For the past few months, construction has been underway on one of the last remaining undeveloped sections of Brooklyn Bridge Park: the Pier 5 uplands, located between Montague and Joralemon streets just across from One Brooklyn Bridge Park. The once-barren section of the park was home, for a spell, to the Brooklyn Flea’s Smorgasburg food market, but work on the new uplands began in 2016 and has been progressing steadily ever since.
Now, we have a glimmer of what that 4.5-acre piece of parkland might look like when it’s completed later this year. Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation released a new rendering of Pier 5 that shows off many of the section’s new features, including a sound-dampening berm that’s currently the most visible part of the uplands.
It also illuminates the purpose of this particular section of Pier 5; where the lower part is full of active pursuits, such as a playground, soccer fields, and the “picnic peninsula,” the uplands are intended to be “a more restful counterpoint,” according to David Lowin, the interim president of the BBPC. (He took over last fall when the previous president, Regina Myer, stepped down.)
Some of those restful elements, aside from the berm, include a new stepped lawn, a shaded grove, some waterfront seating, and a reconfiguration of the Joralemon Street entrance that will add 17,000 square feet of parkland. A small bridge will connect the uplands to the picnic peninsula below, and a pathway that begins at the Joralemon entrance will help link the whole thing to the park’s existing greenway. (Another good addition: more public restrooms.)
There will also be two new buildings: a boathouse that will be used for the park’s free community programs, and a larger facility for the park’s operations (including a horticulture lab). A new entrance at Montague Street is also part of the plan, along with improvements to the strip of Furman that runs beneath the BQE—not exactly a pleasant place to walk now, but it will be slightly less terrifying once the BBPC fixes sidewalks and entry points.
Though the weather has put a damper on construction for the time being, Lowin says that the uplands are on track to be completed sometime this summer.
Pier 5 isn’t the only piece of the park that’s under construction, though: work began this fall on Pier 3, which will bring a huge, open lawn to the waterfront. Repairs to the troubled Squibb Park Bridge are also moving right along, and Lowin confirmed that it’s on track to open sometime this spring. “I’ve been up there recently, and it feels solid and ready to go,” he says. Fingers crossed.