Brooklyn Bridge Park costs $16 million a year to operate. Every year. The city has put its foot down and said the park needs to come up with the cash without dipping into the city's coffers. Those facts are the heart of the debate still raging over the future of the nascent park and its surroundings. Now, with the city authorizing Bay Area Economics to review nine non-condo alternatives by February, things are finally, maybe, a touch closer to settled.

To sum up the situation: On the one you've got proponents pushing the park to build luxury condos on its edge to offset the maintenance costs and on the other hand you've got people presenting ideas like selling naming rights to the park or creating a Business Improvement District. A third group keeps hoping that the nearby Jehovah's Witness complex will save the day when it is sold.

One option that won't be considered anymore is State Senator Daniel Squadron's proposal to capture a portion of taxes from nearby properties whose value would increase when the park finishes opening (rather than collecting from high-rises built on the park). That idea was rejected as it would mean that technically the park would be using city tax money, and the park is not allowed to consider options that use city funds.

Not to go all against the grain, but we increasingly don't see what the big deal is with paying for the park with the towers. As a number of people pointed out in a recent community meeting on the issue, it isn't like the buildings are going to be in the park, they'll be on the edge. And having people living next to a park isn't exactly a bad thing—it means more eyes on the space at any given time and assures the park users during the colder months. A BID might work, but the businesses nearby aren't exactly the Verizons and Bank of Americas who support places like Bryant Park. And it is really unlikely that any of the proposed ideas could pull in the cash that those buildings could. Seriously, you could name it "Microsoft Bing Brooklyn Bridge Park brought to you by Ticketmaster" and you'd still come up short.