Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Brooklyn Bridge Park Maintenance Woes/City Secretly Cuts Condo Funding

The city refuses to allocate funds to pay the park's daily upkeep. (Photo By: cbreuk via flickr)


The city issued a dire warning yesterday that Brooklyn Bridge Park's lush green lawns will soon go brown unless more high-rise condos are built around the public oasis, according to the New York Post.

The news comes as honchos overseeing the 85-acre project said they'll soon begin gathering proposals from developers interested in building 180 condos and a 225-room hotel at Pier 1 in Brooklyn Heights, one of the few finished portions of the waterfront park. The officials said yesterday that without revenues generated by both developments, and potentially hundreds of other condo units planned, the long-delayed park might never be completed, and its existing 20 acres will suffer greatly.

"The lawns look good now, but we have to pick up the work or it will soon be covered in weeds," said city Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe during a meeting of the city's Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp.

Mean while the city quietly slashed the main source of revenue for Brooklyn Bridge Park, revealing only this week that a luxury condo that funds the park’s maintenance budget is now paying $1 million less — leaving a gaping hole in revenue at a time when planners are struggling to raise even more money for upkeep. One Brooklyn Bridge Park, a high-rise within the park’s footprint, is supposed to pay $3 million annually, but the Department of Finance recently granted the condo’s developer a reduction in those payments, according to The Brooklyn Paper.

Park officials first became aware of the secret payment reduction in October, after the park’s 2011 budget had already been approved, said Brooklyn Bridge Park spokeswoman Ellen Ryan.

But the public — and even elected officials — first became aware of the cut on Tuesday, after it was mentioned at a board of directors meeting.

It was revealed yesterday that the city pulled eleven million dollars in capital funds while elected officials fight over how to pay for the park's maintenance. The city refuses to allocate funds to pay the park's daily upkeep.

Read More:

New York Post - June 15, 2011 - By Rich Calder

The Brooklyn Paper - June 15, 2011 - By Kate Briquelet

A Walk In The Park - June 14, 2011

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