How much should it cost to strew condos alongside the 82 public acres of Brooklyn Bridge Park? In 2012, it was worth $42.5 million, when the city leased the space to Toll Brothers for 97 years. But the Wall Street Journal reports that just ten weeks into construction of the Pierhouse condos, 40 of the 108 units are in contract, despite Toll Brothers raising their prices on the units six times to a tune of $503.8 million. So how much is this land really worth? New York taxpayers have more than three generations to think it over.
Last weekend one of the still-under-construction condos set a Brooklyn real estate record. A buyer signed on to pay $11.18 million for a four bedroom, 5,000-square foot penthouse. At $1,800 a square foot (there's also a 3,400 square-foot patio & garden) this is $400 more per square foot than Toll Brothers initially believed they'd be able to get.
Toll Brothers and their partners, Starwood Capital Group, spent $280 million on the condos and a glass-bound hotel—all spitting distance from the planned Giant DUMBO Yuppie Mall. Through fees and taxes, the developments are supposed to generate a little more than $3 million each year to maintain the park, which has operating expenses of around $16 million.
“Without this private investment, this park would have never happened,” New York City's president for Toll Brothers told the Times last year. “That’s what’s so fantastic about this.”
So fantastic that two more condo buildings are scheduled to be built on the site. State Senator Daniel Squadron opposes their construction, citing the City's real estate gift to Toll Brothers as "yet another reason we shouldn't put any more housing in Brooklyn Bridge Park."
Fred Kent, the president of the Project for Public Spaces, suggests that if the park isn't being further utilized to increase the already suffocating rent burden on New Yorkers, it should serve "people who live in inner Brooklyn."
Inner Brooklyn—like, Cobble Hill?