City and state officials plan to sign an agreement today that would allow limited private housing to be built at Brooklyn Bridge Park, the New York Times reported. The agreement will ensure the completion of the park, which will expand to 85 acres along the East River.
“Our goal when we took control of the piers was to transform them into one of the world’s great waterfront parks,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said, “and this agreement will enable us to realize that vision in its entirety.”
Housing, Bloomberg believes, will create a steady stream of money and allow the park to be self-sustaining. He initially wanted three apartment buildings at the park; property taxes would be dedicated to the park, the Times said.
The agreement would allow at least one building, near John Street, to go forward, but it would be substantially reduced in size. The two others, both near Pier 6, could shrink or even be eliminated. There are also plans for a hotel and retail complex to help generate revenue for park operations.
Senator Daniel Squadron, who has been overseeing the project, opposed housing, saying that it was risky to rely on private development to finance the park.
“What this agreement does,” he said, “is propose a new, broader-base model — not as extreme as the plan that we’re changing, but a way to build a great new park in tough times.” [NYT]