Pierhouse, the condo and hotel project under construction next to Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, will not be stopped. A judge ruled last week that developers Toll Brothers and Starwood Capital can complete the building, despite claims from neighbors and preservationists that it is too tall and blocks views of the Brooklyn Bridge from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade. A group called Save the View Now sued the developers and Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation over the building's height, arguing that it violates height restrictions agreed upon in 2005 and ruins views that are supposed to be protected. State Supreme Court Justice Lawrence S. Knipel agreed that the building ruins the view"The casual passerby walking along Brooklyn's majestic Promenade is struck with the indelible impression that these buildings, now nearing completion, are simply too large," he wrote in his decisionbut he found no evidence that the development is illegal, and pointed out that the statute of limitations had long passed.
The key complaint from Save the View Now was that Pierhouse exceeded the 100-foot height limit that was agreed upon in the park's general project plan in 2005. The building's rooftop does stop at 100 feet, but there are 30 feet of mechanicals on top of that. The park corporation contends that since mechanicals don't count toward a building's height, this is what they agreed to, but the opponents argued that they agreed that the mechanicals would be included in the 100-foot limit. However, the courts could find no evidence of such an agreement. Additionally, the opponents should have filed this lawsuit in 2006 when the general project plan was finalized or in 2013, after plans for these buildings were filed with the city.
The judge also note that the development plan was agreed upon for the "economic sustainability" of the park, a point that the park corporation has always maintained. "Since the park's inception in 2002, its funding plan has been straightforward: revenue from development sites within the project's footprint supports the park's longterm maintenance and operations," said Brooklyn Bridge Park President Regina Myer in a statement. "Without those sites, there would be no Brooklyn Bridge Park."
Save the View Now's founder told Brooklyn Paper that they "think judge may have gotten facts and issues incorrect," but they are unsure if they will keep fighting the development. A temporary restraining order had partially halted construction after the lawsuit was filed, but now Pierhouse will move forward as planned, with its 108 condos and 200-room hotel.
· Judge Clears Way for Pierhouse Complex to Cast Shadow on Brooklyn Bridge [NYT]
· Judge Rules Hotel and Condo Project Can Resume Despite Protests that it Ruins View of Brooklyn Bridge [NYDN]
· Judge Rhrows Out Lawsuit Over Brooklyn Bridge Park Hotel Height [BP Paper]
· All Pierhouse coverage [Curbed]