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Condo, Hotel Plans Unveiled for Brooklyn Bridge Park

The city's biggest developers are vying for the chance to build luxury high-rise condos and a hotel on the Brooklyn waterfront.

Brooklyn residents spoke out on Monday night against developers' plans for  high-rise luxury condos and a hotel at Brooklyn Bridge Park, according to the New York Post.

Seven of the city’s biggest developers, including Robert A. Levine, Toll Brothers, Two Trees Management and Extell Development, unveiled their plans for 180 condo units and a 225-room hotel on the waterfront, according to the report.

The plan to build private housing and a hotel is the latest bid to fund the renovations of the park, which have been remodeled and re-opened in sections. Last December, offering up alternatives for funding, such as seasonal recreation, vendor payments or a small tax on local residents.

"By creating housing as a revenue generating model, what it does is privatize the park,” said Council Member Steve Levin last year.

The second public hearing in December, though, who enjoyed use of the park, and believed that without the proper funding, maintenance and the continued renovations could not continue.

"The city should take care of its own parks. But that is not going to be done,” said Ray Levin of Brooklyn Heights, last year.

At Monday’s meeting, the Post reported that according to officials, construction on the high-rise buildings and hotel would begin in 2013 and be finished by 2015.

tim maguire November 24, 2011 at 11:39 AM
As my wife and I marvel at the park, we often wonder if it will be possible to maintain over time. Maybe this is the only way to guarantee funding. But I hope the people making the decision recognize that even 1 luxury condo will fundamentally change the project to the detriment of the larger community. And it's not going away, it won't be torn down once they have the money they need. It's a permanent solution to a temporary problem and it would be a real shame if they proceed without considering the long-term ramifications.
mykelde November 25, 2011 at 02:39 AM
I am shocked so shocked that real estate developers are circling the waters around Bklyn Bridge Park. it comes as no surprize that they & some brooklynites are for a luxury hotel and housing ( which most Brooklynites can't afford). After observing the Atlantic Yards fiasco does anyone really believe in any thing they say ? & who decided that parks have to pay for themselves ? Our elected officials -- they have failed us miserably. the mayor? 15 million is pocket change to him & he won't have to look out his window & see what a mess is being created. Perhaps we should just bite the bullet & charge parkgoers a fee ? ( this is just me being sarcastic). The park is on its' way to being a beautiful addition to Brooklyn so why are some people in a rush to destroy it?
Michael Brown November 25, 2011 at 05:11 PM
Developers are not circling the waters; the City is requesting this.
Tom L November 26, 2011 at 05:04 AM
Developers may not have come to the city with the idea but they will gladly compete for the chance to build luxury condos and a hotel, especially if they're offered tax breaks thus subsidizing costs and increasing profits. No park in the 5 boroughs contains private residences or a hotel and Brooklyn Bridge Park should be no different. Indeed, in this respect, there is no justifiable reason for this park to differ from all other city parks. Whatever it now costs per square foot to maintain a park in Brooklyn is the rate at which the Parks Dept's budget should increase for Brooklyn Bridge Park. The source for that increase should come from the same place as the rest of the budget.
Giacomo November 26, 2011 at 06:58 PM
For hose who haven't been following the development of the "park" from the start, it is and was a real estate scam from the get go. It's an ingenious plan to force large scale housing and retail building on the waterfront at the public's tax expense. Much the same way that Ratner and Pataki ripped off the tax payers who basically provided millions in subsidies so a few speculators could get richer building Atlantic Yards and destroying a neighborhood that many homeowners have been rejuvenating for years. The design and build an overly complicated and thus expensive to maintain "park"with the proviso that it must pay for itself was used to justify their huge condo/hotel & retail development that the neighborhood would never have stood for otherwise. They also ripped off the tax payers for millions to basically make One BBP condos more attractive to buyers. You think if I wanted to sell my house but I had a paved lot instead of a yard I could just ask the mayor & gov to build me a nice lawn with a little koi pond before I listed it they would say "sure how big do you want it?"! It's a scam plain and simple and every neighbor should be screaming at their elected officials to stop this now and add the park to the city's park system. Period.
Phyllis November 26, 2011 at 10:14 PM
The waterfront belongs to people of Brooklyn, and should not be allowed to be stolen by millionaire developers. Having worked against the AY megadevelopment from its inception, I was heartbroken at the resulting loss of democracy as people were forced from their homes and an out-of-proportion monstrosity is defiling our precious Brooklyn landscape. There have to be solutions other than enormously wealthy people controlling land, views, access. We are sick of the ruling 1/10th of 1%. There should be ongoing brainstorming to come up with solutions. Brooklyn is a mecca for astoundingly creative people. We love the park. It is a lovely place. We can't let it be usurped by a real estate scam.
mykelde November 26, 2011 at 10:35 PM
I'm sure what you've written makes too much sense to our "elected" offficials.
Michael Brown November 26, 2011 at 10:46 PM
It is actually not true that no park in the city has private residences, but none that have been built recently have them, and none have used them as a financing mechanism. The city took the park with the caveat that they would not pay for it, so this is what we get. It should be paid for out of the city's general fund, but, since they don't want to cut other areas or increase taxes, this is what we're left with.
Michael Brown November 26, 2011 at 10:47 PM
It is not a scam; it is a financing mechanism for the park. Again, what are the alternatives?
Giacomo November 27, 2011 at 09:49 PM
Just because Bloomberg says the city doesn't have or can't reallocate funds we should believe him? He's ALWAYS on the side of his few millionaire developer cronies. Conflict of interest much? He didn't have any problem finding 6 million bucks for the ridiculous waterfall installations that were a temporary gimmick, and damaged the environment, for instance (and what construction co built and removed them I wonder). Why is the burden of finding alternate financing on the public? Seems to be plenty of money in his transportation Queen, Sadik Khan's DOT budget to turn our street transportation system into some sort Frogger Simulation, for another example. Mayor Billionaire, whose business prowess and connections made it imperative to have an illegal 3rd term, because nobody was as qualified as he to run the city, can't even find partial corporate funding without building, at the very least? Please...it is a scam to use taxpayer money to subsidize a few well connected developers plans. The forcing the "self financing park" scheme IS the scam. It then makes the over-development a fait accompli.
Michael Brown November 27, 2011 at 11:47 PM
So then the outrage should have been years ago, when the plan was announced, not now, when it is coming to fruition. I, for one, believe the park should be paid for out of the general fund, but if you accept the premise that the park was accepted under, many years ago, that the park should pay for itself (or, more accurately, not be paid for by the city), then there simply aren't very many options. On your sidebar, JSK's traffic calming programs actually cost very very little and have sharply decreased deaths while increasing street equity. Better examples of city waste might be the City Time contract, or perhaps the reduction of the City's taxable base through haphazard downzonings.
Giacomo November 28, 2011 at 11:06 PM
There was and continues to be outrage over the self financed park scam. It was NOT decided by the voting public but rather a few politicians. Why defend it if you dn't agree with it? Why can't the plan be revamped in the face of overwhelming opostion (99% of all comments from local residents that I've read since this scheme was announced are against it). Big old sidebar warning.... JSK's traffic 'calming"? Define very very little expense? I've seen a huge pattern of build it (neck downs) or paint it (bike lanes) and see what happens. Then they have to be replaced, cause traffic accidents etc. And Your statistics would be from the same DOT sources whose traffic "studies" have been accused of being cooked to justify more "calming" and bike lanes? Would that be similar to the DOE's test scores witch Bloomy 's been bragging about for years and now we find out they are bogus? And now that JSK has gauntleted practically every major street in NYC (Bwy below Houston is ONE lane (let that sink in ...NYC...Broadway..1 lane) during peak hours for instance, Bloomberg will be able to site new "studies" showing how congested the traffic is to justify his next push for the regressive tax of congestion pricing (warned you about the sidebar)>
Michael Brown November 29, 2011 at 03:38 AM
First shall be last: Congestion pricing would be the best thing to happen to New York (and Brooklyn) since we got rid of the system where all Boroughs had an equal vote. Now, congestion pricing, coupled with Albany offsetting that income with funding reductions, well, that's a different story. And JSK's infrastructure costs pennies compared to what is spent repairing the Gowanus Expressway every single day. The point of bicycle infrastructure, and returning space to pedestrians (remember, motorists are a minority in the city, and Brooklyn specifically) is to create incentives to encourage people to walk or bike, thus actually reducing congestion, and helping those who NEED to drive, not those who CHOOSE to drive. Now, as for the BBP plan, why should this be decided by the public? Direct democracy was done away with a LONG time ago, for good reason: nothing ever gets done. While I do not agree with the original plan, I also do not see the point in protesting unless I see a viable alternative. And no one has suggested a viable, equitable, legal alternative to this plan. Until someone does, I see no point in railing against a deal that was done years ago. I didn't like Atlantic Yards, but that train has left the station, so to speak, so why cry over spilled milk in either case?
Giacomo November 29, 2011 at 04:51 PM
Mr Brown says: "Congestion pricing would be the best thing to happen to NY (and Brooklyn)" "Now, as for the BBP plan, why should this be decided by the public?Direct democracy was done away with a LONG time ago, for good reason: nothing ever gets done." REALLY? Michael, Really? Well then congratulations...I am actually speechless (and evidently powerless in your little suburban dream version of our once great city). PS. Hey look my speech is back! "returning space to pedestrians" In what imaginary history of NYC were the streets "stolen" from the public, I'd like to know.
Michael Brown November 29, 2011 at 05:20 PM
So you believe that park plans and minor decisions such as where in the budget park funding should come from should be decided by a vote of the people? How would anything ever work that way? Take about expansion of government! And I do not understand the congestion pricing-suburban connection. Congestion pricing only works where there is value to street space and time, and that doesn't work in the suburbs, only in a city where space is as valuable as NYC. As for street equity, look at the past history of the city's streets: carts, horses, bikes, pedestrians, trolleys, SLOW traffic. It's only in the last 50 years that streets got turned into speedways for cars, eliminating all other users from the equation.
Giacomo November 29, 2011 at 06:14 PM
"Minor decisions such as park funding"? This is a major issue that affects many brooklyn neighborhoods around the park. A few politicians have given away millions to begin the park so that it's benefits can be turned over to private developers. It's a major give away to a few rich well connected developers at OUR tax expense. The park should be for the public, paid for out of the cities budget period and we should be able to have a simple vote since our voices are falling on deaf or should I say previously purchased ears. (continued.....)
Giacomo November 29, 2011 at 06:20 PM
Your worried about congestion? You think tourists and new owners are gonna ride on horseback to these huge hotel/condo developments? Your complaining that streets have been "taken" from the people, but make us pay for a park and then give it away to developers, ruin the views and character of historic brooklyn neighborhoods,that's fine? Penalize small businesses who will see a huge increase in the cost of trucking there goods in/out of the city? Less customers? Why do you think the small business, almost all of them, object to these ridiculous pedestrian malls when the streets in front of there shops are closed to traffic.Worst crises since the Depression, many jobless & those with middle and lower class jobs are being paid less than they were 15 years ago, and now they get slapped with the regressive tax of congestion pricing? And you really believe that revenue is going to be used wisely by the MTA....THE MTA...to improve mass transit? I've been living in here for 27 years, I've never been struck by a car, never had a problem walking, CROSSING AT THE LIGHTS, or taking the subway.Driving when I must has become a nightmare because of JSK's DOT "improvements". Good luck riding your bike to your job at the pushcart factory in the dead of winter when your 50, 60 70 years old. This bizarre utopian dream of a car-less city is insane. There's way more bike access then bikers need in this city. And forgive me if I don't believe any "studies" provided by the DOT or Transp. Alts.
Michael Brown November 29, 2011 at 06:30 PM
It's sort of pointless to discuss transportation policy in this forum, but the point you're missing is this: congestion pricing will actually HELP drivers. The reason they don't realize this is that people find it hard to think beyond the immediate. All they can think of is "I'm going to have to pay $5 (or whatever the toll is) to drive over a bridge that is free now", where the planners and economists will look at the situation and realize that by implementing a cordon toll, they are actually saving that same driver $10 (or whatever the value turns out to be) in time, frustration, parking costs, etc... It is the same mentality that leads small business owners to think "oh god, I see all my customers driving now, if they take out a parking space, I'll be ruined!", rather than the policy maker's mentality of "if we replace this parking space with 10 bike racks, there will be the opportunity to 10x as many customers to come as a single passenger parking space". No one is arguing for a car-free city, but I for one would like to see a city where the 50, 60, 70 year old has a choice as to their mode of safe transit, and the choices are equitable in terms of safety, economics and speed. Bike infrastructure is pathetic in NY (still), and building more bike infrastructure (cheaper, easier, longer lasting than transit or auto infrastructure) creates induced demand, which in turn creates more cyclists, which gets people out of cars, which in turn, makes driving easier and faster!
Michael Brown November 29, 2011 at 06:33 PM
Now, do I believe that a one park's budget is small potatoes in a ~$60 billion budget? In a word, yes.
Giacomo November 29, 2011 at 07:53 PM
"congestion pricing will actually HELP drivers. The reason they don't realize this is that people find it hard to think beyond the immediate. All they can think of is "I'm going to have to pay $5 (or whatever the toll is) to drive over a bridge that is free now", where the planners and economists will look at the situation and realize that by implementing a cordon toll, they are actually saving that same driver $10 (or whatever the value turns out to be) in time, frustration, parking costs, etc..." Yeah I guess I'm one of THOSE dumb regular folks who rely on my common sense and real life experience rather than a politician or economists forecast and promises. It's my own fault for not drinkin' the koolaide when they passed it out I guess. (I heard it was delicious)
Michael Brown November 29, 2011 at 08:50 PM
And THAT, in a nutshell, is the tragedy of the commons. http://www.garretthardinsociety.org/articles/art_tragedy_of_the_commons.html
Giacomo November 29, 2011 at 09:20 PM
Garrett Hardin huh..this is the guy you've hitched your wagon to?: "Hardin's last book The Ostrich Factor: Our Population Myopia, a warning about the threat of overpopulation to the Earth's sustainable economic future, called for coercive constraints on "unqualified reproductive rights" and argued that affirmative action is a form of racism. "In 1974, he published the article "Living on a Lifeboat", arguing that contributing food to help the Ethiopian famine would add to overpopulation. Despite his lifelong insistence that population must be curbed to avoid disaster, Hardin himself had four children. "In 1963, Hardin drew heavy criticism from the left for his occasional indulgence in theories that may justify genocide on the grounds of ecological balance. His thesis was defended by his readings of the early Christian philosopher Tertullian, who believed that famine and war were good for society as a whole as a means of solving the problem of overpopulation and resource-sharing. If Hardin were still breathing he'd probably be Bloomy's deputy mayor!
Michael Brown November 29, 2011 at 09:36 PM
Wow, you can look at and quote Wikipedia without reading the original article? Amazing. Do I believe in a lot of what Hardin wrote? No. Do I believe that the Tragedy of the Commons is illustrative of street pricing and game theory and why it is necessary to reference when debating congestion pricing? Yes.
Giacomo November 29, 2011 at 09:43 PM
Oh I read the entire article, that's what piqued my interest into who Hardin was. I especially liked the part of the article that mentioned the mayor in Mass covering up the parking meters for Xmas which Hardin said could be interpreted as a plus for his re-election campaign! Substitute NYC for Mass and bike lanes for meters LOL. And he states in said article that park access must be restricted to save parks from THE PUBLIC, no mention of the threat to parks from business & industry at all.

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