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Report Shows Alternative Revenue for Brooklyn Bridge Park Could Reach Nearly $7 Million

The alternatives to housing draft report was released today

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 bbptestimony@bae1.com. 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.

Clint Padgitt February 23, 2011 at 04:04 AM
This park will be a tremendous asset to New York and will be admired and visited by people from all over the world. It should not be financially dependent on a real estate development (including a 31-story tower) at one end. We can do better than this.
Danny Haszard February 23, 2011 at 03:45 PM
Watchtower group has morphed into a real estate developer posing as a religion. The Watchtower Jehovah's Witnesses has been developing properties in New York City with volunteers for years, and now they are selling all of it at great profit. -- Danny Haszard
CARMEN February 24, 2011 at 02:31 AM
Bklyn needs water space for pedestrians. if a building is there and wants to renovate to housing fine, but no new construction. so many cities in Europe and the US have water view parks that all the world can appreciate. There is a beautiful waterfront park in Erie Basin, but I don't think many people know about it. it is backed with commercial properties. would residential have been better? It is a dead zone with no transportation but more residence bring more transportation. With miles of coastline we need to encourage public use. It is good for the public and good for Bklyn
Solomon Ruffo February 26, 2011 at 10:00 AM
It's SHOCKING to think that this could happen the Watchtower got criticized for their building buying in the 1960's when they were telling the rank and file devoted to 'keep a simple eye' and live like the end was near. HELLO!! It is the frigging 21st century year 2011 and they are doing the cashing in,my grandparents would flip in their graves they gave every last dime for kingdom interest.
Brett Keller April 02, 2011 at 07:54 PM
The Watchtower is a highly profitable business enterprise. I worked at the factory for 2 years and was paid room and board and $14 dollars a month. While there, I was exposed to toxic chemicals, required to do watchman duties and kitchen duties and also to "preach" on the weekends. All the while, the "governing body" members and there minions were living like kings. When I moved up to Watchtower farms in the 1980 decade, they illegally burned the debris from the old 'Ponderosa' in order to build the Pine Bluff Kingdom Hall. This organization believes it is above the law because they believe they are God's only true organization. Tax all religions, including the Watchtower.

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