The city has issued a request for proposals to finally develop a pair of vacant lots at Pier 6 at Brooklyn Bridge Park, to the great displeasure of NIMBYs and parkgoers afraid the new housing will negatively impact their ability to enjoy the green space.
A petition, which refers to the development as having "gone awry," argues that "parks are for 'people and plants,' not skyscrapers and shadows from skyscrapers." It argues also that residents at the southern end of the park are receiving unfair treatment compared to the northern end, where condos will be several stories shorter. So far, the petition has garnered around 830 signatures.
Zoning for development was approved in 2002, which rankled NIMBYs at the time despite the idea that much of the revenue generated by the luxury apartments would go toward park maintenance. And Mayor de Blasio's version will also include a sizable chunk of affordable housing.
"We want neighborhoods that reflect the diversity of this borough and meet the needs of its working people," Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen said in a statement. "This is a unique opportunity to see this world-class park built and sustained for decades to come, while at the same time providing opportunities for middle-income workers who increasingly cannot afford to live in Brooklyn. It’s a win-win for the community and the borough."
The two towers, to be located near Atlantic Avenue and Furman Street, will be up to 31 and 15 stories tall, with the idea being that 30 percent of 430 possible apartments be allocated for affordable housing. The plan is in keeping with the mayor's goal of building and preserving 200,000 units of such housing over the next decade.
Still, several elected officials expressed their disappointment with the plan. Congressmember Nydia Velazquez, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Assemblymember Joan Millman, and City Councilmembers Brad Lander and Steve Levin released the following joint statement:
We are disappointed with this rushed RFP to continue the Bloomberg Administration plan for housing towers in Brooklyn Bridge Park. As we fight to save Long Island College Hospital across the street, we must plan more thoughtfully for the future of the neighborhood.
We have long urged alternatives to the Bloomberg Administration plan for housing at Pier 6, and are working to save healthcare services for the entire borough, create a first-rate park with great public access, address severe overcrowding at our neighborhood schools, and build or preserve a diverse mix of housing. We are open to growth, but this proposal does not meet the neighborhood's diverse needs.
Other complaints are slightly less salient. Lori Schomp, who started the petition, told DNAinfo that as a runner, her enjoyment of the park will be personally impacted.
“When I come down Atlantic [Avenue], I’m going to be looking at a huge skyscraper instead of looking at the sunset,” she said.