Pier 6 development expected to be hot topic at Nov. 7 BBP board meeting

BHA says 315-foot tower is too high

November 6, 2014 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
One of 14 proposals for development in Brooklyn Bridge Park at Pier 6. By Asymptote Architecture
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Opponents of two towers planned for Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP) at Pier 6 say they plan to speak out at the Friday, Nov. 7 board of trustees meeting of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation.

The meeting is set for 1 p.m. at St. Francis College, 180 Remsen St. in Brooklyn Heights.

Local activist Lori Schomp told the Brooklyn Eagle that the advocacy group People for Green Space Foundation would be making a statement at the board meeting “specific to the financials, and the failure to justify building in the park from financial point of view.”

At the August board meeting, park trustees rejected resolutions put forward by the park’s Community Advisory Council (CAC) to put the development on pause until further study could be carried out.

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One of the two buildings would be roughly 30 stories high, the other roughly 15 stories.

The BBP board maintains that revenue from the Pier 6 development is necessary to support ongoing maintenance, operations and pier repairs.

Regina Myer, board president, said in August that a “full scale review of the General Project Plan (GPP)” was not in the best interest of the park. “The plan is the result of decades of planning, and has been a resounding success, with 72 percent of the park built or under construction.”

The CAC, however, says there have been many changes since the GPP was written ten years ago, and that more income will be brought in by other park developments than previously estimated.

Opponents say that Brooklyn Heights, with ever more development, is becoming too crowded.

State Sen. Daniel Squadron called for a “comprehensive analysis” of environmental changes in the surrounding neighborhoods, including development proposed at the nearby former Long Island College Hospital (LICH), and current overcrowding at local schools including P.S. 8.

BBP’s board agreed in August to undertake a less comprehensive study to determine if a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) would be required.

BHA: Thirty stories is too high

In the latest development, the Brooklyn Heights Association (BHA) wrote in an Oct. 29 letter to Myer that while BHA “has long accepted” that Brooklyn Bridge Park must be self-supporting, “Based on the facts we know and the designs we have reviewed, we believe that a 315- foot structure is simply too tall and we ask that BBPC significantly reduce the size of the structure.”

BHA also requested that the park turn over revenue and cost projections for community review.

Further complicating the issue, since fewer luxury units are needed to fund the park, the city seeks to include 30 percent moderate- and middle-income housing in the Pier 6 project, as part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to build and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing over the next decade.

Resistance to affordable housing in the park smacks of NIMBYism, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, BBP Corporation’s board chair, told the Eagle in August.  

“Look at the affordable housing crisis. People are being pushed out,” she said. “It’s hard to believe people are so against including cops and teachers, the very people who are the backbone of the neighborhood.”

Squadron refuted the charge of NIMBYism, however. “If any housing is built, it should be affordable,” he said. “But we never believed housing should be built in the park.”


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