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Done arguing: Civic group will not appeal court’s decision to allow Pier 6 towers in Bridge Park

End of debate: Leaders of the Brooklyn Heights Association will not appeal a judge's decision allowing two controversial towers to be built on Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, ending their fight against the project that began in 2016.
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What’s almost done is done.

Opponents of the two in-progress towers that a judge in February ruled could legally rise at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6 — months after developers started building them — will not appeal the decision, according to the head of the civic group that sued to stop the development back in 2016. The Brooklyn Heights Association will instead divert its attention to other issues in the nabe, said its executive director, who took one last swipe at park leaders in his announcement.

“We will not pursue an appeal, and our legal challenge to the Pier 6 development has ended,” said Peter Bray. “We hope that the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation will be more respectful of its commitments to the community in the future.”

Leaders of the Heights Association took park bigwigs and their chosen builders RAL Development Services and Oliver’s Realty Group to court after the real-estate firms filed plans for the 15- and 28-story towers at the foot of Atlantic Avenue — the shorter of which will contain 100 units of so-called affordable housing — charging the project violated Brooklyn Bridge Park’s governing document, the 2006 General Project Plan, which permits development within the green space only to rake in moolah needed to maintain it.

But meadow attorneys dismissed that charge, arguing that the high-rises would generate money the cash-strapped park needed to repair Pier 6’s supportive timber pilings from the 1950s, which are being gnawed away by wood-eating crustaceans called marine borers.

And on Feb. 16, seven months after the case’s first public hearings began in a Manhattan courtroom, Justice Carmen St. Victoria St. George ultimately ruled in favor of the semi-private corporation that oversees the meadow in conjunction with the city, green-lighting the towers that her predecessor, Justice Lucy Billings, allowed the developers to start building last July on the condition that whatever went up ahead of the final decision could be “undone.”

Workers nearly finished constructing the shorter tower at 15 Bridge Park Drive by the time St. George ruled, and now the 15-story building is fully topped out with a scheduled spring 2019 opening, a rep for the developers said.

And contractors have completed 16 floors of the 28-story high-rise at 50 Bridge Park Drive, christened Quay Tower, which builders expect to top out later this spring before welcoming its first occupants next summer, according to the rep, who said the 126 luxury condominiums inside it — which include two-bedrooms starting at $1.9 million and five-bedrooms at $5.5 million — will go on sale in the coming months.

The leader of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation said the group looks forward to completing the Pier 6 towers, and will work with locals to ensure their needs are met as the green space evolves.

“We are pleased to put the litigation behind us and move ahead with this essential project,” said Eric Landau. “We look forward to working closely with the community not only throughout construction, but beyond, as we continue to make Brooklyn Bridge Park one of the city’s most popular public open spaces.”

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at jcuba@cnglocal.com. Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Updated 5:47 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Roberto Gautier from Brooklyn Heights says:
Only in Brooklyn? What other area of the country has a major public park with a luxury hotel, rows of million-dollar condos and residential towers? A marvel of the public/private partnership?
March 28, 7:13 am
Tyler from pps says:
I'm not taking a position here... but Roberto, I'm not sure what point you're trying to make.

Almost every city has parks lined with residential development, hotels, etc.

Existing parks in our city too! Central Park and Prospect Park had major building development associated with them from the beginning! (Increased tax revenue was part of the incentive for carving out these green spaces) The only different between these parks and Brooklyn Bridge Park is that the latter has a *direct* funding mechanism instead of the indirect tax mechanism.

Was this the right partnership/agreement? Was the type of building right? Other issues? Net positive? Net negative? I dunno... that's complicated.

But what IS clear is that "Oh MY GOD! A park with luxury buildings in it/adjacent to it is sooooooo unique!" is just silly and doesn't support your position (if you have one).
March 28, 10:35 am
Charles from Bklyn says:
When we allow the selling public assets to private parties, we all lose. Period. The corruption in New York is taking the public trust and throwing it in the garbage, and the people responsible should be ashamed of themselves which include government officials, the developer and their connected friends to the process.
March 29, 8:39 am
Bill lombard from Cobble hill says:
Anyone that thinks any of this is positive , I have a bridge to sell you over the east river. What you are seeing is naked greed disguised as some type of philanthropic plan. It is not. It’s the endless overbuilding nd destruction of a city. The coring out of the middle class and a true creation of NYC as a type of Epcot center visiting area. Surely you can’t afford to live here. That is reserved for the one percent, but please partake in the wonderfully overpriced shops and restaurants. If that isn’t Disneyland I don’t know what is.
May 25, 12:30 am

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