The Real Deal New York

$250M could save wooden piles supporting Brooklyn Bridge Park: report

RAL and Oliver Realty's Pier 6 towers would help foot the bill

November 12, 2015 02:30PM

Rendering of the Pier 6 development at Brooklyn Bridge Park (credit: ODA)

Rendering of the Pier 6 development at Brooklyn Bridge Park (credit: ODA New York)

A new report recommends that Brooklyn Bridge Park pay $250 million to protect 10,000 wooden piles before they deteriorate, a bill that will be partially covered by development planned for Pier 6.

The report, commissioned by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp. and conducted by engineering firm Ch2m, suggests that waiting until the wooden piles that support the park fail is an ineffective and costly approach to maintaining its support system, Crain’s reported. Instead of being reactive, the park should take a preventative approach by covering the wooden supports with a layer of protective epoxy — a type of synthetic material, like an adhesive or paint, that sets permanently when heated.

The measure could save the park $84 million, since repairing each pile piecemeal could cost $334 million. The park has already fixed 3,000 wooden piles.

The upfront cost of the preventative measures — estimated at $90 million — would be covered by revenue brought in by two residential towers planned for the pier, the report contends. The remaining $160 million would be paid over the next 50 years, the website reported.

Another report, backed by the corporation and released in July, argued that the park’s financial health depended on two towers planned for Pier 6. The towers, which are being developed by RAL Development Services and Oliver’s Realty Group, are 29 and 14 stories and collectively consist of 340 apartments.

The wooden piles are literally the building blocks of Brooklyn Bridge Park. The park was formed more than 50 years ago by driving the piles into the bottom of the East River. [Crain’s]Kathryn Brenzel