Sections

Bridge Park costs soar

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:

The cost of building Brooklyn Bridge Park has more than doubled — from an original 2002 estimate of $150 million up to $350 million today — fueling concern the public had been snookered by officials in their quest to create the waterfront park and condo development.

Costs for the 1.3-mile riverside project were already up to $225 million as early as last month, when the city set aside another $75 million in this year’s budget.

But state Sen. Marty Connor (D–Brooklyn Heights) gave the official word in a meeting with park critics that construction would top $300 million.

“The original estimates are … old,” Connor told The Brooklyn Paper, adding, “We’ll find the money.”

The mind may be willing, but is the body politic able?

Even if the city approves the latest $75-million cash infusion to the struggling project, there’s still a $75- to $125-million gap between current allocations and the high end of Connor’s estimate — all at a time of belt-tightening in City Hall and Albany.

Critics of the plan — whose hundreds of units of luxury housing are supposed to underwrite the annual $15 million maintenance budget — called the latest budget busting “a fraud.”

“This is a crime. No one is watching the money,” said Judi Francis, president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund, which opposes the inclusion of luxury condos within the waterfront park’s footprint. “I can guarantee you they’re going to come up with a higher [maintenance] figure, because the park is so much more expensive to construct.”

Despite the soaring costs, demolition work continues at the site, with the removal of existing warehouses on the piers closest to the Brooklyn Bridge.

“Just because the costs have gone up, it doesn’t mean we should halt progress on the park,” said Councilman David Yassky (D–Brooklyn Heights).

Some critics contend the high price is due to the park’s elaborate designs, which include manmade rolling hills, perched wetlands, and a kayaking cove.

“We could have built a $30-million park with a bunch of soccer fields 10 years ago,” said Roy Sloane, a longtime proponent for a publicly accessible waterfront. “It wouldn’t have won any landscaping awards, but we would have a park.”

The Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corp., the state agency overseeing the development, did not confirm that costs have risen.

“We cannot presently confirm an expanded project or expanded project budget at this time,” said Warner Johnston, a spokesman for the agency.

Updated 5:06 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook
Subscribe

Don’t miss our updates:


Reasonable discourse

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: