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
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
“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.”
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