Wednesday, March 10, 2010

City Get Its Wish - State Park Funding Mechanism For Brooklyn Bridge Park

Rendering of the 1.3 mile Brooklyn Bridge Park. The park is currently under construction.


For months the City has been angling to take control of the much delayed and much maligned Brooklyn Bridge Park project from the State.  It seems they finally got their wish. 

The new deal will hand over control of the former City/State project to the Bloomberg administration. By insisting that the park be "self-sustaining"  as a condition for the city taking control, the administration successfully achieved one of its most sought after goals–to inherit NY State's funding scheme its employes for the maintenance and operation of its public parkland. Much of the funding for the operation of NY State's parks is paid from concession and fee revenue. One of the most contentious issues with Brooklyn Bridge Park is the inclusion of housing that the government insists is necessary to pay for the park's operation.  

The project has ballooned to more than $ 350 million dollars and has been dramatically altered from its original concept. 

After months of wrangling, state officials have agreed to let New York City finish building — and paying for — Brooklyn Bridge Park, in the hope of speeding its progress, according to the New York Times.

A small portion of the park has been completed, but its opening and further construction — atop a ribbon of piers on the Brooklyn side of the East River — have been delayed while the state and city sparred over control. City officials worried that the state’s fiscal troubles could stymie the project, and state officials appeared reluctant to surrender bragging rights for the park.

Under the agreement, expected to be approved on Wednesday by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation, a state-city body, the Bloomberg administration would contribute $55 million to the $350 million project in the next fiscal year. That would allow stalled work to begin on Pier 2, designated for sports.

“Now is the time when we need to make sure the long-term funding for these types of projects is in place,” said Robert C. Lieber, deputy mayor for economic development. “So we’ll step up and fund it, and with that we want the responsibility for working with everyone and getting it done.”

Peter Davidson, the state’s chief development official and chairman of the park corporation, said that with major construction ready to begin, it made sense to put the city in charge. “You’d just rather have one government body at the point of making decisions,” he said.

Read More:

New York Times - March 9, 2010  - Diane Cardwell 

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