Shocker! Pier 6 towers, months into construction, ruled legal by judge

High-rise drama: Rising Pier 6 towers rile critics awaiting judge’s verdict
Community News Group / Julianne Cuba

They’re well on their way — and here to stay.

Two polarizing towers already rising at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6 can legally go up inside the green space, a judge decided on Thursday.

The ruling came after builders RAL Development Services and Oliver’s Realty Group began construction on the high-rises last summer, months ahead of Justice Carmen Victoria St. George’s much-anticipated decision because her predecessor Justice Lucy Billings said in July that work on the project could proceed as long as it could be “undone.”

St. George threw out the suit that civic group the Brooklyn Heights Association filed against the meadow’s bigwigs and the developers constructing the 15 and 28-story high-rises at the foot of Atlantic Avenue in a 46-page ruling that’s a big win for the park, its head honcho said.

“We are pleased with the judge’s decision, which ensures that a public investment enjoyed by millions and envied in cities across the globe will thrive long into the future,” said Eric Landau.

The 15-story tower already topped out by the time St. George ruled, and a website hawking the 126 luxury apartments inside the taller, 28-story building, dubbed Quay Tower, launched last month.

Heights Association members took the park to court in July 2016, charging that its honchos violated their own terms for choosing the towers’ builders, and that the smaller high-rise — which will contain 100 units of so-called affordable housing — violates Brooklyn Bridge Park’s governing document, the 2006 General Project Plan, which permits development in the green space only to raise money for it.

But Bridge Park attorneys argued that the cash-strapped meadow needs the towers to generate funds that will pay for the restoration of the wood piles that support Pier 6, which crustaceans are gnawing away.

St. George took over the case in August after Billings said she was reassigned to oversee asbestos litigation. She twice delayed what were supposed to be litigants’ final arguments before presiding over their last day in court on Nov. 15 — seven months after the case’s first public hearings began.

It is unclear why the judge took so long to rule. This reporter made several calls to her chambers, none of which were returned.

The Heights Association’s head honcho said its members are disappointed with St. George’s decision, which he said validates park bigwigs’ dishonest reason for building the towers, and that the group is exploring the next steps it may take.

“Although the BHA greatly appreciates the time and effort the court devoted to its claims, it is frustrated by an outcome that permits the state and city to flout the commitments they made repeatedly to the community that they would only permit private real estate development at Pier 6 if, and to the extent, the development were needed to serve the Park’s fiscal purposes,” said Peter Bray.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.