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

In favor: Justice Carmen Victoria St. George ruled on Thursday that the two towers planned for Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 6, which their builders have been working on for months, can legally rise in the green space.
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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.
Updated 1:14 pm, February 21, 2018: Updated to include comment from the Brooklyn Heights Association president Peter Bray.
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Reasonable discourse

John from Heights says:
Disgusting, really, that the park administrator should gloat. Well known they don't need the money from these towers looming over the park. Just wanted to screw the neighbors and reward deBlasio's run for Presidency (god now). Activists led by Judi Francis, Ren Richmond and the community associations are to be thanked for their courage, stamina and fight for what was right. Sad day for Brooklyn.
Feb. 16, 5:10 pm
Mark from Brooklyn Heights says:
The utterly corrupt triumph again and screw over the millions of people who visit the park for 40 so called affordable (middle income) units. Basically sham benefits in exchange for taking park land ... all done to favor the developers who bribed the mayor and never registered their entity as was required by law. Plus we have waiting lists for our public schools. Screw you mayor.
Feb. 16, 6:02 pm
Jason from Brooklyn heights says:
LOL at these comments above. Unless I'm reading incorrectly it's 100 affordable units not 40. And there was no basis for the lawsuit to begin with. These sites were always designated as housing from the day the park was conceived (go look at the plans)! The fact that the park had extra funds so they reduced the size of the developments AND will provide 100 affordable units in a very expensive neighborhood should be commended. Kudos to deBlasio. And if anyone thinks the mayor favored this developer bc of a $10k donation (as was reported) do you really think the other developers who originally bid on the site didn't make similar donations?! Related, extell etc?! If anything they donated MORE! I never thought my fellow residents could be so foolish.
Feb. 16, 6:08 pm
ujh from downtown brooklyn says:
Well reasoned and said, Jason.
Feb. 16, 6:56 pm
Eddie R. from Bklyn Hts. says:
Just wondering how Jason felt about Fortis's winning out on LICH's death. Was not Fortis a big contributor to our Gov. When the FIX is in nothing anyone does against it can work. Who ever believed the judge would rule against a constructed building at this stage.
Feb. 16, 9:10 pm
David from Red Hook says:
Greed
Feb. 17, 3:15 am
NN from Boerum Hill says:
I'm glad the old racists at the Brooklyn Heights Association lost.
Feb. 17, 7:38 am
Anthony from Carroll Gardens says:
Liberal, progressive racists, bunch of phonies.
Feb. 17, 10:49 am
Lauren from Greenpoint says:
Please, they're pseudo liberals ... also greenwashers, as migratory behavior contributes to overpopulation and climate change.
Feb. 17, 12:28 pm
Lauren from Greenpoint says:
.. like Ryan Holiday.. or the sort who clearcuts upstate forest to build a pseudo Scandinavian natural house
Feb. 17, 12:51 pm
Lauren from Greenpoint says:
The enlargement of Mohawk Mountain Lodge... 'progress'
Feb. 17, 12:58 pm
Harry says:
These people aren't living here to invest themselves in the city. They're here to buy overpriced non-organic flower arrangements and repopulate the suburbs. If the flowers are organic they're probably grown by gigantic families.
Feb. 17, 1:47 pm
Jello says:
There exists a pattern of successive varying degrees of quality of flower shops. The original mom and pop hopeful earnest, the 2nd generation mediocre plasticized flower shop, the progressive inspired flower shop, then its knockoff and finally the street level commercial space apartment rental... Accessible to those with disabilities, but also floodable thanks to 'progress'.
Feb. 17, 1:57 pm
J says:
sisyphean
Feb. 17, 2:52 pm
K says:
watered down
Feb. 17, 3:43 pm
Tal Barzilai from Pleasantville, NY says:
Just like the Atlantic Yards, now being called Pacific Park, it shows once again how a developer can win just by having friends in high places. Why worry about the laws, when all that matters is having someone you know bend or change them for you? As for the claim of affordable housing, I would like to know who it is really affordable for. By that I'm referring to the lower classes, not the upper middle class here.
Feb. 17, 5:49 pm
L says:
Greenland USA. There goes the Amazon.
Feb. 17, 10:11 pm
M says:
Well the upper middle classes are extinguishing themselves. You know, the few who pay substantial taxes to unwittingly subsidize privatization. I wonder if the population growth rate will start to rise.
Feb. 17, 10:51 pm
John from Heights says:
Jason and UJH, You are totally wrong. The original plan that got this park funded (with enough money to build and maintain it, too) had no housing in it whatsoever. None. Nadda. So, ok, they changed that in 2004 but, even then, promised not to build more buildings than they needed to fund the park. So why, if the funds are no longer needed -as has been admitted to by deBlasio himself! - and proven by financial experts and recent tax filings, would you celebrate taking away more park lands for more housing inside this park? Do you really hate the idea of open space and an appropriate entrance for the park at Atlantic Ave? Or do you just hate it when people who have worked hard for this park call out the hypocrisy of this group of elected officials and bureaucrats as the phonies they are? (Hope they are paying you very well...if not, there is always the Russians.)
Feb. 18, 3:16 am
Danny from Gowanus says:
No, its not the Russians they have Sheepshead Bay, Brighton Beach. It's these phony progressive, liberals who act like they give a —— about illegal immigrants, minorities and refugees except when such miscreants get to close to home.
Feb. 18, 8:47 pm
SL from Clinton Hill says:
"Jason", "NN" and "UJH", long time housing boosters, are to be commended for their persistence in wanting fewer park lands for our children. They are the dream team of green thumbed brown shirts, milking and bilking the public of land assets for their own personal gain: two derive their salary from the park, and the other, a place in the self promotion of ill will hall of shame. And just think, the Heights folks and other park advocates were just trying to secure as many park lands for everyone's use, and eliminate this housing blight inside the park, forever. Imagine what could have been, and remember who brought this upon our park. Oh and don't forget the ruined view planes from the promenade either. Same bunch of yo-yos.
Feb. 18, 9:48 pm
James from Greenpoint says:
For now the trouble is no longer big families, but swarms of small ones who pressume themselves to be harmless. And then there are those who take advantage of the compromised situation. The was river and there was land and our leaders, even those who fancy themselves as being responsible, can nolonger see up from down. Take Levin for example. He is complicit in the demolition of a well made Greenpoint library. The library had empty bookshelves and had been turned into a daycare center. Now there will be a bigger one in its place, in the name of books and most horridly the environment. Squeezing NJ into NYC, but NJ is still there and spreading.
Feb. 19, 10:12 am
Nancy from Heights says:
The corrupt socialist DeBlasio is ensuring the demise of this once great city. Congrats to the people who couldn’t be bothered to vote him out. We are now one step closer to Detroit, kids. Enjoy uour high crime, projects and plummeting property values, liberals.
Feb. 19, 11:54 am
Suburban —— Child of White Flighter from Westchester says:
I want to be a New Yorker. I want to be you. You're not dying off anytime soon and Miami is all full so I'm going to brick over your windows and make you pay for it. I've some carrots if that makes you feel better about the loss of your life and total planetary destruction.
Feb. 19, 1:45 pm
Joey says:
Too many f'n people. Pun intended.
Feb. 19, 3:52 pm
Morris from Mill Basin says:
All of you who commented above me are worthless scum.
Feb. 19, 5:01 pm
Joey says:
And what does that make you? A puddle?
Feb. 19, 8:53 pm

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