The Real Deal New York

Brooklyn pols want their gondola before L train shutdown

Pointing to London, advocates say East River Skyway could be done in 18 months
November 11, 2016 08:01AM


A rendering of the East River Skyway

North Brooklyn wants its gondola over the East River before the L train shuts down, thank you very much.

Local politicians are urging Mayor Bill de Blasio to get an East River-crossing alternative in place before the subway partially shuts down beginning in 2019 for up to 18 months.

“They did it in London in 18 months,” State Assemblyman Joseph Lentol told DNAinfo, referring to the cable car built in that city for the 2012 Olympics. “I don’t see why we can’t do it here fast enough to get it done before the L train shuts down.”

Lentol is one of three politicians who signed a Nov. 3 letter sent to the mayor registering their support for the East River Skyway.

“This is the coolest thing we could do for the neighborhood,” he told the website. “I don’t want to denigrate the BQX but this is even a greater plan to have a gondola going from Brooklyn to Manhattan forever.”

U.S. Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney and City Councilman Stephen Levin also penned their names to the letter. The skyway, the brainchild of CityRealty president Daniel Levy, would carry 100,000 people a day between Williamsburg and Delancey Street, with trips projected to take just six minutes.

Levy pegged the cost of the gondola at $134 million. He’s working to raise money from investors so that it can be mostly privately funded.

Commercial and residential brokers expect the L train shutdown to put a damper on North Brooklyn’s retail, office and residential rental markets. [DNAinfo] – Rich Bockmann