Dilapidated park in DUMBO inches closer to makeover

Bridge Park 2 closer to green from asphalt

December 22, 2017 By Mary Frost Brooklyn Daily Eagle
This cracked and crumbling asphalt lot in DUMBO will soon be transformed into a functioning park. Plans for its rehab have been submitted to the Public Design Commission. Photos by Mary Frost
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The cracked and crumbling asphalt lot in DUMBO that is designated Bridge Park 2 by the city Parks Department is one step closer to its transformation into a green recreation area.

The design for the park’s makeover was presented by Community Board 2’s Parks and Recreation Committee last Monday and has been submitted to the Public Design Commission. It will be moving ahead at the Tuesday, Jan. 2 CB2 general board meeting.

The project will tackle both of the dismal, irregularly-shaped sections bounded by Bridge, Jay, York and Prospect streets.

According to the Parks Department, the plan will reconstruct the existing kiddie playground with new equipment for kids ages 2-5 and 5-12, including swings and a spray shower. The larger section of the park will include a new adult fitness area, a multi-purpose synthetic turf field and a performance stage. A projector mounted on a tall pole will allow films and videos to be projected onto the structural BQE wall.

The work will also include benches, an art area, fences, drainage and water supply and plantings.

The Watchtower agreed in 2004 to renovate Bridge Park 2 when the city rezoned a massive site the Witnesses own at 85 Jay St.

Last year, reps for the Watchtower asked City Councilmember Stephen Levin to assist them in contacting the Parks Department to offer a financial settlement. Levin’s office told the Jehovah’s Witnesses that the Parks Department estimated it could do the project for $5.33 million, according to an article in this paper by Lore Croghan.

Department of Parks and Recreation officials and Levin negotiated a settlement of $7 million to account for the cost of inflation after the deal was made, according to the Brooklyn Paper.

The Brooklyn Paper also points out one downside to the plan — athletes in the Yorkfield Stickball League who play in the park will lose their patch of pitted asphalt.

Other agenda items

Other items on Tuesday’s agenda include a recommendation by the Transportation and Public Safety Committee to recommend to the NYS legislature approval of design-build authorization for the BQE’s “Triple Cantilever” project; approval of restaurants seeking liquor licenses; and local addresses seeking Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) approvals.

These include 35 Pierrepont Street in the Brooklyn Heights Historic District, which has applied to restore front façade elements. Boldface names residing at 35 Pierrepont include former MTA chaiman Joe Lhota and actor Paul Giamatti.  

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