Five (more) important takeaways from Brooklyn Heights Assn’s annual meeting
Another successful Brooklyn Heights Association (BHA) annual meeting took place Monday, and the big news was that a panel of experts cast doubts on the proposed BQX (Brooklyn Queens Connector). The BHA also gave out community service awards to the neighborhood’s deserving movers and shakers.
Some important news items may have escaped the notice of those scrolling the headlines, however, and they may be of interest to Brooklyn residents.
1. BHA continues to press its case fighting a two-tower development on Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, BHA President Patrick Killackey said. “We recently received affirmation of our most fundamental [legal] arguments.”
Killackey was referring to property valuations released by the city’s Finance Department last month which show that two residential towers planned for Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6 may not be not financially necessary. The city’s new valuations show that private high-end developments already built in the waterfront park will bring in much more money than the park corporation projected, BHA says — rendering the Pier 6 project unwarranted.
Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Interim President David Lowin says BHA’s claims are erroneous.
UPDATE: The NYS Supreme Court has postponed the hearing, which had been set for March 6. The new hearing date before NYS Supreme Court Justice Lucy Billings will be Friday, March 17 at 11 a.m. at 71 Thomas St., Room 203, in Manhattan.
2. BHA skipped its traditional house and garden tour in 2016, which brought in almost a third of the Brooklyn Heights Association’s (BHA) revenue for more than 30 years. The tour was ended because, in this era of Instagram and Twitter, owners felt their privacy might be compromised.
The good news is that the tour will be replaced this year with a new Brooklyn Designer Showhouse event, to be held in September. The Showhouse will give more than a dozen premier decorators the opportunity to transform a townhouse in Brooklyn Heights from top to bottom.
3. After being shut down roughly two years ago, bouncy Squibb Park Bridge, which zig-zaggs downward from Brooklyn Heights to Brooklyn Bridge Park, should reopen in the spring, Killackey said. The repairs will improve the stability of the bridge and reduce the bounce by about 50 percent.
BHA hopes to partner with other stakeholders to ensure that its reopening “is a net positive.”
4. BHA will be installing video cameras on Joralemon Street, the site of muggings and other disruptions during the past warm seasons, related to crowds of youth going to and from the park.
5. All of the controversy regarding development in and around Brooklyn Heights has been good for the BHA, which has been working to rein in projects on Pier 6, Pier 1, on Pineapple Walk in Brooklyn Heights and in Downtown Brooklyn. With a $447,000 cash balance and membership ranks, dues and contributions up, BHA is left with “good financial flexibility,” BHA Treasurer Kevin Reilly said.
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