Brooklyn Bridge Park honchos last Wednesday unveiled designs for the two luxury apartment towers they plan to erect at Pier 6.
Park bigwigs anointed Ral Development Services — the developer behind the condominiums in the neighboring One Brooklyn Bridge Park building — and Oliver’s Realty Group, a newcomer to Brooklyn, as their chosen co-developers for the project.
Here is what you can expect to see looming behind the park’s beach volleyball courts if the plan gets the green light:
• A taller 29-story tower housing around 192 market-rate units and a parking garage.
• A shorter 14-story tower containing 30 market-rate units, 117 below-market-rate units for “moderate- and middle-income households,” a 75-seat pre-school, ground-floor retail space, and something called “a community facility space.”
The buildings are two of six residential high-rises that park administrators say are needed to help pay for the maintenance of the sprawling waterfront green space, though local activists claim the other buildings will be lucrative enough to cover the costs now that property values in the area have skyrocketed alongside the developments and have been fighting to quash the project.
“It is a tragic mistake to wall off the park entrance and the Brooklyn waterfront with condos, especially now that the park’s real estate windfall provides better options,” said Henry Richmond, director of park activism group People for Green Space Foundation.
The announcement comes a month after the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, the semi-private body charged with administering the park, settled a legal battle with anti-development activists that had stalled the project for 10 months. As part of the settlement, the park agreed to give the public notice before its board members meet to approve the developer and designs — hence last week’s reveal — and to get the state’s okay on its latest plans.
That approval process is still ongoing, and could cause more delays for the project. The Empire State Development Corporation — the quasi-governmental state body that oversees development in the park — has to approve several recent changes to the park’s original plan for the site, including the addition of the below-market-rate housing and looser restrictions over how many units the developers can place in either building (you can view the full changes here).
Opponents of the towers have been using the meetings to push the state to do a new study on how the new development will impact the surrounding community, according to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle. The state did its most recent study a decade ago, and the park commissioned its own review a year ago, but opponents say the reports don’t take into consideration how the towers — and the influx of new residents they will bring — will impact local schools or the massive new development planned for the former Long Island College Hospital site nearby.
There will be a meeting on July 30 where community members can air their thoughts on the changes and the study, and activists say they’re optimistic that their voices will make a difference.
“We believe that truth, sunlight, and fresh air will win out in the upcoming public input process,” said Richmond.