Check out Greenpoint’s new waterfront green spaces
Eye on Real Estate: Just sit here and watch the river flow.
I’m the nerd who always exhorts you to walk, walk, walk to see the best of Brooklyn. Today I’m going to encourage you to loaf around instead.
How else will you experience Greenpoint’s two new waterfront parks the way they deserve to be experienced? They’re best appreciated by visitors who plan to stay a while, and just sit here and watch the river flow, as Bob Dylan famously sang.
So bring friends, bring a book, bring a blanket so you can enjoy some leisure time on the green lawns.
One of the two parks is revamped and refurbished rather than absolutely brand-new. I’ll tell you more about it in a minute.
If you don’t live within walking distance from Greenpoint, your most entertaining way to get there is, as always, the NYC Ferry.
The route from Brooklyn Bridge Park to Williamsburg to Greenpoint offers a big dose of Brooklyn waterfront scenery — and vistas of skyscrapers in lower and Midtown Manhattan, from the World Trade Center to the Chrysler Building.
Also, if you take the ferry, you’ll disembark on a dock that’s right beside the first new green space I want to show you, which is outside a new residential tower called The Greenpoint at 21 India St.
Waterfront public space in front of The Greenpoint
When you walk to the end of the dock, you find the entrance to the new green space is right there.
This waterfront space belongs to the city Department of Parks and Recreation. It has a 275-foot promenade on the edge of the East River, 33 trees, low-rise plantings, a lawn and 312 linear feet of benches.
The 29,500-square-foot green space stands in front of a driveway that leads from India Street to The Greenpoint’s front entrance.
Mack Real Estate and Palin Enterprises are the co-developers of the 40-story tower in conjunction with Urban Development Partners.
Ismael Leyva Architects designed the building, which has rental apartments on the lower floors and condos on the upper floors.
When I looked at The Greenpoint’s website the other day, available rental apartments ranged in price from $3,060 per month for a studio to $5,380 per month for a two-bedroom unit.
Some condo sales have closed at The Greenpoint.
For instance, city Finance Department records indicate, a unit on the 29th floor sold for $2,235,058 and a 36th-floor apartment sold for $2,158,690.
Rezoning in 2005 mandated green space construction
The waterfront green space also has a 4,000-square-foot playground whose construction wasn’t quite finished the day I was there. Some of the playground equipment looks a little bit like abstract sculptures.
The Greenpoint’s developers were required to build the waterfront green space, give it to the city and promise to fund its maintenance. A 2005 rezoning imposed this requirement on developers of the neighborhood’s waterfront sites.
By the way, the park outside The Greenpoint is open from dawn until dusk. It’s a tranquil spot to watch the sunset.
If you point your camera in the right direction, you’ll be able to include the Empire State Building in your pictures.
A new promenade at Newtown Barge Park
The second green space I want to show you is Newtown Barge Park.
To get there from The Greenpoint, walk inland to Franklin Street and stroll several blocks north to Commercial Street.
Newtown Barge Park was an existing city park. Plans to expand it were made several years ago.
A promenade was added to improve public access to the shoreline. This particular bit of shoreline is the East River, very near where Newtown Creek empties into it.
The park has a lovely swath of lawn, pretty plantings and a fenced-in sports field suitable for baseball and soccer.
If you’re at Newtown Barge Park when the weather’s nice, you’ll see the sun glinting on the windows of an adjacent apartment tower whose address is Two Blue Slip.
It’s part of a 22-acre, multi-building shoreline development called Greenpoint Landing that Park Tower Group is building. Brookfield Properties is a partner for a portion of the project.
By the way, these developers were also obligated by the 2005 rezoning to construct publicly accessible waterfront space. Last year, they opened a section of that green space. It runs between Two Blue Slip and another tower of theirs, One Blue Slip.
Sunrise, sunset, sunrise, sunset
Also by the way, the construction of residential towers marks a new phase in the history of the Greenpoint waterfront. In the 19th century, the area was a shipbuilding mecca.
More than a dozen shipbuilding firms moved to the neighborhood from Manhattan in the 1850s, the city Landmarks Preservation Commission’s designation report about the Greenpoint Historic District says. The famous ironclad Civil War vessel, the Monitor, was made in Greenpoint.
But more about Newtown Barge Park.
It’s open from 6 a.m. to 1 a.m.
This means you can do outdoor yoga at sunrise — though I don’t have the self-discipline to get up that early, so I don’t have any photos of anything like that.
You can also sit and watch the sunset. I did. It was splendid. But the pictures I took at dusk are prettier than the sunset shots.
A dinner-time picnic would be fun at Newtown Barge Park. There are nearby restaurants that would be good places to get a to-go dinner.
The Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory is a few blocks away on Commercial Street. You might want to eat dessert there — because if you carry ice cream all the way to the park in this weather, you could wind up with a drippy mess.
Follow reporter Lore Croghan on Twitter.
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