Brooklyn Boro

Review & Comment: Pier 6 out of scale, let Big Bill step forward and take the heat

Review & Comment: The Eagle Speaks

November 5, 2015 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Cartoon courtesy of Cagle Cartoons
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It is clear that the rebel forces who oppose a larger housing package on Pier 6, brought about by Mayor Bill de Blasio’s mandated “affordable” quotas, are not going away. Almost all of the elected officials representing affected areas oppose the de Blasio plan, or ask for further study of the impact. As our news columns indicate today, competent professionals are still taking issue with the analysis put forth by the mayor’s minions.

Although the origins are unclear, the imperative for “let’s get it done now” seems to be only to accommodate (1) the mayor’s political agenda on affordable inventory and (2) a developer who has donated hundreds of thousands to de Blasio.

While the mayor has remained silent himself on the issue, lots of nice, well-meaning people who work for Brooklyn Bridge Park have been taking the heat from community groups and elected officials.

It’s time for the mayor himself to come out publicly and verbally, to answer a very key question: if the undisputed park mandate is to build only housing needed to support the park, why in hell would you throw ANY housing into the mix that is less than market value?

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We accept the premise that unforeseen expenses of having a waterfront park mandate a certain amount of housing — hopefully high priced housing — on Pier 6. It was always part of the plan.  And, yes, we applaud the mayor’s long-term goals for more affordable housing in the city. But at Pier 6, it is not appropriate and defies common sense.

In this period of intense examination of what The New York Times yesterday called a “shadow government” of consultants and big donors, it seems prudent for the mayor to allow for a re-evaluation of the proposal that is currently under review for Pier 6. 

No matter how many New Yorkers — particularly future New Yorkers — will benefit from his progressive policies in affordable housing and education, he cannot afford to crush today the urban spirits of so many middle-class stakeholders in the historic communities surrounding Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The impact of so many new units of housing, at any price, has never been properly assessed in the stable, historic neighborhoods that sit on both sides of Atlantic Avenue near the waterfront. With so many consultants available to the mayor now, let him find one that his fellow elected officials will approve.

As Johnny Cochran might say: “Things amiss and a mess? You must reassess.” 

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