Proponents of the ever-promised, never-received Bushwick Inlet Park had some small hope last month, after the city offered the owner of destroyed CitiStorage site, Norman Brodsky, $100 million to acquire the 11 acres that stood between park dream and park reality. But $100 million is apparently a small pittance to pay for
prime real estate a sad pile of ashes, and it appears Brodsky's put the land up for public auction instead.
Indeed, a bid call has been put out for so-called "One N11th" by real estate company Cushman & Wakefield, advertising a "unique opportunity to construct a one-of-a-kind retail and office complex with unobstructed views of Manhattan on the coveted North Brooklyn riverfront." Brodsky told DNAinfo neither the city's bid nor park advocate estimates of the land's worth are high enough.
"Good start but they need to get to fair value," he said. "We're on the water surrounded by parks what do you think that's worth?" Brodsky has previously claimed the land is worth $500 million.
The Bloomberg administration promised a 28-acre park to Williamsburg residents after they rezoned the waterfront in 2005, but later argued they had no funding for it. Brodsky had reportedly hoped to sell the CitiStorage site to them but said the city claimed they couldn't afford to buy it; there were rumors at the time, though, that Brodsky was trying to gouge them on the price. The city has since managed to purchase 16 acres worth of the proposed parkland, and park advocates Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park have been pushing the city to lay out cash for the rest of it—the city announced the $100 million bid last month.
Now, Brodsky seems to have swatted away the city's offer, a move Steve Chesler of Friends of Bushwick Park called "obnoxious." Chesler told Gothamist, "The city put $100 million worth of taxpayer money on the table. The owner's been a part of this community for couple decades, he knows the community has been planning a park there. He's not thinking of the greater good of the community."
Chesler added that even if Brodsky manages to sell the land to the developer, area residents would do what they could to make life difficult for new commercial tenants to move in. "The community would be really hostile. It would not be well-received," he said, though that attitude hasn't manage to save the rest of Williamsburg.
Parks advocates are still hoping the park can become reality, thanks to zoning issues and the looming threat of eminent domain seizure by the city, and on Saturday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams plans to join activists on the site for a "sleep-in" to demand Brodsky take the city's offer. Brodsky has until August 8th to accept.