Community at odds over Brooklyn Bridge Park finances

Standoff over two resi towers at Pier 6 continues
March 27, 2015 09:32AM

Construction on two planned residential towers at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6 remains blocked as community activists who oppose the development and the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, the agency that runs the park, fight to gain support for their differing views of how the park should be financed.

The construction has been stalled for months due to a lawsuit by a group of local homeowners over the affordable component and whether additional environmental review is needed, according to the New York Daily News.

The park is currently funded based on a model conceived back in the Bloomberg administration — solely by the revenues of real estate projects in the area of the park. While the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation says it must grow those revenues, community opponents who want to preserve the views and space for additional parkland say that existing developments like 1 John Street and Toll Brothers City Living’s Pierhouse are already generating more revenue than expected, rendering more construction unnecessary.

More disagreement has now erupted over the inclusion of affordable housing in the two towers, which would decrease revenues from the buildings. If the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation can afford this concession, opponents say, they can afford to forgo the entire project.

This has led some to accuse the opponents of snobbishness. Charlie O’Donnell, a local venture capitalist who runs a kayaking program in the park, told the newspaper, “The irony of people from One Brooklyn Bridge Park being against this housing in the park is unbelievable.” [NYDN] — Tess Hofmann