When Mayor Bloomberg persuaded the local community to go along with rezoning the Williamsburg-Greenpoint waterfront district from manufacturing to residential back in 2005, he sweetened the deal with big promises of idyllic waterfront parkland to placate the locals who couldn't afford to live in the fancy condos on the river's edge. Well, promises, promises: Because of budget difficulties, the community is now being told the city doesn't have the money to buy the property to complete Bushwick Inlet Park. These are hard times—even Bloomberg himself has to make do with a modest vacation cottage out on Long Island.
Bloomberg spokesman Andrew Brent said in a statement that the city "has purchased two properties around Bushwick Inlet for the development of parks and has the option to buy a third. While discussions remain open on the potential purchase of the Citi Storage site, the city's current budget issues are well known."
A spokesperson for the Parks Department tells us the project is "not shelved," but in a letter to concerned parks advocates, the department wrote, "The City currently has no funding for the acquisition of this site… and the City has no schedule for the acquisition of this site at this time." Now everyone's pissed. In a letter to the mayor, politicians and community leaders blasted Bloomberg for what they see as a "shocking breach of trust," and Assemblyman Joe Lentol (D-Williamsburg) tells the Daily News,"It was an ironclad commitment that they made on open space." (Part of the park, between North 9th and North 10th Streets, is already under construction.)
Citistorage’s Norm Brodsky owns a warehouse at North 10th Street, and was hoping to sell the site to the city, but he's reportedly been told by the Bloomberg administration that there's no money to buy it. Brodsky’s allies tell Brooklyn Paper "he’s trapped because the property has been rezoned for parkland and he cannot unload the parcel to a private developer." But the mayor's office is hinting that Brodksy is trying to gouge them—Brent, Bloomberg's spokesman, says, "We will only enter agreements that are fair for taxpayers."