A box of condos that will house 47 new apartments and an outpost of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum will rise on far reaches of Brooklyn Bridge Park, the city announced on Wednesday.
The new development, which will be built along with a pedestrian bridge over a tidal salt march and a large gathering lawn at John and Pearl streets in DUMBO, is part of controversial city plan to self-finance the park by housing money-making ventures within in such as hotels, restaurants, and apartments, a fact Mayor Bloomberg pointed out when announcing the plan.
“New parkland and residential development at John Street will allow the park to grow and continue to thrive as one of the highlights of our city’s new green waterfront,” the mayor said.
The condos, which will also include ground-floor retail, will be built on presently vacant land in the John Street section of the park by Alloy Development and Monadnock Development, who designed the 12-story structure that will have sweeping views of the Manhattan Bridge. Construction should begin in 2014, according to the city, and be completed late in 2015.
But critics of the way the city plans to fund the park weren’t thrilled with the new building, claiming it was getting in the way of actual park land.
“They seem to want to put everything in the park except the park,” said activist Tony Manheim. “There isn’t any park. They’re using to build mid-rise buildings for luxury condo apartments or buildings.”
Manheim, who once sat on its board of the Children’s Museum, claimed the city included that institution in the development just to placate those who don’t want housing or a corporate influence in the park, just as it did when it approved plans to move the theater company St. Ann’s Warehouse into the former Tobacco Warehouse earlier this year.
“I suppose they think it will appease the community in the same way they did when they gave the Tobacco Warehouse to a not-very-good theater group,” Manheim said.
Still, the mayor claimed the park is moving in the right direction.
“Brooklyn Bridge Park has quickly become one of our city’s favorite parks, attracting visitors who enjoy its innovative design, new amenities and breathtaking views,” said Mayor Bloomberg.
Reach reporter Jaime Lutz at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow her on Twitter @jaime_lutz.