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Residents: Affordable housing a ‘Trojan Horse’ for more development in Bridge Park

Brooklyn Paper
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Beware mayors bearing gifts!

The city is using the promise of so-called affordable housing as leverage to force Brooklynites into supporting more development in Brooklyn Bridge Park, said local residents at a town hall meeting on Wednesday night.

“It’s the park’s Trojan Horse and is an attempt to blackball the neighborhood as being opposed to affordable housing,” said Brooklyn heights resident Joan Goldberg, one of many citizens, pols, and activists who filled the pews at St. Ann’s Church arguing for more grass and less glass in the privately-run public park.

City and park honchos are seeking state development officials’ approval for two more luxury housing towers at Pier 6 — in addition to several condominium buildings, a hotel, and retail stores already under construction in the park — which they claim they need to bankroll the sprawling waterfront green-space.

The 339 apartments in the two complexes will also include 117 below-market-rate units, as part of the mayor’s goal to create 80,000 affordable units in the city by 2023.

But the Empire State Development Corporation — Albany’s quasi-governmental development arm — has stalled the plan due to the overwhelming opposition from local residents and leaders, who believe the park already has enough money-spinning development to pay for itself.

“It’s not necessary to achieve the financial means to support upkeep and maintenance,” said Councilman Steve Levin (D–Brooklyn Heights), who also sits on the park’s boards, to the crowd. “I think the revenues generated from other development sites are more than adequate to do that.”

A coalition of activist groups in February released its own reports from private appraisers that showed the park is already financially viable — though park honchos disputed the findings and disparaged the sources.

Locals say of course they aren’t opposed to below-market housing. But if the park really wants to create it, Goldberg said, it should put it in one of the existing residential buildings — such as the almost-complete Pierhouse condo complex, where several former park board members have purchased units.

City and park bigwigs originally promised to only build the bare minimum needed to keep the green space functioning, said residents, not to make it a dumping ground for all of the city’s needs.

“It’s about a park, let’s not make this something it isn’t,” said Judi Francis, president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund, a coalition of neighborhood groups opposed to development in the park. “It’s not about using the land to build a firehouse, or all the things we need for our city — including affordable housing — but we also need parkland.”

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Truth from Northeast Bococa Heights says:
Residents - poors are gross, put them in Williamsburg and Greenpoint.

The worst of BK lives around this part, just wretched, classist jerkholes.
May 5, 2016, 11:04 am
Mike from Williamsburg says:
We hear a lot from Brooklyn Heights residents about where housing doesn't belong. It would be a lot easier to listen to them if they could say where it does belong.
May 5, 2016, 12:03 pm
Emily from Greenpoint says:
Mike, Here's your answer,

http://mobile.nytimes.com/2016/05/05/science/leopards-are-more-vulnerable-than-believed-study-finds.html?referer=
May 5, 2016, 1:58 pm
marsha rimler from brooklyn heights says:
Affordable housing is also a trojan horse for the library destruction deal. It was put in the deal to sell the library giveaway. Visit us at lovebrooklynlibrariesinc.org to learn about our lawsuit to halt this land grab
May 5, 2016, 4:02 pm
BrooklynBeBop from Carroll Gardens says:
Truth & Mike - I can always tell when a commenter is being paid by Toll Brothers/Starwood because they don't discuss the issue in the article, but rather attack those who are trying to make the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp do their jobs properly.

You, two, have been paid to comment and no one need pay heed to either of you.
May 5, 2016, 7:55 pm
BrooklynBeBop from Carroll Gardens says:
Truth & Mike - I can always tell when a commenter is being paid by Toll Brothers/Starwood because they don't discuss the issue in the article, but rather attack those who are trying to make the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp do their jobs properly.

You, two, have been paid to comment and no one need pay heed to either of you.
May 5, 2016, 7:55 pm
Marie Klacktovedestein from Downtown says:
The people in west facing condos in the warehouse on Furman St must be thrilled.

Q: Regina Meyer says what?

A: She says exactly what the real estate crooks pay her to sayt.

Q: Where's Errol Louis, self-promiting Brooklyn / NYC journalist now?

Come on Errol, take off the pancake makeup and start REPORTING again. I know yuo can do it.
May 5, 2016, 9:34 pm
Mélanie from Bushwick says:
In the not so distant future the City may actually max out its space. Good to start thinking about how to stop growing. The same could be said for much of the world.
May 6, 2016, 1:34 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Toll Brothers, if you are listening, I would be happy to accept money from you!

I would like to Thank Marsha Rimler for proving my point, which I made for free.
May 6, 2016, 2:24 pm
Mike from Williamsburg says:
Toll Brothers, if you are listening, I would be happy to accept money from you!

I would like to Thank Marsha Rimler for proving my point, which I made for free.

Melanie is wrong to think the city is maxed out of space. Look how many buildings are only 3 floors. They could all be 8.
May 6, 2016, 2:31 pm
JUSTINE SWARTZ from Brooklyn Heights says:
Is it smart to build in a low lying area? Has Hurricane Sandy has taught our City Planners nothing? When and not If the floods come - who will pay for the fix-up if not the tax payers.  
May 6, 2016, 2:41 pm

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