Normally, if someone gave you a $40 million gift, you'd be eternally grateful and thanking them every chance you got. But not in Brooklyn Heights and Dumbo. Residents are taking issue with the $40 million donation?the largest amount ever donated to a city park?that Joshua Reichnitz gave to Brooklyn Bridge Park to turn an old maintenance building on Pier 5 into an indoor cycling track. The Times reports that residents and community groups are unhappy with everything from the building's 70,000-square-foot size and the traffic it may bring to the area to the whole idea of indoor cycling itself and Reichnitz's motives. They pretty much think a velodrome is obscure and weird, and they claim that Reichnitz is "buying the track he wants, on public land." The co-chairman of the BBP Community Council even suggested that Reichnitz regift the money to Queens.
The building will include a 200-meter inclined cycling track with a 22,000 to 26,000-square-foot infield that would be used for other sports. There would also be a boathouse, bathrooms, and storage space on the property. Reichnitz will unveil an official plan this fall that will need to be approved by the BBP Corporation and the state.
· A $40 Million Gift, a Proposed Bike Arena, and Now Skepticism in Brooklyn [NYT]
· Brooklyn Bridge Park coverage [Curbed]