallest footprint was housing,” said Joanne Witty, who is on the board of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy.

Marianna Koval, co-executive director, with H. Claude Shostal, of the conservancy, said, “The idea that we have made a major sacrifice is belied by the reality.”

In addition, some proponents argued, the inclusion of housing has a benefit beyond producing revenue.

“The housing will bring life to the park on a 24-hour basis,” Commissioner Benepe said.

“People who say we’re building towers in a park are disingenuous,” he said. “You now have an industrial site. It’s not a park.”

While the Project for Public Spaces, a nonprofit international urban planning organization, opposes the plan, many local environmental groups support the latest compromise. “We’re a very pragmatic organization,” said Marcia Bystryn, executive director of the New York League of Conservation Voters. “I’d rather have the park and compromise a bit than have no park.”

But Robert Chira, a lawyer who represents opponents of the project, said there is a larger principle at stake. “What is being proposed for Brooklyn’s waterfront will be a test case for the rest of the city’s waterfront,” Mr. Chira said. “It is not only a ‘test’ case, but presents fundamental issues of whether public parks or other public amenities should be funded by private citizens.”

In court papers, he wrote that the latest proposal “transformed the original plan to create a ‘public park’ into a real estate housing development with exclusive private uses and only incidental public recreational and park uses.”

Gordon J. Davis, a former city parks commissioner and the founding chairman of Jazz at Lincoln Center, said, though, that the management of Central Park, Riverside South, Bryant Park and Hudson River Park, among others, suggested that public-private partnerships can work.

“Spare me the philosophy,” Mr. Davis said. “What’s the best way of getting it done? Every cultural institution in town seems to have danced with some developer. And when it comes to open space, I don’t have any problem if it’s designed well.

“Would it be better to have all the acres devoted solely to parks?” he said. “Sure. But if you have to run something and don’t have a revenue stream, then you have a problem.”

City Councilman David Yassky, a Brooklyn Democrat and Congressional candidate, says the amount of private development in the plan seems excessive and wants guarantees that any housing could not be legally occupied until the park is built, but he opposes the legal challenge. “It’s not about fixing the park plan,” Mr. Yassky said of the lawsuit. “It’s about stopping it.”

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

lofter1
July 23rd, 2006, 12:17 AM
Debate Rages on Housing at Planned Brooklyn Park
...The community generally accepted that, with parks being shortchanged in city and state budgets, this project would have to be self-sustaining — that is, some private sources of revenue would have to be found to pay for the annual expenses of operations and maintenance, projected at $15 million.

... Planners concluded that luxury housing would produce the most tax revenue ...

The land would be owned by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation, a public agency; and property tax payments, or their equivalent, would be reserved for the park’s maintenance and operations, rather than going to the city’s general budget ...

... What is being proposed for Brooklyn’s waterfront will be a test case for the rest of the city’s waterfront,” Mr. Chira said. “It is not only a ‘test’ case, but presents fundamental issues of whether public parks or other public amenities should be funded by private citizens.”



Who the heck do these people think pays for parks? Unless you set up a Private Conservancy ala Central Park, Bryant Park, Madison Square, etc. then the park-related funds are supplied by tax-payer's dollars.

So indeed this park is a public amenity and will be -- no matter how you cut it -- funded by private citizens.

Clearly there is not enough $$ in the public coffers -- at least not the way things are now structured -- to fund parks to the degree that people want them to be funded.

If this were an established park and pieces were being pulled out and sold to developers that would be a different situation. Right now it is an outmoded and unattractive industrial slab in one of the most incredible and desirable locations in the world.

I say let them build the luxury housing in the corner of this site -- let those rich folks enjoy their views and, at the same time, pay for a great park that all NYers can enjoy.

btw: Has anyone submitted a workable budget that shows how this park will be adequately funded WITHOUT the housing component (or the other more intrusive commercial components)?

ablarc
July 23rd, 2006, 12:30 AM
I'm usually against NIMBYs, but has anyone taken a look at that apartment building? Looks like a damn veterans hospital.

pianoman11686
July 23rd, 2006, 01:09 AM
It certainly doesn't look like your typical luxury high-rise. Looks more like an old, nondescript industrial building that's been cleaned up, gutted, and remarketed as residential. Its location is good though, in the sense that you won't be able to tell that it's in the park from most points along the river. It's tucked away into the corner fairly well. Perhaps it's better that way. Maybe putting up a 30-story glitzy, glass tower will make it all the more obvious. And if I'm not mistaken, NIMBY's got the height reduced a while back.

The real treat is the park, though: click on the link to Curbed, and then get to the building's website, where they have Valkenburgh's renderings for the project. This will be a spectacular public expanse, especially considering what's there now. I can't wait until it's open.

TREPYE
July 23rd, 2006, 10:07 AM
Some of those Gehry designed Buildings going up in Atlantic Yards would sure look good there and improve the views from Manhattan.

ablarc
July 23rd, 2006, 10:14 AM
Some of those Gehry designed Buildings going up in Atlantic Yards would sure look good there and improve the views from Manhattan.
Interesting thought. But you know, they'd improve the view from just about anywhere. Since they're essentially mega-sized sculpture, I could go for one atop a mountain in Appalachia.

Clarknt67
July 23rd, 2006, 03:03 PM
btw: Has anyone submitted a workable budget that shows how this park will be adequately funded WITHOUT the housing component (or the other more intrusive commercial components)?

Not that I've seen. That's part of my great frustration with this whole dust-up, is the people who are complaining seem to have no viable alternatives. They seemed to have come late into the process and have no understanding of how the Park came to this point. Essentially, the PA agreed to hand the piers over for development, ONLY with the contingency that any park built there would not draw from existing Public Park funds. Fine, understandable. And the PA donating 6 piers was immensely generous. But if not housing to pay for Park maintenance, what?

ablarc
July 23rd, 2006, 03:12 PM
But if not housing to pay for Park maintenance, what?
They could charge admission. ;)

Teno
July 24th, 2006, 02:43 PM
Looking at the map of where they plan to place residential buildings on the edges seems fairly benign to the park at large.

I agree with everyone else, they have not come up with an alternative plan for funding the parks needs.

ablarc
July 24th, 2006, 11:06 PM
I agree with everyone else, they have not come up with an alternative plan for funding the parks needs.
OK, what's your suggestion?

Teno
August 9th, 2006, 07:59 PM
No suggestion needed....

I think the plan for luxury housing is fine.

This is an example where the small local community complainers should just be ignored.

Deza
August 11th, 2006, 04:49 PM
Is this *really* the most important thing that Sen. Clinton should be commenting on? I mean, I can't believe she's been briefed on this topic, much less been given some direction as to how she might want to address it. Isn't there, um, a war in Iraq to worry about and a 2008 presidential election to fundraise for? If this is going to be her stance on this great park, she just lost my vote. :confused:





Hillary rips ‘park’ condos (http://www.brooklynpapers.com/html/issues/_vol29/29_31/29_31nets1.html)

Calls luxury homes on waterfront ‘disingenuous’

By Dana Rubinstein
The Brooklyn Papers


Senator Hillary Clinton criticized Brooklyn Bridge Park as “yet another luxury condo project” — and in doing so, became the highest-profile elected official to speak out against the housing, commercial and open-space development that’s being promoted as a park.


Leaders of the Empire State Development Corporation — the state agency that owns the “park” site — have insisted that the project be self-sustaining. As a result, they plan to construct luxury housing as a precursor to recreational development.


“If parks had to be self-sustaining, would anyone have ever built a park?” Clinton asked.


She called the housing scheme “disingenuous.”
“It’s not luxury housing we need,” she added. “We absolutely need affordable housing.”


The project site spans the Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO waterfronts, from Atlantic Avenue to the Manhattan Bridge. The first housing is planned for the foot of Atlantic Avenue; in addition, the massive industrial building on Furman Street, between Joralemon Street and Atlantic Avenue, has been transferred from city to “park” property, allowing its owner to expand the building and convert it to residential use while skirting city review.


Clinton echoed the project’s opponents, questioning why the government would cede public land to private developers.


“Public land should be public land,” she said.


The senator’s summer reading may have prompted her to speak out on the thorny issue. She’s just finished the still-unreleased autobiography of Nobel Prize recipient Wangari Maathai, a long-time green crusader in Kenya.
“One of her great accomplishments was stopping luxury housing in Uhuru Park in Nairobi,” said Clinton, who recommended the book.


Opponents of the state “park” plan applauded Clinton for speaking out. “We are extremely heartened by her remark,” said Judi Francis, president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund, which is suing the state over the financing scheme.


The Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation, the agency overseeing the development, refused to comment.

krulltime
August 11th, 2006, 04:51 PM
^ Oh great now she is getting involve. She lost my vote a while back.

Deza
August 11th, 2006, 04:53 PM
....and another thing. If she's so worried about it - perhaps Sen. Clinton should just put her money where her mouth is.

Why doesn't she just get the feds to pony up the $15 million/year that the condos are supposed to raise to pay for park maintenance, and then we can be done with all of this ridiculous NIMBY crap and actually get the park built!

If not - she should mind her own business. And this is NOT the business of a US Senator.

ZippyTheChimp
August 11th, 2006, 05:10 PM
Excellent, Hillary.

You just got my vote.

pianoman11686
August 11th, 2006, 10:57 PM
I'm usually against NIMBYs, but has anyone taken a look at that apartment building? Looks like a damn veterans hospital.


It certainly doesn't look like your typical luxury high-rise. Looks more like an old, nondescript industrial building that's been cleaned up, gutted, and remarketed as residential.


The project site spans the Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO waterfronts, from Atlantic Avenue to the Manhattan Bridge. The first housing is planned for the foot of Atlantic Avenue; in addition, the massive industrial building on Furman Street, between Joralemon Street and Atlantic Avenue, has been transferred from city to “park” property, allowing its owner to expand the building and convert it to residential use while skirting city review.

I guess I was right. The building in the rendering is an existing industrial structure.

In totally unrelated news: I'm really liking this multi-quote function.

As for Hillary: I'm not so much disappointed or pleased with her opinion, but I'm confused as to why she brought it up at all, especially now. Furthermore, questioning the ethics of this proposal is one thing, but saying that the luxury housing should instead be affordable does not accomplish anything. Who is to pay for the park? Profit margins on affordable housing are much smaller, so where's the money coming from? Come on, Hillary, don't just raise questions, anyone can do that. Suggest a solution.

On a lighter note: I'm really starting to like this multi-quote function.

ZippyTheChimp
August 12th, 2006, 06:14 AM
We've discussed the funding.

So what does eveyone think of the multi-quote function?

lofter1
August 12th, 2006, 10:21 AM
So what does eveyone think of the multi-quote function?


I've only used it once, but I'm having FUN (http://www.wirednewyork.com/forum/showpost.php?p=114832&postcount=280) with it ;)

TREPYE
August 12th, 2006, 11:57 AM
As long as no section of the waterfront park is off limits due to these condo developments and the whole waterfront park remains public I don't have much of an issue of gathering up a new means of generating income for its maintenance.

If this is an issue of city spending I would rather see the city spend more money on other more important programs like schools and social programs because they have no direct loophole to fund it without using public money. This project does have a loophole in the form of a private development option and it should be capitalized on.

pianoman11686
August 14th, 2006, 09:20 AM
Eliot open to park condos

BY ELIZABETH HAYS

DAILY NEWS (http://www.nydailynews.com/boroughs/story/443194p-373281c.html) STAFF WRITER

Attorney General Eliot Spitzer - who is also the front-runner to replace Gov. Pataki - has not ruled out the need for condos to support Brooklyn Bridge Park.

"If elected governor, Eliot will look into all available options for financing this park and proceed on a path that gets the park built in a way that maximizes the public use and benefit," said Spitzer campaign spokeswoman Christine Anderson last week.

Spitzer's office stated the candidate's position in response to questions after Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) came out against building condos in the park to pay for its upkeep during a campaign stop in Sunset Park last week.

Clinton said she had "concerns" about setting a national precedent by building private homes in a public park and said, "Public land should be public land."

"I think it's a little disingenuous to say, 'Oh, we're going to make this self-sustaining by essentially taking parkland which was given to the city for a specific purpose and turning it into yet another luxury condominium project,'" Clinton added.

Clinton is the highest-ranking politician to speak out against the plan pushed by Pataki's Empire State Development Corp.

When completed in 2012, the 1.3-mile waterfront park will stretch from the Manhattan Bridge to Atlantic Ave. and will contain more than 1,200 private luxury condos to pay for its upkeep.

Though Clinton acknowledged she had no authority over the state project, she added, "I think it'll matter greatly who the next governor is."

Spitzer's office said he is open to reviewing "alternatives and considering local concerns." But Anderson added, "Eliot is committed to building this park. He doesn't believe that parks must necessarily be self-sustaining, although he's not opposed to creating revenue streams."

Community opponents have sued the state over the project in Brooklyn Supreme Court. The critics argue it is illegal for private condos to be built on public parkland, but state planners argue the land under the condos will no longer be considered parkland so it won't break any laws.

Originally published on August 14, 2006

All contents © 2006 Daily News, L.P.

krulltime
August 18th, 2006, 05:37 PM
Hil flips to back park condo plan
Sez she sees funding need


BY JOTHAM SEDERSTROM
DAILY NEWS WRITER
Originally published on August 18, 2006

Under fire from Brooklyn Democrats, Sen. Hillary Clinton has backed off her criticism of plans to build 1,200 luxury condos in the controversial Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The housing would provide "an ongoing revenue stream" to maintain the park, Clinton (D-N.Y.) said she had learned since her initial comments when she had concerns about the housing.

"I do not support legal action to oppose the park," she wrote in an Aug. 16 letter to Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corp. President Wendy Leventer,

Clinton's reversal on Wednesday outraged opponents of the plan, who have charged building private high-rise condos in the 1.2-mile public park is illegal.

"We think she's been grossly misled by her political cronies and handlers," said Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund President Judi Francis. "I think she spoke the truth at first, and I think she spoke from the heart."

Borough President Marty Markowitz, Millman and Brooklyn Bridge Conservancy President Marianna Koval spoke to Clinton staffers about her comments, sources confirmed.

The officials worried the comments would undermine a united front they had carefully built in the face of a lawsuit being waged in Brooklyn Supreme Court, sources said.

"It's ... a concern in the face of a lawsuit," said a source about Clinton's initial position. "Litigation is an aggressive action."

In her letter to Leventer, Clinton said that though "public revenues should support public assets and needs like parks and their maintenance, I understand that cities across our nation ... have had to struggle to find dedicated revenue sources to fund park maintenance."

She added it was her "understanding that the scale of the development could be reduced should revenues exceed projections ... [and be] limited solely to the needs of maintaining the park."

Clinton's latest comments were in stark contrast to statements she made in Sunset Park this month when she had "concerns" the private luxury condos in the public park would set a bad national precedent.

"I think it's a little disingenuous to say, 'Oh, we're going to make this self-sustaining by essentially taking parkland, which was given to the city for a specific purpose, and turning it into yet another luxury condominium project," Clinton said then.

When completed in 2012, the park will span the downtown waterfront from the Manhattan Bridge to Atlantic Ave.

Critics say that concessions and other money-making venues always were envisioned for the park. But they contend that condos added by state planners are illegal because they would privatize public land.


All contents © 2006 Daily News, L.P.

pianoman11686
October 20th, 2006, 06:59 PM
Swimming pool soon may float near you

BY JOTHAM SEDERSTROM
DAILY NEWS WRITER

http://www.nydailynews.com/ips_rich_content/412-BixBoat.JPG
A "floating pool" carved into a commercial barge will dock in Brooklyn in two weeks, Parks Department officials said.
The so-called "Floating Pool Lady" will dock at Pier 2 near Brooklyn Bridge Park, and will be ready for dipping as early as next summer - once permits are issued.

"A floating swimming pool may soon land in New York, and that holds out a lot of promise for opening a whole new generation of recreational facilities," said Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe, who added that floating pools are cheaper to maintain than in-ground ones.

Benepe said when the pool opens, it could be docked near Greenpoint and Williamsburg or the South Bronx - all areas deprived of working swimming pools.

The seven-lane, 82-foot pool is half the size of an Olympic-sized pool, and is surrounded by men's and women's locker rooms, showers and a children's spray pool.

If successful, the floating pool would be joined by two others, and would be free to the public during the day. In the evening, it could open up to concessionaires, Benepe said.

Neptune Foundation founder Ann Buttenwieser, a waterfront planner, said she stumbled onto the idea of a traveling swimming pool after researching New York's history.

In 1870, William (Boss) Tweed opened the first of what would become a fleet of 15 floating baths, which drew more than 4 million people, many of them poor tenement dwellers.

That all stopped in 1915, when the Health Department discovered the pools were often filled with raw sewage.

"They were placed in areas where there were no pools, but mainly the idea was to open up the waterfront," said Buttenwieser, who said she began working on the idea nearly three decades ago. "Now we're reviving the idea."

Originally published on October 20, 2006

All contents © 2006 Daily News, L.P.

ablarc
October 21st, 2006, 12:10 PM
^ Several of these are moored in the Seine in Paris. Have been since at least the Thirties, I believe.

pianoman11686
November 29th, 2006, 01:21 AM
Brooklyn: Judge Dismisses Suit Against Park Plans

By NICHOLAS CONFESSORE
Published: November 29, 2006

A state judge yesterday dismissed a lawsuit against proposed plans to expand the Brooklyn Bridge Park, saying that a state agency’s decision to incorporate a hotel and private apartments was “not unreasonable or unlawful.” The suit, filed by a Brooklyn community group, claimed that the plan, which calls for a portion of the 1.3-mile waterfront park to be set aside for private development, violated the public trust doctrine, which forbids private development on parkland unless specifically approved by the Legislature. But Justice Lawrence S. Knipel of State Supreme Court said the doctrine did not apply to the parcels in question. In a statement, Judi Francis, president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund, which helped bring the suit, called the ruling disappointing and vowed to appeal.

Copyright 2006 The New York Times Company

ablarc
November 29th, 2006, 08:20 AM
Justice Lawrence S. Knipel of State Supreme Court said the doctrine did not apply to the parcels in question.
Glad of the ruling, but I wish I had more info on how the good Justice arrived at his conclusion.

pianoman11686
November 29th, 2006, 02:30 PM
Ask, and thou shalt receive...

http://www.brooklynpapers.com/images/bp_logo_little.gif

Brooklyn Bridge ‘Park’ opponents lose lawsuit

By Ariella Cohen
The Brooklyn Papers

Brooklyn Heights residents who sued to block the state’s plan to include condos in the proposed Brooklyn Bridge Park waterfront development have lost, The Brooklyn Papers has learned.

In a 22-page decision handed down Tuesday, Brooklyn State Supreme Court Justice Lawrence Knipel dismissed the opponents’ charge that the Empire State Development Corporation broke the law when it added shops, restaurants, a hotel and 1,210 condos to a plan for a 1.3-mile public park stretching 1.3 miles along the waterfront from the Manhattan Bridge to the foot of Atlantic Avenue.

The state says it needs private development to generate $15 million annually to pay for upkeep of the development’s 77-acres.

The ruling is not unexpected. At a pre-trial hearing in August Knipel had questioned the legal merits of the suit.

“I can see policy reasons for not putting these buildings next to a park. But why legally?” he asked.

In Tuesday’s decision, Knipel also dismissed the claim that the state’s plan didn’t take a “a hard look” at the impact the new residential development would have on traffic and infrastructure in the area.

Judi Francis, one of several Brooklyn Heights residents who filed the suit, said Tuesday that she planned to appeal.

“As we have said from the beginning the critical fight is in the appellate division is sitting in Brooklyn a few blocks away from this site — the so-called ‘park’,” she said.

Published Tuesday, November 28, 1:41 pm

Darmok
December 2nd, 2006, 05:59 PM
This is good news, as it could mean that the roofless Tobacco Warehouse will be allowed to remain as is. St Ann's and BAM had been exploring using the TW, adding a permanent roof which would destroy the iconic views of the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges through the arched portals along the Water Street side.


http://brooklynpapers.com/html/issues/_vol29/29_47/29_47empirestores.jpg
The Broklyn Papers / Julie Roseberg
The Empire Stores warehouses in Empire–Fulton Ferry State Park in DUMBO.


By Ariella Cohen
The Brooklyn Papers
DUMBO’s long-vacant Empire Stores warehouse is being eyed for a new performing arts venue within the proposed condo-and-open-space development commonly referred to as “Brooklyn Bridge Park,” state officials said this week.
The concert hall, a small venue in very early planning phases, would share the wood-columned, Civil War-era warehouse with shops and restaurants.
The addition of a performing arts space is the latest twist in what has become a saga of stalled ambitions for the crumbling state-owned landmark, one of six waterfront commercial sites intended to generate revenue for ongoing maintenance.
The development will eventually stretch 1.3 miles along the shoreline from the Manhattan Bridge to the foot of Atlantic Avenue.
As reported in The Brooklyn Papers, the Empire State Development Corporation yanked the warehouse from Brooklyn land baron Shaya Boymelgreen after he let it languish for three years while moving forward with luxury condo projects in the neighborhood. Boymelgreen had planned to turn the building into high-end shopping mall modeled on Chelsea Market in Manhattan.
Earlier, local artists harbored dreamy visions of converting the former sugar and coffee warehouse into galleries.
Now the future of the stores has become tangled in a dispute between the ESDC and local elected officials who want luxury development within the proposed “Brooklyn Bridge Park” delayed until state officials release the underlying economics of the waterfront development.
“The state has not told the public what the revenue will be for the [condos] in the development — and until we know that, we can’t know how much development is necessary,” said Evan Thies, a spokesman for City Councilman David Yassky (D–Brooklyn Heights).
But the ESDC has said it will not delay the commercial elements of the $130-million project any longer.
“The construction of the park is scheduled to begin in the middle of January,” said ESDC spokesman Mark Weinberg.
Weinberg said it was too early to identify tenants for the proposed venue, but the DUMBO-based Arts at St. Ann’s, which is currently housed in a nearby warehouse, believes it has the best claim.
“At some point [warehouse owner David Walentas] is going to want to develop his site and we are going to have to leave the warehouse,” said Susan Feldman, artistic director. “If the right kind of space is created in the Empire Stores, it could be a fantastic place to go.”

antinimby
December 2nd, 2006, 06:36 PM
Judi Francis, one of several Brooklyn Heights residents who filed the suit, said Tuesday that she planned to appeal.Does this Judi Francis numskull think she is doing anyone (besides lawyers) any good by prolonging this?

pianoman11686
December 2nd, 2006, 10:45 PM
I'm sure she feels she is setting a "good example". And, if she loses her case, she'll know she won the moral/philosophical battle.

Darmok
December 5th, 2006, 01:55 PM
I don't think so. I have met Judi at BBP presentations, and there is more to her agenda than a moral victory.

Does anyone have any opinions about the sparing (hopefully) of the Tobacco Warehouse from major alterations (adding a roof)? If St Ann's moves to the Empire Stores, the public open space of the Tobacco Warehouse will be saved, at least when the tent for BBPC events is not up. Of course, when St Ann's vacates 38 Water, Walentas will want to attempt to develop a residential tower there again, but the City Council previously (2004) forced Walentas to pull his plan for an 18 story tower, because of the proximity to the Brooklyn Bridge, and views blocked from the walkway.

Also, BAM has a plan for an annual 2 week summer performance event in Empire Fulton Ferry Park, called BAMland, which they have compared to the Edinburgh festival. Many in the adjacent communities feel that the area street grid could not handle the influx of thousands of visitors that this would bring.

antinimby
December 7th, 2006, 10:11 PM
SUBWAY EYED FOR BRIDGE PK.


By RICH CALDER

December 7, 2006 (http://www.nypost.com/seven/12072006/news/regionalnews/subway_eyed_for_bridge_pk__regionalnews_rich_calde r.htm) -- The planned Brooklyn Bridge Park could wind up with its own subway station.

A team of transportation consultants is studying how best to improve access to the proposed 85-acre waterfront park in Brooklyn Heights, which is expected to be completed by 2012.

Among the more innovative ideas being looked at is a plan to create an underground access tunnel running 1,050 feet from the existing Clark Street subway station at Henry Street on the 2 and 3 lines to the planned park at Furman Street.

"I think most people agree that a Brooklyn Bridge Park subway station providing New Yorkers direct access to the park is a great idea, it's just a question of whether it's feasible," said Hank Gutman, chairman of the Downtown Brooklyn Waterfront Local Development Corp., which hired traffic consultant Samuel Schwartz's firm to conduct the study.

Such a subway connection is expected to cost $30 million to $50 million.

Copyright 2006NYP Holdings, Inc.

ablarc
December 7th, 2006, 10:52 PM
Among the more innovative ideas being looked at is a plan to create an underground access tunnel running 1,050 feet from the existing Clark Street subway station at Henry Street on the 2 and 3 lines to the planned park at Furman Street.

"I think most people agree that a Brooklyn Bridge Park subway station providing New Yorkers direct access to the park is a great idea...
Yeah, but put a moving sidewalk in it. Why are these so rare in New York? They're common in Paris and even Charlotte, NC.

Subterranean links at 42nd Street, Fulton Street and Union Square could also use them.

antinimby
December 7th, 2006, 10:58 PM
These days, New York will probably get them at some point...but only 50 years after everyone else.

We used to be leaders...

lofter1
December 7th, 2006, 11:03 PM
We used to have leaders ...

But look who we've got now :eek:

BPC
December 7th, 2006, 11:06 PM
When I went to London 15 years ago, the subways already had clocks which told you when the next train would be arriving, to the exact second. You can't imagine how this little thing makes for a more pleasant experience. No more peering down the tunnel, etc. Yet the MTA is still just TALKING about adding clocks.

DarrylStrawberry
January 13th, 2007, 11:27 AM
http://www.brooklynbridgepark.org/download.cfm?DownloadFile=B3D5D20D-3048-2C77-F2A7D9F5EDF69332

Construction Schedule...

ablarc
January 14th, 2007, 11:05 AM
We used to have leaders ...

But look who we've got now :eek:
Is Bloomie really so bad? I've been thinking of him as presidential timber.

MidtownGuy
January 14th, 2007, 01:49 PM
NO thanks.

ablarc
January 14th, 2007, 01:53 PM
So, what makes him so bad?

DarrylStrawberry
March 11th, 2007, 03:54 PM
I hadn't seen these before. Construction is slated to begin next month...

Opinions?

http://www.brooklynbridgepark.org/images/pier_1.jpg

http://www.brooklynbridgepark.org/images/pier_2.jpg

http://www.brooklynbridgepark.org/images/pier2upland.jpg

http://www.brooklynbridgepark.org/images/piers_3_4.jpg

http://www.brooklynbridgepark.org/images/pier_5.jpg

http://www.brooklynbridgepark.org/images/pier_6.jpg

GVNY
March 11th, 2007, 06:27 PM
You're not alone, Ablarc--I as well really like Bloomberg.

BrooklynRider
March 15th, 2007, 11:29 PM
I notice that they chose white, inobtrusive place holders for the private condo development that is being built in this PUBLIC park. Start figuring that in and this "public park" isn't quite as appealing or inviting. It's a backyard for the wealthy - a place where their complaints about noise and "loiterers" will destroy the park in no time.

BPC
March 16th, 2007, 12:35 AM
This notion against "private" development in a "public" park is about 60 years out of date and utterly misguided. As Jane Jacobs taught, parks only work if ACTUAL HUMAN BEINGS USE THEM, and use them A LOT. Empty barren green spaces usually end up being public liabilities. By contrast, smaller public spaces fronted by residential and retail (such as the BPC Esplanade, which is far smaller than what is planned for Brooklyn) are far more likely to succeed.

BrooklynRider
March 16th, 2007, 01:21 AM
Except in BPC, buildings are not built on "park land." This project hands over scant park space to development. The park design is uninspired. There is no correlation between any aspect of this park with BPC.

Deza
March 19th, 2007, 10:36 AM
the communities around the park agreed 10 years ago in the principle that the park had to be self-sustaining. this is because people understood that, like it or not, the city's budget for parks is not always consistent, or sufficient. that's the reality. i'm sure we'd all like to see public budgets for parks that were always bountiful and consistent. but that's not the way it is right now. and if it's a choice between a park, or a school, or a homeless shelter, or an AIDS clinic, i think you can see that the options are limited at best. as an alternative, people have opted to try for new, sustainable approach in which the quality of the upkeep of their park will not be held hostage to the vagaries of the public purse. thus, residences on the edge of the park.

the inclusion of residences does 2 things:

1) provides a significant revenue stream for the park on the SMALLEST POSSIBLE footprint of the park.

2) it gives the park a constituency. without these buildings, the park will be a desolate, lonely place at night, or in the winter. parks need people - because of the BQE, there just aren't that many people adjacent to the park. and every good park in NYC is literally surrounded by dense housing - central park, prospect park - but i don't hear anyone complaining about residential buildings around those parks. how will this be any different? a couple of buildings separated by a city street from the park. they will "own" the park about as much as people on Prospect Park West "own" Prospect Park - THEY DON'T!

if you know ANYTHING about the maintenance and upkeep of piers, you know it's a lot more expensive to maintain than a lawn in Central Park. a significant portion of this park is built on those piers - and if you don't spend the money to keep them in good condition, every year, the park will simply rot and float away. it's not like central park, which you can just let fall into a state of disrepair when things go bad and then go back later and fix it (see central park of the 1970s compared to today).

the park would include a LOT more development (again - based on the existing community principle that the park be self sustaining) if there were no residential buildings. you'd have a ton of concessions, restaurants, and other revenue generating elements scattered through the park. this option, in my opinion, is far more palatable - put most of the revenue generating stuff at the ends, and leave the rest of the park a largely open, inviting space for everyone to enjoy.

it's telling that most of the park critics - that little cabal of self-appointed moralists from willowtown and brooklyn heights - are the same crew who wanted to shut joralemon street off from pedestrian traffic - lest too many people from Fulton Mall go walking down their bucolic little road to get to a public park. some of them even have gone so far as to say they'd prefer a Target or a Costco on the site to a park - so WHO is really advocating for a real park???

http://select.nytimes.com/search/restricted/article?res=FB0616F7345B0C758DDDA10894D8404482



Except in BPC, buildings are not built on "park land." This project hands over scant park space to development. The park design is uninspired. There is no correlation between any aspect of this park with BPC.

BrooklynRider
March 19th, 2007, 11:04 AM
if you know ANYTHING about the maintenance and upkeep of piers...

Presenting yourself as someone who knows EVERYTHING and presuming what others know is the surest sign of a bitter bully. I encourage you to learn how to participate in forum dialogue. YOU have no idea - not one iota of information - about what I know or don't know. Learn how to argue an idea and not attack individuals. We're a group of courteous and civil people here. Two things you clearly don't know ANYTHING about.


it's telling that most of the park critics - that little cabal of self-appointed moralists...

A person with such obnoxiously and angrily argued positions ought not be calling others names. It is also obvious, with four posts all on this topic, that you have an agenda. Are you a paid employee of BBP? Certainly a shill can post here, but sooner or later the posting history of an individual reveals the bias.

ZippyTheChimp
March 19th, 2007, 11:58 AM
the communities around the park agreed 10 years ago in the principle that the park had to be self-sustaining. this is because people understood that, like it or not, the city's budget for parks is not always consistent, or sufficient. that's the reality.
I believe the original understanding of economic sustainability was for commercial, park related use.


and every good park in NYC is literally surrounded by dense housing - central park, prospect park - but i don't hear anyone complaining about residential buildings around those parks.At over 800 and 500 acres respectively, that's like saying Australia is surrounded by water.

And around is not in.


if you know ANYTHING about the maintenance and upkeep of piers, you know it's a lot more expensive to maintain than a lawn in Central Park. a significant portion of this park is built on those piers - and if you don't spend the money to keep them in good condition, every year, the park will simply rot and float away.Comparisons with Central and Prospect Park are pointless, because of size and linearity. Your model for BBP is Hudson River Park. It has piers. It wll need commercial development for economic sustainability, but not residences.

It's good that they're going forward, but this was a sellout to real-estate interests. Instead of thinking through a solution that might have produced something creative, the city chose to take the easy route to revenue.


t's telling that most of the park critics - that little cabal of self-appointed moralists...I agree with BrooklynRider.

ZippyTheChimp
March 19th, 2007, 12:12 PM
By contrast, smaller public spaces fronted by residential and retail (such as the BPC Esplanade, which is far smaller than what is planned for Brooklyn) are far more likely to succeed.You must admit that, as pure park space, the BPC esplanade has had problems - mostly from conflicts between us residents and visitors.

It's a success because it isn't, and shouldn't be evaluated as, park space. It was designed, and functions as, the neighborhood's main street.

You could cite BPC's parks (such as Rockefeller) as examples for parks of similar size, but the 90 acre neighborhood is not a model for an 85 acre park.

Deza
March 19th, 2007, 01:53 PM
:rolleyes:

i never asserted to know everything. simply pointing out that it's clear that pier maintenance is expensive, vastly more expensive than just mowing a lawn.


Presenting yourself as someone who knows EVERYTHING and presuming what others know is the surest sign of a bitter bully. I encourage you to learn how to participate in forum dialogue. YOU have no idea - not one iota of information - about what I know or don't know. Learn how to argue an idea and not attack individuals. We're a group of courteous and civil people here. Two things you clearly don't know ANYTHING about.


A person with such obnoxiously and angrily argued positions ought not be calling others names. It is also obvious, with four posts all on this topic, that you have an agenda. Are you a paid employee of BBP? Certainly a shill can post here, but sooner or later the posting history of an individual reveals the bias.

:confused:

i'm not paid or associated with anyone on this project. i work for an international humanitarian NGO -- focused on a completely unrelated subject.

the only bias i have is against people posting ill-informed opinions. if attempting to set the record straight with an accurate portrayal of the history and details of the project makes me a shill or a bully (????) so be it. sounds to me like you all are the shrill ones, since you didn't offer a single lucid or compelling counterpoint to anything i offered. too bad. i'll move on to a forum where people are interested in debating issues rather than parroting the latest yellow-journalism headlines of the brooklyn papers. NIMBY-ites be damned.

Deza
March 19th, 2007, 02:13 PM
This just in - note the very "civil" and "neighborly" comments of the lead park opponent in this story from Friday's Daily News. This is a great example of the civil discourse that Brooklyn Rider is lauding.

It's oh-so ironic that Judi Francis portrays herself as a defender of unfettered public access to the park while slandering park supporters as "fat cats" (when she likely lives in million dollar brownstone herself).



Sounds like someone is a tad jealous of her spot on the Brooklyn Heights social register? Or could it be that she is just bitter that her marketing company lost a bid to work for the park's main community supporters -- and not long after she lost the bid, she suddenly was totally opposed to this project? Coincidence? I think not.



It's even more hypocritical, and cynical, when you consider that she's the one leading the joralemon street and willowtown zealots fighting to keep their quaint little street free of the rabble east of Court Street. I give her credit - she's great at getting her name in the paper. But her arguments are completely without merit or legitimacy. She's a bogus populist whose voice is a lot louder than her influence or base of support.



Park subway exit off track

$50M price tag nixes plan at Brooklyn Bridge rec site

BY RACHEL MONAHAN
DAILY NEWS WRITER
Friday, March 16th 2007, 9:10 AM
Brooklyn Bridge Park users won't be getting a dedicated subway entrance.
A new traffic study for the planned waterfront park has all but ruled out creating a new entrance to the Brooklyn Heights Clark St. station via an underground tunnel.


"It's going to be very expensive and will have engineering challenges," said Jee Mee Kim, the project director with the traffic consulting firm Sam Schwartz PLLC.


However, consultants don't want to nix the idea entirely before conferring with the community at a public hearing Tuesday, Kim said.
The Clark St. subway station on the 2 and 3 lines has an entrance on the corner of Henry St.


The proposal found that opening an entrance nearer the waterfront - at least four blocks away - would cost $30 million to $50 million.


Critics of the park plan charged that the subway-stop study was a distraction from proposals to create links to the park by way of a ramp, bridge or elevator from the historic Brooklyn Heights promenade, and that the residents didn't want outsiders walking through their neighborhood.


"Those fat cats who live along the promenade want to make sure that no one treads on their sidewalks," said Judi Francis, president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund.


Francis said the promenade was the "most logical place" for park access because it is closest to subway stops.


The promenade links may remain a possibility, but estimates for how much they would cost were still unavailable, Kim said.


Hank Gutman, chairman of the Downtown Brooklyn Waterfront Local Development Corp., said the study does suggest other alternatives such as water taxis, new bike routes and improved pedestrian entrances at Old Fulton St. and Atlantic Ave. - near the north and south ends of the yet-to-be constructed portion of the 1.3-mile park.


The study was funded with $1 million provided by Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-Brooklyn).


Gutman called the expanded bus routes identified by consultants "a great breakthrough," and said the proposed bus service would run "from all ends of the borough and beyond ... to both ends of the park and right into the middle of the park."


The consultants "have very creative and practical solutions to some of the problems of getting people to and from the park," he said, promising more specifics next week.

ZippyTheChimp
March 19th, 2007, 02:24 PM
the only bias i have is against people posting ill-informed opinions.What makes your opinions more informed? I found what I believe to be errors, to which you have not responded.


i'll move on to a forum where people are interested in debating issues rather than parroting the latest yellow-journalism headlines of the brooklyn papers. NIMBY-ites be damned.
You are the one who is less interested in debating than characterizing those who disagree with you.

And it's in poor taste to announce you're leaving a forum that doesn't measure up to your standards, and come right back to post again.

BPC
March 19th, 2007, 02:27 PM
You must admit that, as pure park space, the BPC esplanade has had problems - mostly from conflicts between us residents and visitors.

It's a success because it isn't, and shouldn't be evaluated as, park space. It was designed, and functions as, the neighborhood's main street.

You could cite BPC's parks (such as Rockefeller) as examples for parks of similar size, but the 90 acre neighborhood is not a model for an 85 acre park.

I guess my point is that I don't see why Brooklynites are justified in demanding ALL 85 acres of this stretch of public waterfront property as "park"; whereas Manhattanites, when faced with a comparable situation a few decades ago, were willing to accept only 20-30% of 90-acre BPC as "park." It seems to me that, in both cases, we are dealing with large waterfront stretchs of public property, but the amount of private development that Brooklynites are being asked to allow is relatively modest compared with what Manhattanites agreed to. Now, times change, of course, and no analogy is perfect, but BPC is widely regarded as a successful model for development (architectural criticisms aside), and thus it is not inappropriate to draw some lessons from the experience.

That being said, I do agree that, with the benefit of hindsight, the BPC Esplanade could have been made a little wider, but the planners plainly could not have foreseen its popularitu. This time, they should be able to -- I suspect this will be an extremely popular and well-used park -- and design the public spaces accordingly. In doing so, they can also look to the UNsuccessful public spaces in BPC (like that circlar park by the WFC), which are mostly away from the water, and make adjustments based on that experience as well.

Ninjahedge
March 19th, 2007, 02:35 PM
And it's in poor taste to announce you're leaving a forum that doesn't measure up to your standards, and come right back to post again.

OHHHHHHHH SNAP!


Deza, if you are yelling about us not being civil, you really have not been reading much around here.

I have argued with a lot of people here, and some conflicts being less civil than others, but I must say that this is still one of the most civil forums I have been on.

I would recommend that you ditch the attitude, and the current alias, read around, and come back later (maybe as Azed? Or even Doza?) and try to mingle.

Or just chill, apologize, and play nice!!! ;)

ablarc
March 19th, 2007, 02:35 PM
The park design is uninspired.
Oh, I dunno.

ZippyTheChimp
March 19th, 2007, 02:38 PM
I guess my point is that I don't see why Brooklynites are justified in demanding ALL 85 acres of this stretch of public waterfront property as "park"; whereas Manhattanites, when faced with a comparable situation a few decades ago, were willing to accept only 20-30% of 90-acre BPC as "park."

I wouldn't have minded if the city and state had announced the true park acreage (whatever it is minus the residential development). What is upsetting is the bait-and-switch tactic. In my opinion, this sort of behavior by the city and developers fosters resentment that fuels resentment and suspicion for other projects.

BPC was always promoted as a real-estate development. The present parkland throughout the neighborhood is much different than than that in the original master plan.

ZippyTheChimp
March 19th, 2007, 02:41 PM
Oh, I dunno.I like the overall design, but an entrance from the Heights promenade would be exceptional.

ablarc
March 19th, 2007, 02:44 PM
I like the overall design, but an entrance from the Heights promenade would be exceptional.
Agreed on both scores.

Deza
March 19th, 2007, 03:00 PM
Zippy, c'mon now. You must be kidding me with this hurt feelings thread.

My opinions are my opinions. You are entitled to disagree. I haven't characterized you - find any place where I've leveled an ad hominem attack against you. I haven't. My insults are reserved for the folks suing to stop the park, and in that case it's just fighting fire with fire, as the last post indicates.

But nowhere have I come out and insulted you - and if you were insulted, well, that's not an issue I can help you with. I'd suggest a thicker layer of skin, but I don't want to be accused of insulting you again.

As for what is in poor taste - well - I guess that's a matter of opinion too, and you're certainly entitled to yours...however ill-informed it might be.

;)


What makes your opinions more informed? I found what I believe to be errors, to which you have not responded.


You are the one who is less interested in debating than characterizing those who disagree with you.

And it's in poor taste to announce you're leaving a forum that doesn't measure up to your standards, and come right back to post again.

ZippyTheChimp
March 19th, 2007, 03:05 PM
^
You haven't insulted me personally. As a moderator, I speak for the forum.

MikeW
March 19th, 2007, 03:43 PM
No, not really. I think it's a success as a park because of the close proximity of the residents, who make up a base of users who wouldn't be there otherwise. If the whole landfill was park, it would be very sparsely populated most of the time.


You must admit that, as pure park space, the BPC esplanade has had problems - mostly from conflicts between us residents and visitors.

It's a success because it isn't, and shouldn't be evaluated as, park space. It was designed, and functions as, the neighborhood's main street.

You could cite BPC's parks (such as Rockefeller) as examples for parks of similar size, but the 90 acre neighborhood is not a model for an 85 acre park.

ZippyTheChimp
March 19th, 2007, 03:52 PM
No, not really. I think it's a success as a park because of the close proximity of the residents, who make up a base of users who wouldn't be there otherwise. If the whole landfill was park, it would be very sparsely populated most of the time.You missed what I said.

BPC is NOT a park.

Riverside Park and the UWS neighborhood would be a good example for comparison with BBP.

pianoman11686
March 19th, 2007, 04:01 PM
I like the park design too, as well as the idea for financing it. It always pains me to see this type of skepticism towards what is, in essence, a good idea for providing new public park space:


I notice that they chose white, inobtrusive place holders for the private condo development that is being built in this PUBLIC park. Start figuring that in and this "public park" isn't quite as appealing or inviting. It's a backyard for the wealthy - a place where their complaints about noise and "loiterers" will destroy the park in no time.

I won't say I'm in complete agreement with Deza, but Central Park is a decent counterargument. The place is surrounded, on three sides (and soon to be all four) by incredible wealth. That doesn't prevent it from being used by all kinds of people. As long as this park (BBP) is administered sensibly and without any absurd restrictions, I don't see it losing its appeal because of a condo building placed here or there.

The main thing we should be worried about, as some have already pointed out, is accessibility.

ZippyTheChimp
March 19th, 2007, 04:14 PM
I won't say I'm in complete agreement with Deza, but Central Park is a decent counterargument. The place is surrounded, on three sides (and soon to be all four) by incredible wealth. That doesn't prevent it from being used by all kinds of people.I

The wealth is outside the park; the park in fact, helped foster it. BBP will be surrounded by wealth - DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights.

The question is not so much access, but how city government interacts with its citizens, and how it views unique acreage. A residential building can be put up anywhere, but a waterfront park is not so common. The same thing is going on at Coney Island along the Boardwalk.

And if the Parks Dept is strapped for money, why are they throwing it away at Washington Square?

ablarc
March 19th, 2007, 07:07 PM
And if the Parks Dept is strapped for money, why are they throwing it away at Washington Square?
Now there's a good question!!

lofter1
March 19th, 2007, 10:49 PM
Because NYU wants WSP to be changed -- and they are well connected and have deep pockets.

Edward
March 19th, 2007, 11:40 PM
Brooklyn Bridge Park (http://www.brooklynbridgepark.com/) at twilight.

http://farm1.static.flickr.com/169/427662500_9b387d6b31_o.jpg (http://www.flickr.com/photos/sudentas/sets/72157594503591043/)

pianoman11686
March 20th, 2007, 06:45 PM
I

The wealth is outside the park; the park in fact, helped foster it. BBP will be surrounded by wealth - DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights.

And undoubtedly, this park's presence will reinforce, and quite possibly dramatically increase, that area's wealth. I still don't see how that would make it less appealing.


The question is not so much access, but how city government interacts with its citizens, and how it views unique acreage. A residential building can be put up anywhere, but a waterfront park is not so common.

How much do we actually know about the plans for public access? Until we know for sure, I don't think we should be speculating that it will be somehow restricted in favor of the few people living "in the park."


The same thing is going on at Coney Island along the Boardwalk.

And if the Parks Dept is strapped for money, why are they throwing it away at Washington Square?

These two are valid points, but pretty much straw men. I guess you could say the same thing about Central Park and BPC, though. :)

ZippyTheChimp
March 20th, 2007, 07:12 PM
^
They are not straw men.

Coney Island:
If you read through my posts, I don't object to the park, but how the city injects residential development into projects they first propose as commercial or recreational.

Washington Square:
The purpose of putting residential development in BBP is to make money. Any claims that it will be beneficial to the park itself are a smokescreen. The projected maintenance costs are inflated. The Parks Dept complains that it lacks funds, the city reacts by cutting its budget further, so now they need condos in the park. What does Parks Dept do - go forward with an expensive renovation that no one wants.


And undoubtedly, this park's presence will reinforce, and quite possibly dramatically increase, that area's wealth. I still don't see how that would make it less appealing.That reads more like my argument than yours. I always said that the city should regard its parks as revenue generating just by their existence.

pianoman11686
March 20th, 2007, 07:27 PM
^
They are not straw men.

Coney Island:
If you read through my posts, I don't object to the park, but how the city injects residential development into projects they first propose as commercial or recreational.

Since I can't claim to know as much as you do about the Coney Island development, let's just get this issue out of the way: how much have recent (ie, within the past 5 years) developments in the residential real estate market influenced the shift in what type of land usage the city's pushing for?

I remember reading in the Coney Island thread that Amanda Burden was strongly against letting amusements and residential use coexist. If she's so determined to prevent Sitt from building condos there, why not here too?

What I'm driving at is, the two cases seem too different to compare directly. City bureaucrats will always have a penchant for baiting and switching. In the case of BBP, I don't see it as a bad thing. I see the ultimate solution as a possible model for future new park construction.


Washington Square:
The purpose of putting residential development in BBP is to make money. Any claims that it will be beneficial to the park itself are a smokescreen. The projected maintenance costs are inflated. The Parks Dept complains that it lacks funds, the city reacts by cutting its budget further, so now they need condos in the park. What does Parks Dept do - go forward with an expensive renovation that no one wants.

You honestly believe none of the revenues from the residential developments will significantly help out in meeting the costs of the park and ensuring its success?

And I'll say it again: Washington Square Park is different. Do you actually expect consistency across the board from the Parks Dept, of all things? How many times do we hear of how inequitably the maintenance money is distributed, between parks in poor areas and parks in richer ones?

And you're wrong. There is someone who wants the renovation: NYU. They're already in the area, they're a major employer, and they've got clout. There's no one in BBP (yet).


That reads more like my argument than yours. I always said that the city should regard its parks as revenue generating just by their existence.

And how do we accomplish that without either charging user fees (unheard of) or flooding the parks with commercial establishments?

ZippyTheChimp
March 20th, 2007, 08:20 PM
I remember reading in the Coney Island thread that Amanda Burden was strongly against letting amusements and residential use coexist. If she's so determined to prevent Sitt from building condos there, why not here too?
She works for Bloomberg. The CI issue is not as yet resolved in her favor.


Since I can't claim to know as much as you do about the Coney Island development, let's just get this issue out of the way: how much have recent (ie, within the past 5 years) developments in the residential real estate market influenced the shift in what type of land usage the city's pushing for?At Coney Island, or generally? Look what happened to the original Atlantic Yards project. Where's all the office space?



In the case of BBP, I don't see it as a bad thing. I see the ultimate solution as a possible model for future new park construction.It's already been discussed in this thread. I see it as a bad model. The city has consistently reduced the Parks budget year after year. They seem to be getting out of the park maintenance business. NYC has the highest percentage of private funding for parks among big cities. It sounds good on the surface, but the ultimate example of it is Bryant Park.


You honestly believe none of the revenues from the residential developments will significantly help out in meeting the costs of the park and ensuring its success?Not relevant to what I'm saying. You could just turn it over to a private company to operate, and that would cut the costs to zero.


And I'll say it again: Washington Square Park is different. Do you actually expect consistency across the board from the Parks Dept, of all things? How many times do we hear of how inequitably the maintenance money is distributed, between parks in poor areas and parks in richer ones?First of all, both parks are in rich areas. And I wasn't comparing maintenance budgets for the two parks, but illustrating poor money management. You don't complain about not having money in one site while wasting it in another.


And you're wrong. There is someone who wants the renovation: NYU. They're already in the area, they're a major employer, and they've got clout. There's no one in BBP (yet).Like I said above, a bad trend.


And how do we accomplish that without either charging user fees (unheard of) or flooding the parks with commercial establishments?How many times do I have to say this. Commercial establishments are fine. They compliment parks. Central Park has them, HRP will have them.

It all depends on how you view parks, economically. I see them the same as subways. Subways don't make a profit, but they help the city turn one.

ablarc
March 20th, 2007, 11:40 PM
Oh, the apartment building's not so bad.

It doesn't hurt Regent's Park that a bunch of rich people live in it. There's not the slightest curtailment of its publicness. Actually it makes a delightful mix.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Regent's_Park

pianoman11686
March 21st, 2007, 12:35 AM
At Coney Island, or generally? Look what happened to the original Atlantic Yards project. Where's all the office space?

At Coney Island, and any other example you can provide where the city has quote/unquote shifted its focus from commercial/recreational use to residential. Let's leave AY out of this.


It's already been discussed in this thread. I see it as a bad model. The city has consistently reduced the Parks budget year after year. They seem to be getting out of the park maintenance business. NYC has the highest percentage of private funding for parks among big cities. It sounds good on the surface, but the ultimate example of it is Bryant Park.

I can detect what you're driving at, but it needs to be made more explicit. You can't just say it's a bad model because of Bryant Park. I hardly think a park as big as BBP will be entirely shut down for a week to accommodate a fashion show or some other display. And even if a section of it (how many Bryant Parks can fit into one BBP?) was shut down for a week:

1) It would probably draw more people there during that time, which is a good thing.
2) It's one week out of the entire year.


Not relevant to what I'm saying. You could just turn it over to a private company to operate, and that would cut the costs to zero.

Sure it's relevant! This is the entire justification for the plan. You divert the costs from one party (public) to another (private). You're making it sound like the revenue from the condos will somehow "disappear" by funding "phantom" maintenance fees. I don't buy that assumption.

And, drawing on what you said in the previous quote, why exactly is it a bad thing for the city to be looking for other sources to finance things like parks? Is there something inherently evil about it? Consider the recent deal with Cemusa about street furniture - a very "public" piece of the cityscape. Instead of spending money itself to build the infrastructure, the city will save (and earn) money by letting a private company build them and derive revenue from advertising. I see a similar process at work here.


First of all, both parks are in rich areas. And I wasn't comparing maintenance budgets for the two parks, but illustrating poor money management. You don't complain about not having money in one site while wasting it in another.

In my book, maintenance budgets are a big part of money management. Inequitable distribution in one realm is indicative of broader, systematic problems.


How many times do I have to say this. Commercial establishments are fine. They compliment parks. Central Park has them, HRP will have them.

It all depends on how you view parks, economically. I see them the same as subways. Subways don't make a profit, but they help the city turn one.

Okay, so let's just agree that the next logical thing to do would be to have an independent third party assess the maintenance costs for BBP. If having as many commercial establishments per acre as either Central or HRP will ensure the budget will be met, then scrap the condo plan. (Note: I'm already sensing this will be impossible, as both of your examples have a significant amount of outside money funneling in through donations, endowments, state aid, etc.)

I think it all comes down to this: it's in everyone's best interest that the city be doing well financially. If it's cutting spending on parks, like it did in the 70s, it's for a good reason. If it comes up with a way to balance that out by getting the private sector involved, then what's the harm? The city has more money for other, more pressing expenses; the residents/visitors have more, nicer parks; and some developer gets to build a condo highrise here or there.

Big deal.

ZippyTheChimp
March 21st, 2007, 12:16 PM
At Coney Island, and any other example you can provide where the city has quote/unquote shifted its focus from commercial/recreational use to residential. Let's leave AY out of this.
The story is still unfolding at CI. The development plan left the zoning C7, You Thor and the city are "in negotiations" about residential development you can't leave out AY; it's a prime example.


I can detect what you're driving at, but it needs to be made more explicit. You can't just say it's a bad model because of Bryant ParkI said it was the ultimate example.


Sure it's relevant! This is the entire justification for the plan. You divert the costs from one party (public) to another (private).It's not relevant because I never stated that the condos would not provide revenue. That's not my point.


You're making it sound like the revenue from the condos will somehow "disappear" by funding "phantom" maintenance fees. I don't buy that assumption.It should be noted that at the time the city announced that Parks would need $15 million to fund BBP maintenance, it cut the park budget by $15 million.

BTW, do you know what percentage of the NYC budget is for parks?


And, drawing on what you said in the previous quote, why exactly is it a bad thing for the city to be looking for other sources to finance things like parks? Is there something inherently evil about it?If you want to make the rationale strictly economic, you can justify all the bank branches popping up around the city.


Okay, so let's just agree that the next logical thing to do would be to have an independent third party assess the maintenance costs for BBP. If having as many commercial establishments per acre as either Central or HRP will ensure the budget will be met, then scrap the condo plan.Central Park, Riverside, Prospect are not self-sustaining. HRP will have commercial development mainly at piers 40 and 57.

You've ignored my subway analogy.


(Note: I'm already sensing this will be impossible, as both of your examples have a significant amount of outside money funneling in through donations, endowments, state aid, etc.)All major parks, especially in affluent areas, develop conservancy groups. There's no reason to believe that won't happen in BBP.


I think it all comes down to this: it's in everyone's best interest that the city be doing well financially. If it's cutting spending on parks, like it did in the 70s, it's for a good reason. If it comes up with a way to balance that out by getting the private sector involved, then what's the harm? The city has more money for other, more pressing expenses; the residents/visitors have more, nicer parks; and some developer gets to build a condo highrise here or there.

Big deal.Don't throw fiscal responsibility at me. I can extend this already long post several times with prime examples to the contrary. Let's just mention hudreds of millions to the Yanks and Mets.

You and I have a philosophical difference. A city is more than its bottom line.

pianoman11686
March 22nd, 2007, 02:23 AM
The story is still unfolding at CI. The development plan left the zoning C7, You Thor and the city are "in negotiations" about residential development you can't leave out AY; it's a prime example.

How is AY a prime example? There's not going to be any public park within its jurisdiction, it's got eminent domain issues, hundreds of millions in subsidies from the state and city, and it's being built over a railyard. I see little relation to a waterfront park.


I said it was the ultimate example.

Ultimate example in what sense? That it's the worst manifestation? The most likely scenario for BBP?


It's not relevant because I never stated that the condos would not provide revenue. That's not my point.

Fine, it's not relevant because it's not your point. But it's part of mine and anyone else who's in favor of this plan.


It should be noted that at the time the city announced that Parks would need $15 million to fund BBP maintenance, it cut the park budget by $15 million.

BTW, do you know what percentage of the NYC budget is for parks?

Not precisely, but I think it's around 1%, with the average for big US cities being around 2% maybe? In any case, it's relatively low. So what made the city cut the budget even more?


If you want to make the rationale strictly economic, you can justify all the bank branches popping up around the city.

And how else are you making the rationale? Ethical?

The park has to be paid for. If there's something inherently "wrong" about building a condo tower at one end of it, and keeping the rest of the park open to the public, please explain.


Central Park, Riverside, Prospect are not self-sustaining. HRP will have commercial development mainly at piers 40 and 57.

You've ignored my subway analogy.

All major parks, especially in affluent areas, develop conservancy groups. There's no reason to believe that won't happen in BBP.

You've ignored my point about endowments. Where is BBP getting its money from to begin with?

I don't see the connection with the subway. All you said was that it's not a profit turner, but a revenue stimulator. I can name a bunch of other things in everyday life that do that.


Don't throw fiscal responsibility at me. I can extend this already long post several times with prime examples to the contrary. Let's just mention hudreds of millions to the Yanks and Mets.

And I'll go ahead and agree with you right off the bat that the subsidies to those teams are too large and unjustified. But are we debating about whether the city should give a subsidy to the developers of these condos in BBP? No. I still think the generally inept Parks department cannot be ignored as a contributing factor.


You and I have a philosophical difference. A city is more than its bottom line.

We probably do have fundamental differences, but that doesn't mean we can't come to a mutual understanding. And you're right, a city is more than its bottom line, but I have yet to see what that has to do with your (or anyone else's) disapproval of this park.

ablarc
March 22nd, 2007, 06:47 AM
And you're right, a city is more than its bottom line, but I have yet to see what that has to do with your (or anyone else's) disapproval of this park.
Principle. :p

Standing on principle.

ZippyTheChimp
March 22nd, 2007, 07:41 AM
How is AY a prime example? There's not going to be any public park within its jurisdiction, it's got eminent domain issues, hundreds of millions in subsidies from the state and city, and it's being built over a railyard. I see little relation to a waterfront park.
It's getting difficult to respond, since you're taking remarks out of context. I mentioned AY in response to your question:

Since I can't claim to know as much as you do about the Coney Island development, let's just get this issue out of the way: how much have recent (ie, within the past 5 years) developments in the residential real estate market influenced the shift in what type of land usage the city's pushing for?The original AY plan was to be an economic generator, with a greater percentage of office space. Early on, Ratner changed the mix, maybe being scared off by the then high vacancy rate in Manhattan. The city went along. Ironically, with the office market now tight, we could use the space.

To end this: You believe that the park must have a bottom line; I don't. The subways don't, libraries don't, most parks in the city don't.

As I stated, I don't object to BBP in particular, only this developing concept that parks must be profitable businesses. The result is that the signature parks do well, but since the bulk of the park system remains on the shrinking budget, parks such as Highbridge get less funding. Since City Hall already has mandated, despite a surplus, further budget cuts, the money generated by BBP will wind up out of the overall parks budget.

The budget percent of total is actually one-half of one percent. If they raised it to one percent as has continually been requested, park maintenance problems would disappear.

The other objection I have is the way the plan with condos was introduced late in the planning process - bait and switch. Tactics like this foster ill-will and mistrust of city government. BBP would do well as a park in an upscale neighborhood, attracting private endowments. That might be more difficult after the bitter taste of a lawsuit.

lofter1
March 22nd, 2007, 11:00 AM
AY originally included a public park-like area above the arena.

Since removed from the plan.

pianoman11686
March 23rd, 2007, 12:37 AM
It's getting difficult to respond, since you're taking remarks out of context. I mentioned AY in response to your question:
The original AY plan was to be an economic generator, with a greater percentage of office space. Early on, Ratner changed the mix, maybe being scared off by the then high vacancy rate in Manhattan. The city went along. Ironically, with the office market now tight, we could use the space.

Like I said, AY should've been left out of this discussion.


To end this: You believe that the park must have a bottom line; I don't. The subways don't, libraries don't, most parks in the city don't.

As I stated, I don't object to BBP in particular, only this developing concept that parks must be profitable businesses. The result is that the signature parks do well, but since the bulk of the park system remains on the shrinking budget, parks such as Highbridge get less funding. Since City Hall already has mandated, despite a surplus, further budget cuts, the money generated by BBP will wind up out of the overall parks budget.

The budget percent of total is actually one-half of one percent. If they raised it to one percent as has continually been requested, park maintenance problems would disappear.

The other objection I have is the way the plan with condos was introduced late in the planning process - bait and switch. Tactics like this foster ill-will and mistrust of city government. BBP would do well as a park in an upscale neighborhood, attracting private endowments. That might be more difficult after the bitter taste of a lawsuit.

I've already mentioned somewhere that bait-and-switch, as a political phenomenon, will likely never disappear. So we have to make the best of the way things are done. And I agree: if a relatively small (.5%) increase in the overall budget were redirected to help our parks, without taking away money from other, more pressing issues that absolutely demand the city's financial support, then it should be done.

Wrapping it all up: it's not so much that I believe things like subways, libraries, and parks should have bottom lines; it's that in times when they could, we shouldn't reject the idea based on one notion or another of what makes a city good. Perhaps the situation at BBP wasn't handled as smoothly as possible, and perhaps the financing solution is a bit extreme and disconcerting. But that doesn't mean it can't work. The problem is, of course, that once you run something like a private entity, bottom lines become important, potentially too much so.

If you don't want to respond to any of the above, that's fine, I think this debate has gone far enough. But I do have one question for you: when push comes to shove, and somewhere down the road the city does run out of money for certain public services, what would you advocate? Looking for more private involvement to offset the costs, or raising taxes?

ZippyTheChimp
March 23rd, 2007, 08:13 AM
But I do have one question for you: when push comes to shove, and somewhere down the road the city does run out of money for certain public services, what would you advocate? Looking for more private involvement to offset the costs, or raising taxes?That's a loaded question.

If "push comes to shove," the amount of money involved in parks maintenance would hardly make a dent.

BrooklynRider
March 23rd, 2007, 09:56 AM
...when push comes to shove, and somewhere down the road the city does run out of money for certain public services, what would you advocate? Looking for more private involvement to offset the costs, or raising taxes?

Let them form a BBP Conservancy or Alliance. It works for Central Park and it works for Prospect Park. The most successful models are being ignored.

Ninjahedge
March 23rd, 2007, 11:33 AM
I don't know.

I think I would advocate the removal of pensions for senior officials before I would cut park funding or raise taxes.

But without those pensions, how would we ever attract all the qualified administrators we are lucky enough to have today? ;)

pianoman11686
March 26th, 2007, 12:34 AM
That's a loaded question.

If "push comes to shove," the amount of money involved in parks maintenance would hardly make a dent.

Come on Zippy, it's a fairly simple question. The response you gave essentially equates to saying, "Let's start by cutting the most expensive public services, then move our way downward." Spending would be cut wherever possible. Whether one particular area helps out a lot isn't the question.


Let them form a BBP Conservancy or Alliance. It works for Central Park and it works for Prospect Park. The most successful models are being ignored.

Not something I'd be against. But there are other things to consider before just saying, "Let them form an alliance." Firstly, BBP isn't even built yet. It took a long time before either Central or Prospect Park generated an alliance/conservancy. Secondly, BBP's surroundings are much different. There may not be enough people within close enough proximity to care.

ZippyTheChimp
March 26th, 2007, 07:44 AM
Come on Zippy, it's a fairly simple question.I answered your question. And you acknowledged that I did...
The response you gave essentially equates to saying, "Let's start by cutting the most expensive public services, then move our way downward." Spending would be cut wherever possible. Whether one particular area helps out a lot isn't the question.You just don't like the answer and your interpretation of it misses the mark, but it's consistent with everything I've said in this dialogue.


But there are other things to consider before just saying, "Let them form an alliance." Firstly, BBP isn't even built yet. It took a long time before either Central or Prospect Park generated an alliance/conservancy.The concept was unknown; CP set the example. HRP formed an alliance before any construction started.


Secondly, BBP's surroundings are much different. There may not be enough people within close enough proximity to care.The acrimony of a lawsuit doesn't help.

pianoman11686
March 26th, 2007, 03:31 PM
I answered your question. And you acknowledged that I did...You just don't like the answer and your interpretation of it misses the mark, but it's consistent with everything I've said in this dialogue.

Technically, you didn't answer it; you skirted it. I'll repeat what I said: whether one particular area of city spending makes a substantial "dent" or not is irrelevant. Bureaucrats will look to save money wherever possible, starting with the least essential costs.

If what you mean by "consistent" is that you use different valuation systems to establish hierarchies of "what's most important to a city," then I guess I can't be surprised by your response. But I still find it highly unrealistic. You lived in NY during the 70's, right? How did things work out then?


The concept was unknown; CP set the example. HRP formed an alliance before any construction started.

The acrimony of a lawsuit doesn't help.

Like I said, we can't necessarily predict the future. HRP has been mired in its own power and financing disputes.

ZippyTheChimp
March 26th, 2007, 06:20 PM
Technically, you didn't answer it; you skirted it. I'll repeat what I said: whether one particular area of city spending makes a substantial "dent" or not is irrelevant. Bureaucrats will look to save money wherever possible, starting with the least essential costs.

Here is the exact exchange:

But I do have one question for you: when push comes to shove, and somewhere down the road the city does run out of money for certain public services, what would you advocate? Looking for more private involvement to offset the costs, or raising taxes?

That's a loaded question.

If "push comes to shove," the amount of money involved in parks maintenance would hardly make a dent.Your two options are a classic example of a false dilemma. The choice is not between looking for "private involvement" [for parks, not private involvement in general] and raising taxes. Private investment in parks would do nothing to prevent collapse if "push came to shove."


But I still find it highly unrealistic. You lived in NY during the 70's, right? How did things work out then?An excellent example. The city basically abandoned park maintenance in the late 60s. It did nothing to prevent the spiral to near near bankruptcy in the mid 70s. Much broader issues had to be confronted.


HRP has been mired in its own power and financing disputes.The disputes center around finding ways for the park to turn a profit, because the bean-counters have so decreed.

BPC
March 26th, 2007, 08:12 PM
Not to state the obvious, but to bring things back to perspective, this looks like it is going to be a fantastic park, however the condo and other debates turn out. The small part already completed is one of my favorite parts of the City already.

pianoman11686
March 27th, 2007, 01:12 AM
Your two options are a classic example of a false dilemma. The choice is not between looking for "private involvement" [for parks, not private involvement in general] and raising taxes. Private investment in parks would do nothing to prevent collapse if "push came to shove."

An excellent example. The city basically abandoned park maintenance in the late 60s. It did nothing to prevent the spiral to near near bankruptcy in the mid 70s. Much broader issues had to be confronted.

Apparently, our differences extend beyond philosophy and into general understanding. I know what you're getting at with the false dilemma point, but that's not it.

At first I thought I was proven wrong, but then I reread it again. And the key lies in your 60s/70s example. Look: I'm not saying that cutting park funding will prevent further losses of money by the city. As you say, "much broader issues" are at play. But that doesn't prove it wouldn't happen for the reason I'm giving. That reason is: when money's running out, you have to cut costs somewhere. Start with the non, or least-essentials. Once you realize this, it should come as no surprise to you why park maintenance was cut so early (in the 60s).

The other difference in our understanding is that private involvement in things like parks is a relatively young phenomenon. That option might not have been available in the 60s/70s; it's available now.

To sum up: people in charge won't look at a crossroads and say, "that's a false dilemma." They're going to make choices. Given the possibility that money runs out in the budget for certain public services - services that could potentially be paid for with private involvement - I'll take that option with all of its implications before letting things decay or raising taxes.