Critics: City’s Brooklyn Bridge Park will still include housing

The Brooklyn Paper
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Meet the new operating “entity” for Brooklyn Bridge Park — same as the old operating “entity” for Brooklyn Bridge Park.

That was the over-riding message delivered by critics of the city’s takeover plan for the $350-million waterfront development, which replaces the state’s development agency with a new city entity that will continue to build the greenspace and residential component without public input.

“The purpose is to eliminate the public,” Roy Sloane, a member of the Cobble Hill Association, said at a hearing on Monday night concerning the new city-overseen plan for the 1.7-mile stretch of green from DUMBO to Atlantic Avenue. “I am at a loss to find one way in which the public benefits by [the plan].”

Indeed, despite the city takeover, any development inside the park — necessary to generate funds for the park’s landscaping and maintenance — will still be conducted outside the normal public review process for land use.

The residential development of a lot on John Street, on the edge of the park in DUMBO, plus possible housing on Pier 6 at the foot of Atlantic Avenue, will be decided on by the new “entity,” which, like the current Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation, will be headed by Regina Myer.

The main change, however, is that before any housing can be built, the new entity must undertake a supposedly transparent search for other ways to fund the park besides housing and other commercial ventures. That search is being led by entity member, state Sen. Daniel Squadron (D–Brooklyn Heights), who has veto power.

That means that the new entity is inviting some form of public scrutiny, Squadron said.

“I am sympathetic to those who are frustrated that the new governance structure creates another public authority with a complicated operating board,” Squadron said. “But with its composition of representatives from a greater number of elected officials … the [new entity] represents a more transparent and open process.”

But until the housing alternatives panel comes up with an operating stream that Myer and Mayor Bloomberg can agree with, opponents aren’t convinced that anything will change.

“No amount of finagling, of creating entities and sub-entities, not-for-profit corporations … and leasing agents can obscure the fact that all the city ‘entity’ is designed to do is to keep the public out,” said Judi Francis, president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund, a group that has long opposed the requirement that the park’s maintenance be funded entirely by commercial and residential operations within its footprint.

Updated 5:18 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Sid from boerum hill says:
I understand Walmart would love to put a box store on Pier 6 instead of housing.....
April 27, 2010, 7:57 am
Judi Francis says:
Thank you for your coverage of Brooklyn Bridge Park. I would like to reiterate that Senator Squadron and Assemblywoman Millman have done an incredible and heroic job of representing the public in their need of recreational facilities and in their advocacy to eliminate more housing inside this park's borders. The hopes for this to be a city park were dashed long before the Senator and Assemblywoman began their negotiations. The Mayor wants housing inside our parks - that is his park doctrine- so it is no surprise that he has created the most complex instrument to administer this new non-city park (entity as it is called). Having just returned from a City Hall hearing on parks, the Mayor's lack of transparency on all parks throughout the city is well known. We will rely on our excellent State elected officials and our excellent local City Councilmen to ensure the transparency that has been lacking for over 6 years since the condo-plan arrived. And we are most grateful for their help in finally getting rid of more housing in the future.
April 27, 2010, 12:37 pm
anon from Brooklyn Heights says:
That guy Sid Meyer is Steve Levin's secretary's husband, isn't he? He should know better than throw that lie out about Walmart on the piers in Brooklyn Bridge Park. It isn't true and never has been. Shameful.
April 30, 2010, 5:19 pm

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