Wednesday, December 1, 2010

No Housing In Brooklyn Bridge Park Critics Assert Once Again

No housing in Brooklyn Bridge Park was once again the strong message voiced in reaction to the Bloomberg administration's plan to put residential buildings inside the controversial park. Dozens of Brooklyn residents, environmental groups, and concerned citizens spoke out last night at a public meeting held at Long Island College Hospital to discuss alternative funding ideas to the housing plan.

In 2002, without a single public hearing, Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Pataki entered into Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that required Brooklyn Bridge Park be "financially self sufficient," with annual maintenance and operation expenses funded by revenue generated from the park. This MOU was a re-interpretation of the community's commitment to help support park operating costs. The Mayor has further reinterpreted the MOU to include that revenue generated from the park must also cover certain capital improvement expenditures as well.

In March 2010, the City entered into a non-binding agreement to create a Subcommittee on Alternatives to Housing (SAH) to study financial alternatives. A consultant, Bay Area Economics, was hired at up to $100,000 to study alternatives. The consultants' report on possible alternate funding sources is due by mid-February. Only two of the six SAH board members were present last night to face the public which prompted some to further question the City's commitment to this issue. (absent board members sent emissaries)

A second public meeting will be held on December 9, 2010, from 6pm - 8pm at Francis College, 180 Remsen Street at Founders Hall Auditorium, 1st floor. (Photo: Geoffrey Croft/NYC Park Advocates) Click on image to enlarge. – Geoffrey Croft


Dozens of Brooklyn residents spoke out Tuesday night against plans to put residential buildings inside Brooklyn Bridge Park, according to N1 News.

Plans have been in the works for six buildings whose rent would help finance the park's maintenance and upkeep.

The park has to pay for itself, under the terms of a deal between the city and state.

During Tuesday night's public hearing in Cobble Hill, more than 100 people offered alternative funding sources.

They say building inside the park is a slippery slope.

"This is the first time in the city or the state, there will be private luxury housing inside the borders of a public park. Once you put private houses inside a public park, that land is gone forever," said Judi Francis of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund.

Opponents say cutting bureaucracy would cut maintenance costs.

One more public hearing is scheduled for next week, and a consultants' report on possible alternate funding sources is due by mid-February.

Read/View More:

Brooklyn Bridge Park Condo Plan Draws Fire

NY1 News - December 1, 2010


  1. Thank you as always, Walk in the Park, for your reporting. It should be noted that most of the participants that night - overwhelming majority - spoke in outrage that private luxury condos will be situated on public land inside a public park that was to be used for public recreation. It was also interesting to see certain people who have deep interests in private real estate come out as if they are "locals" to speak on behalf of housing. One guy, Moishe Indig, has been cited by the Village Voice as the number one slum lord in NYC! ( And friend of Mayor Bloomberg, the architect of placing highrise luxury condo towers inside our public parks. Another guy, Chris Havens, works for the DUMBO real estate developer Walentas. Another gal, Nancy Webster (along with her board trustee Mark Baker), is the head of a private conservancy who's livelyhood is dependent on the park and towing the line with the economic development team who allow her to work with them in this park. Anyone smell some rats?

  2. Well done, Walk in the Park. Very few still remember (least of all our Mayor) that the original MOU said only that "all revenues derived from commercial activities in Brooklyn Bridge Park will be used for its support and maintenance" and NOT that all maintenance and capital costs of Brooklyn Bridge Park must be paid for by revenues generated in the Park. Unfortunately Mayor Bloomberg evidently wants to leave New York City with a legacy of a Brooklyn Bridge "Park" which is nothing more than a waterfront development lined with luxury towers full of wealthy condominium owners instead of the world class public park it should be. Senator Squadron and Assembyperson Millman must veto this travesty of a park. It is a shame that our Mayor does not instruct his Subcommittee on Alternatives to Housing to listen to those who have long fought and are still fighting for a truly public Brooklyn Bridge Park.