The battle over Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pierhouse development rages on. In August, lawyers representing Save the View Now, the group that has been fighting Pierhouse most tenaciously, argued that the building was too tall and included illegal structures, and that developers should have chopped the height of the building by one full floor. Lawyers for the groups representing the building, including the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, the Empire State Development Corporation, and developers Toll Brothers, argued that the group's claims were unfounded; and this week, a judge agreed with the developers, saying that "the court adheres to the prior decision and order" to let construction continue.
Opponents of the Pierhouse development have long contended that an addition to the condo not only blocks the view of the Brooklyn Bridge from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, but is also illegal. STVN argues that the building exceeds the 100-foot height that was agreed upon in 2005, thanks to the addition of bulkheads that are used for mechanical equipment (and, the group alleges, illegal food prep/serving areas). In its latest court appearance in August, STVN also argued that leases that they were only recently given access to show that the developers misled the public about the building's height and plans for construction. At the time, the Brooklyn Daily Eagle reported that STVN lawyer Jeff Baker said, "When we were finally able to get a full set of plans, it was nowhere near the zoning allowance."
But the latest ruling, handed down by Judge Lawrence Knipel (who has presided over other Pierhouse rulings), says that "plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate any connections between the provisions of these leases and the expiration of the statue of limitations, as determined in the prior decision and order of this couty." So work can continue, on the condition that the developers "not…add a rooftop canopy or ladders extending above the bulkheads."
In a statement provided to Curbed, Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation president Regina Myer said the group was "gratified" by the court's decision:
Since Brooklyn Bridge 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. Without those sites, there would be no Brooklyn Bridge Park. Our ability to finish the Pier 1 project moves us closer to completing the transformation from derelict waterfront to vibrant open space enjoyed by millions. We've reached out to Save the View Now for comment, and will update with additional information if they respond.
UPDATE: Starwood/Toll Brothers also provided Curbed with a statement on the ruling:
We are pleased that Judge Knipel has dismissed the case against Pierhouse. We are proud to play a part in the historic development of Brooklyn Bridge Park, and we look forward to the grand opening of Pierhouse and 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge in the Spring of 2016.
· 'Chop off the illegal floor,' say opponents of Pierhouse [Brooklyn Daily Eagle]
· Battle Over Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pierhouse Is Still a Thing [Curbed]
· Brooklyn Bridge-Blocking Pierhouse Is Allowed to Keep Rising [Curbed]
· All Pierhouse Coverage [Curbed]