Brooklyn Bridge Park board members bought condos at controversial Pierhouse

City found no wrongdoing on the part of David Offensend and Henry Gutman

Rendering of Pierhouse in Brooklyn Bridge Park (credit: Rogers Marvel Architect)
Rendering of Pierhouse in Brooklyn Bridge Park (credit: Rogers Marvel Architect)

Two Brooklyn Bridge Park board members really liked Toll Brothers’ plans for the highly-controversial Pierhouse. So much so that they were among the first in line to buy condos at the luxury development when they went up for sale last year.

Board members David Offensend and Henry Gutman signed purchasing agreements for two undisclosed units at the Pierhouse in March 2014, according to a report by DNAinfo.

Both were members of the board at the time of approval and helped usher in the project, which is loathed by community activists who say public views of the bridge are compromised solely for the benefit of millionaires. Property taxes from the Pierhouse will fund the maintenance of the park.

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Brooklyn Bridge Park Vice President Belinda Cape said Offensend and Gutman followed ethics guidelines and disclosed purchasing contracts.The city’s Law Department also cleared the condo purchases. Cape said the pair bought the units at market value, recused themselves when appropriate, “and received no special dispensation, gifts or favors whatsoever in connection with the transaction.”

Offensend, the former CEO of the New York Public Library, resigned from the board in July. Gutman remains on the board.

Toll Brothers and Starwood Capital received good news this week when they won a court battle against a neighborhood group that sought to chop the upper floors of the Pierhouse. The Pierhouse, which will include 108 condos priced between $1.1 million and $11.1 million, as well as a hotel, is scheduled to resume construction. [DNAinfo] — James Kleimann