City opens small park, pricey restroom in Bushwick

Parks officials cut the ribbon on Beaver Noll Park Friday, a new open space on a half-acre lot once owned by NYCHA.
Photo by Kevin Duggan

City parks honchos unveiled a new greenspace and an eyebrow-raising $3.8 million bathroom in Bushwick on Friday.

Beaver Noll Park now lives on a half-acre triangular lot at the corner of Beaver Street and Bushwick Avenue — featuring a new playground, concrete game tables, planted greenery, and benches. 

The Parks Department launched the $3.2 million revamp of the lot in 2012 after taking over the land from the New York City Housing Authority, and finished the majority of the work last July — but workers still needed to add finishing touches such as adding plants and coats of paint, according to the agency’s Brooklyn commissioner Martin Maher. 

The agency also opened the $3.8 million comfort station two blocks away at Green Central Knoll — a roughly 3 acre park at Evergreen and Central avenues, which boasts a baseball diamond and a playground.

The agency also unveiled a $3.8 million comfort station at Green Central Knoll Park.Photo by Kevin Duggan

The bathroom was slated to open in August, but was delayed due to the contractor’s design of the wheelchair-accessible ramp not being up to snuff for the Department’s specifications, according to Maher.

“There was a condition on the ramp that we didn’t like that we thought was a potential safety issue, so we had to make the contractor correct that,” said Martin Maher.

The bathroom’s eye-popping price is slightly above the staggering average cost of $3.6 million for the city to build a new loo, which comes as a result of the stringent building codes and expensive construction costs in the city, according to Maher.

“When you’re bringing in heat, gas, and all of those things — these are what the costs are, these are the real numbers,” he said. 

One local civic leader was glad to finally see the new facility, but lamented that city officials didn’t build it until the construction of a controversial yuppie apartment complex at the former Rheingold brewery site nearby.

“It’s long overdue, but it’s a pity it didn’t happen until after this,” said Community Board 4 chair Robert Camacho, while pointing to the sprawling residential development at Noll Street.

Bushwick suffers from a severe lack of open space, with only 0.2 acres per 1,000 people — compared to the city’s goal of 2.5 acres, according to a report released by the green space nonprofit New Yorkers for Parks last fall, and local advocates are fighting to include more open space in the impending neighborhood-wide rezoning of the area.