Work on Bridge ‘Park’ to start today (no, really)

Part of ‘Park’ will open next year; But other parts are postponed
State planners have put out new renderings for the proposed Brooklyn Bridge Park waterfront condo and open space development along the Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO coastline. The new building on the right of the rendering is a hotel.
Michael Van Valkenburg Associates

The construction of Brooklyn Bridge Park is supposed to begin today.

After years of delays, legal battles and false starts, park builders say they will start building permanent recreational space on Pier 1, an area for passive recreation that is just south of the Brooklyn Bridge, work that officials say will be completed by the end of 2009.

“Work begins on Monday,” said Regina Myer, president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation, at a board meeting on Friday afternoon.

Myer also proudly told the board that work will commence in January on the playground, dog run and concessions on Pier 6, the controversial $300-plus-million park and condo development’s southern end near the foot of Atlantic Avenue.

Like Pier 1, Pier 6 calls for passive recreation such as lawns and pathways. Piers 2 and 3 — which comprised the bulk of the development’s ballfields and covered court sports — remain off the table and are not currently part of the construction timetable.

Myer also told her board on Friday that work would begin on an embattled plaza beneath the Brooklyn Bridge next month, though it is unclear if that is possible, given the city’s insistence that it needs the land for repairs to the Brooklyn Bridge.

As such, Myer admitted that her workers “will not fully finish the area under the Brooklyn Bridge, but … will do as much temporary landscaping as possible.”

That will allow for “interim” use of the site — possibly including highly publicized designs for a green market and ice-skating rink — until the Department of Transportation repairs the bridge, which they have said in the past will take years.

Prior ”interim” uses included the floating pool two summers ago and a mini lanscaped area and beer-and-taco bar on Pier 1 this summer.

There have also been concerts in the state-controlled area that is slated to become the sprawling, 1.3-mile ribbon of greenspace along the DUMBO and Brooklyn Heights waterfront. The development will also include luxury housing, a hotel and other commercial operations, features that opponents argue make Brooklyn Bridge Park a “park” in name only.

Officials from the Department of Transportation were not able to comment when reached late Friday afternoon.

More from Around New York