Philanthropist Joshua Rechnitz?and his $50 million donation?are abandoning Brooklyn Bridge Park. Rechnitz had given the money to the park to build a velodrome, an indoor cycling facility, at an old maintenance building on Pier 5, but the whole thing turned out to be too expensive. The Times reports that because of the costs of the site, the plan remained in the red, even after Rechnitz upped his original $40 million pledge by $10 million and the design was scaled back. Among the costly problems were concerns about flooding given Hurricane Sandy, and the fact that the roof had to "be aesthetic" since it would be visible from above on the Brooklyn Heights promenade.
The news will be gladly received by many neighborhood residents, as people were complaining about the increased traffic the center could bring and the fact that indoor cycling is obscure. But Rechnitz's team made clear that local opposition had nothing to do with the plan falling apart?it was solely because of the expense. However, cycling enthusiasts should not despair. Rechnitz is not giving up on his quest to bring a velodrome to New York, he's just back to square one in finding a location.
· Philanthropist Abandons Plan for Velodrome in Brooklyn Park [NYT]
· Brooklyn Residents Complain About $40 Million Gift [Curbed]