The contested Citistorage site needed to complete Bushwick Inlet Park has been acquired by the city after a bitter back-and-forth with developer and site owner Norman Brodsky. The city paid $160 million for the 11-acre site, allowing it to make good on a Bloomberg-era promise to bring a 28-acre park to the Williamsburg waterfront following the neighborhood’s 2005 rezoning.
(Update 4/19/17: The city officially closed on the parcel today.)
The waterfront CitiStorage warehouse burned down in a seven-alarm blaze in January 2015, opening the door for negotiations between the city and Brodsky. In June of this year the city offered $100 million for the site, a sum that real estate experts agreed significantly undervalued the property. At the time, multiple sources reported that Brodsky was seeking between $250 and $500 million for the site, though its value was assessed to be closer to $120 to $180 million.
Brodsky initially listed the property for $325 million with Cushman & Wakefield, and opened the floor to developers for bids after publicly lambasting the city for its lowball offer. The move spurred mounting pressure from park advocates who called for the city to acquire the parcel through eminent domain. U.S. Congressman Carolyn Maloney, State Senator Daniel Squadron, State Assemblyman Joe Lentol, and Local Councilman Steve Levin were among the officials calling for eminent domain. The $160 million agreement is arguably a better deal for Brodsky.
Brodsky and the city entered a period of private negotiations in late fall.
“After an extensive negotiation, we have struck a fair agreement to acquire the CitiStorage site.” Mayor De Blasio said in a statement, “This is an investment in the future of Brooklyn, and in the children, longtime residents and newcomers in this community.”