Brooklyn activists seek to prevent high-rise construction near waterfront

October 07, 2010 01:30PM

Rendering of Brooklyn Bridge Park

Civic leaders and elected officials met yesterday to discuss the possibility of the city revising Brooklyn Bridge Park’s waterfront plan to include dozens of Dumbo and Brooklyn Heights properties that Jehovah’s Witnesses has put up for sale, the Post reported. “There’s a growing sentiment that the Jehovah’s Witnesses’ buildings are the magic bullet to keep more housing out of the park,” said Paul Nelson, Assemblywoman Joan Millman’s chief of staff and a member of the city board overseeing the park’s development. The religious group’s buildings near the park could serve as a substitute for constructing new high-rise condos within the park at John Street in Dumbo and by Pier 6 in Brooklyn Heights, while still helping offset park maintenance costs. Spearheading the effort is Brooklyn Heights activist Tony Manheim, who says the city should buy the Witnesses buildings, convert them into luxury condos and then put tax revenues from the sales toward the park’s anticipated $16.1 million annual maintenance costs. The city and the Jehovah’s Witnesses declined to comment, but the city has said on other occasions that it is committed to investigating alternatives to building new condos within the park. [Post]