Amid shouts of "shame" and "outrage" several Brooklyn Heights and Dumbo residents stormed out of a meeting Tuesday morning, where the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation Board voted to approve the newest plan to transform Pier 6 at the Park into housing.
After the state withdrew support from the project last month, the city decided to go ahead with the development regardless. Last week, a Wall Street Journal story revealed the details of the new plan.
Pier 6 comprises of two parcels of land of roughly 10,000 square feet each. Parcel A will contain a 315-foot building with 126 market-rate apartments (this could go up to 160 at most). Parcel B will have a 155-foot tower with 100 affordable apartments, and 40 market-rate apartments. The affordable units will be available to a range of incomes. It's also possible that the ground floor of this building will contain retail.
The proposal was waiting on the approval from the board of directors of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation to move forward, and the board voted mostly in favor. Notable voices of dissent were City Councilman Stephen Levin, and representatives for State Senator Daniel Squadron and State Assembly member Jo Anne Simon, all of whom have expressed concern for the project right from the start.
Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, who chairs the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation board, responded saying the public had received several previous opportunities to comment — but a local resident rightfully pointed out, they weren't given the chance to comment on the most recent proposal. Others were concerned about the connections between Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration and the financial contributions by one of co-developers of Pier 6, RAL Development Services, to the mayor's causes.
The development at Pier 6 will generate a one-time revenue of $115 million, and recurring yearly revenue of $2.7 million for the park, once the project gets underway.
At the meeting, board officials also refuted the report released by Rosin Associates saying it grossly exaggerated revenue estimates from the development at the Park. In comparison, the analysis conducted by BBP, which was based on Department of Finance guidelines pegged the revenue numbers at a similar range with other developments in the neighborhood. Rosin's numbers, BBP representatives said, were similar to high end condo projects in Manhattan.
There were questions raised about why NYC Comptroller Scott Stringer's office hadn't conducted an independent review. Brooklyn Bridge Park officials said they had provided enough information for his office to conduct a review, but hadn't heard back subsequently. Stringer had issued a statement prior to the meeting asking the board to delay the vote.
"While I appreciate the City's efforts to create affordable housing throughout the five boroughs, now is not the time to rush forward," he said in a statement. "It is time for both sides to sit down and come to an agreement, either through direct negotiation or by involving a third party mediator."
Curbed has reached out to Stringer's office to comment on the review brought up during Tuesday's meeting.
Construction on Pier 6 is expected to begin in the next nine to 12 months, a spokesperson for BBP told Curbed.
"By moving ahead with the final component of our funding model, we have ensured that a $400 million public investment enjoyed by millions and envied in cities across the globe will thrive long into the future," Regina Myer, the president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, said in a statement. "At the same time, we're bringing affordable housing to an area of the city that sorely needs it, and providing good union jobs in the process."