Brooklyn Bridge Park faces funding deadline

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Work on Brooklyn Bridge Park could soon grind to a halt if the committee charged with finding funding sources to complete and maintain the 85-acre space doesn’t reach a consensus by a deadline next month, according to Crain’s. The non-profit Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp., which is overseeing the park’s planning, still isn’t sure how to come up with the roughly $16 million per year it will need to maintain the property. The city has said it would pony up around $50 million to help finish the park, but that funding is contingent on the BPPC finding a self-sustaining maintenance plan. The organization’s initial proposal includes 1,300 units of housing, whose residents would contribute to the park’s upkeep, but that plan has met with opposition from key elected officials who are threatening to veto any additional building development within the park. Maintenance surcharges at the 438-unit One Brooklyn Bridge Park condominium are currently enough to cover the upkeep of the existing parkland — less than one-half of the total space that the park is supposed to ultimately cover. One alternate possibility is the conversion of the nearby 17 Watchtower properties owned by the Jehovah’s Witnesses be purchased and converted into housing that would have similar surcharges, but the city does not yet own those buildings. “If we don’t have a financial model, we won’t be able to proceed with construction,” said Regina Myer, president of the BBPC. [Crain’s]