Park official responds to criticism on Pier 1 `yards’

October 10, 2012 By Raanan Geberer Brooklyn Daily Eagle
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An official of Brooklyn Bridge Park yesterday responded to recent criticism, spotlighted in a Brooklyn Paper article called “Yards in the Park,” of the fact that there will be small, fenced-off enclosures outside three of the five structures that are to be built on the uplands of Pier 1.

These structures, technically two buildings that will be connected, are part of the controversial “housing in the park” element earmarked to help fund park development.

The three northern structures, one of them a hotel and the other containing a banquet hall on the ground floor and residential units, will be connected. The three southern structures, which will be connected to each other, are also residential units.

While acknowledging that one of the northern structures and the two southern structures have small lawns, or yards, facing the west, David Lowin, vice president of real estate for the park, stressed that they are within the property line of the housing component and don’t extend into the park’s public area.

He also said that they will be separated from the park as such by a “berm,” or hill, and a retaining wall that will be between 5 and 15 feet high.

“Each yard will be only about 10 to 15 feet long and 15 feet wide,” Added Lowin, “they’re not suburban back yards that can hold a barbecue – only enough for a picnic table. The hill will block the view [of park passers-by] of what is in the yard – it won’t bleed.”

The architect of the Pier 1 buildings, Rogers Marvel, was chosen earlier this year. A spokesperson for Rogers Marvel did not respond to an inquiry from this newspaper.

Cobble Hill Association President Roy Sloane, who was quoted in the Brooklyn Paper article as criticizing the yards, emphasized that he was opposed to housing in the park in general.

As to when the structures would be built, Lowin said it was hoped that the developer would break ground in the summer.

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