Brooklyn Bridge Park is being built

Brooklyn Bridge Park is being built
The Brooklyn Paper / Bess Adler

Brooklyn Bridge Park is finally being built.

The decades-old dream of a waterfront greenspace stretching from DUMBO to the foot of Atlantic Avenue — up to now, a dream deferred, thanks to a state requirement that the park be self-sustaining — is beginning to take shape.

A fully landscaped Pier 1 at the end of Old Fulton Street and a partial park on Pier 6 at the southern end will open just before the end of the year, said Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation President Regina Myer, who gave The Brooklyn Paper a tour of the construction site.

Myer said that the full work on Pier 1 and the partial work on Pier 6 would cost around $100 million and require about $4 million per year for maintenance. For now, $3 million per year is being contributed from the residents of the One Brooklyn Bridge Park condo, who make “payments in lieu of taxes” for park upkeep.

Walk on the mild side: A wide, bench-lined walkway will bring visitors into the park and towards the waterfront closest to the Brooklyn Bridge.
The Brooklyn Paper / Bess Adler

Myer said that the condo building has been making such payments since early 2008, so there is enough money in the bank to maintain the soon-to-open greenspace until additional residential, commercial and hotel properties join the funding stream, although it remains in doubt whether such sources of cash will materialize.

And vast portions of the park remain unfunded.

“We’re building what we can build and we believe that once it’s done, it will provide the impetus for the next step,” Myer said.

In addition to the work on Pier 1, Pier 6 is being readied as a “destination playground,” a dog run, volleyball nets and a food and beer concession.

Brooklyn’s new front stoop? Granite recovered from other city construction sites form a one-story-high set of stairs right up against the East River, providing a stoop-like gathering point. Hopefully, stoop-drinking tickets won’t be issued.
The Brooklyn Paper / Bess Adler

And the current parking zone at the foot of Old Fulton Street will be transformed into a planted gateway to the park itself, a change that is not reflected on any current renderings.

“We have to do this so that people feel that they are entering a grand park,” Myer said.

“Right now, it’s a parking area, not a gateway.”

Take me to the riverPart of Pier 1 has been removed to create a tidal basin, much like at the neighboring city park on Main Street in DUMBO, where people can actually get down to the water itself.
The Brooklyn Paper / Bess Adler