Empire State Development changes course, backs BK Bridge Park’s Pier 6

Park's board signs off on waterfront resi development after state gives blessing
June 07, 2016 04:13PM

The Empire State Development Corp. did an about-face and backed plans for a two-tower residential development at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6, paving the way for the entity that operates the park to approve the project.

RAL Development Services and partner Oliver’s Realty Group received the go-ahead Tuesday from the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp.’s board of directors to build 266 units of market-rate and affordable housing at Pier 6, according to Crain’s.

The board’s approval came after Empire State Development president and CEO Howard Zemsky gave his blessing to the project in a letter Monday night – a surprising change of heart from last month, when the agency pulled its support amid concerns over a $10,000 contribution by RAL to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Campaign for One New York in May 2015.

The donation came shortly after RAL and Oliver’s were selected by the city in March 2015 to develop the site, and raised further questions regarding the de Blasio administration’s campaign fundraising practices, which are currently at the center of state and federal investigations.

The development will see two residential towers rise on the property: a 28-story building with 126 market-rate condominiums and a 14-story, mixed-use building with 40 market-rate units and 100 affordable units.

But the plan’s opponents are already gearing up to fight the project via a lawsuit, according to Crain’s.

“We’ll be asking a judge to tell the park corporation that they have just acted unlawfully and to annul the vote,” said attorney and Brooklyn Heights Association member Richard Ziegler. [Crain’s]Rey Mashayekhi