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Williamsburg Waterfront Park May Become A Reality Through Eminent Domain

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A new bill would enable the state to acquire the CitiStorage site

Bushwick Inlet Park is getting another boost towards finally becoming a reality. A bill has been introduced in the state legislature that would allow Empire State Development to acquire the remaining pieces of land on the Williamsburg waterfront through eminent domain, the New York Daily News reports.

One of the last remaining holdouts preventing the construction of the park has been the CitiStorage site, which burnt down in a fire last year. The cost of the site has been estimated at anywhere between $60 million to $500 million, according to the Daily News, and as a result, the city has been hesitant to make the purchase.

The park was promised as part of the neighborhood rezoning in 2005, but the city has failed to deliver so far. Parts of the park have been built like an existing soccer field and a community center, but other parcels still need to be acquired. The city paid $53 million for a seven-acre property along the planned stretch of the park in March this year, but it's the CitiStorage site that is essentially the final hurdle.

In an eminent domain proceeding, once the state has acquired the land, it will hand it to the city, and in turn make the city pay for it. Furthermore, the city may be hit by fines as high as $1 million per year for every year it doesn't build the park.

Both the Governor's office and the de Blasio administration have agreed to review the bill, according to the Daily News. The owner of the CitiStorage site, Norman Brodsky, told the paper he'd be content with an eminent domain proceeding as it would mean he'd get a good price for his property.