In a step forward for opponents of private housing within Brooklyn Bridge Park, a draft report was released today that said alternative revenue streams could generate between $3 and nearly 7 million dollars annually to pay for the park.
The draft report was revealed at a Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation meeting at the Brooklyn Heights branch of the Brooklyn Public Library.
"This is the beginning of a new chapter," said Judi Francis of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund. "We've known for years that you can support the park without housing."
In December, after two public comment sessions (see and ), the park's . But in today's report, only eight were considered.
The Watchtower Properties, the soon-to-be-residential Jehovah's Witnesses buildings, were not fully examined because actual financial information is currently unavailable. The properties are tax exempt because they are a part of a religious entity.
State Senator Daniel Squadron said in a statement today that the Watchtower properties are the "most important alternative revenue source."
Other sources of revenue that were studied include a Park Improvement District (PID) fee, applied to residential and commercial properties within a 1/4 mile radius of the park, recreation facilities, events, concessions, commercial real estate, sponsorships, fundraising and parking.
For Squadron, who has been continuosuly working with the community on finding alternatives to housing, the report was positive.
"This draft shows it’s possible to fund the park without imposing a new fee on Brooklynites or building new on-site luxury housing," he said in a statement.
Public comment is being accepted until April 23. Written testimony should be submitted to firstname.lastname@example.org. A public hearing of the Committee on Alternatives to Housing is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Monday, March 31 at the Saint Francis College Auditorium in Brooklyn Heights.