In an agreement the city hopes will help plug the $11 million hole it left in the Brooklyn Bridge Park budget last month and finance the $16 million a year it will take to keep the park running, limited private housing will be built around the park near John Street and by Pier 6. The John Street high-rise will be 40,000 square feet smaller, and the Pier 6 buildings may also be shrunk or eliminated altogether. What's the catch? The Times reports that State Senator Daniel Squadron and Assemblywoman Joan Millman lose their veto power over the developments.
Not surprisingly, the Mayor who wanted to develop on a Superfund site was pleased with the deal, and in a press release lauded the deal as a way continue to "transform all 85 acres into one of the world's greatest waterfront parks…we've come to an agreement on a long-term funding plan for it's maintenance so the park would be self-sustaining." Maybe! Until more housing units are needed to finance any unforeseen budget cuts that could befall the park, which is only a quarter finished.
Geoffrey Croft with NYC Park Advocates quotes an activist who didn't seem pleased that their local pols would cede so much ground: "They said 'no more housing,' especially Daniel, who won on that platform, and the first opportunity to use they veto, they are blinking." Although other alternatives were pitched, none really seemed feasible: a BID was too expensive, advertisements are ugly, and no one likes paying fees to use facilities."
We welcome our fancy high-rise overlords, so long as they don't interfere with our movie screenings and Grimaldi's pies at dusk.