Condo opponents propose alternate funding for Brooklyn waterfront park

February 23, 2011 11:18AM

Brooklyn’s new waterfront park could raise up to $7 million a year
without building controversial condominium towers, according to a report
released yesterday, the Daily News reported. Some of the money would
come from an idea calling for the creation of a Park Improvement
District, charging fees to surrounding businesses and property owners.
According to the Brooklyn Paper, the report predicted that $1 million to
million towards the park’s $16 million maintenance budget could come
from a new tax on residents and business owners within a quarter-mile of
the park. Another option is that officials could build new parking lots
or increase their private fund-raising.  Though housing opponent Senator Daniel Squadron said the report “shows it’s possible to fund the park without imposing a new fee on Brooklynites or building new … luxury housing,” Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe rejected many of the ideas, saying the numbers were too “optimistic.” Other officials also dismissed an idea that many view as the best way to replace condos — cashing in on new tax money from dozens of properties Jehovah’s Witnesses is expected to sell as they move their headquarters upstate. Squadron, who has veto power over new housing in the park, is still pushing the idea, even though Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s representatives on the park board overruled him and left it out of the draft released yesterday. [NYDN] and [Brooklyn Paper]