Brooklyn Bridge Park’s pop-up pool, which debuted in 2012, has proven to be one of the waterfront park’s most popular seasonal features. It initially had a five-year contract, but locals successfully pushed for the park to extend its stay for two more seasons. But nothing gold can stay, and the park plans to demolish it after the 2018 season to make way for the Pier 2 uplands.
But there’s good news for locals who liked having the pop-up around: Brooklyn Bridge Park announced today that it will bring a permanent pool to the neighborhood, albeit in a different location. The new swimming spot will be located in Squibb Park, which connects to the waterfront via the bouncy Squibb Park Bridge (which reopened in 2017 after several years of repairs).
It’s a logical location; there was, for many years, a wading pool at Squibb Park, which only closed within the past two decades. Right now, the park is home to bathrooms and a tennis court.
There are some hurdles BBP has to clear before this can happen, including, of course, funding. The Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation estimates that it’ll need $10–$15 million to open the pool, and will allocate a third of the funds for the project; developers Midtown Equities and Alloy Development have also committed about $1 million so far to the project. (Both have a stake in bringing more amenities to the neighborhood; Midtown Equities is the developer behind the revamped Empire Stores nearby, while Alloy has no fewer than four projects in Dumbo.)
At a press conference announcing the pool, park reps and elected officials all stressed the importance of the local community in the planning process; a grassroots group, Love Our Pool, has been pushing for a permanent swimming hole in the park for several years now, and their input was instrumental in this next phase.
And the community will continue to be involved: BBPC will hold meetings this summer and fall to get input on what a permanent pool should include—everything from the size to possible concessions to whether a beach, similar to the one at the current pop-ip, should be part of the plan. Once those meetings have concluded, the BBPC will start the process of choosing a designer. No timeline has been set yet, but they’re hoping to have it completed within the next few years.
“[Brooklyn Bridge Park’s] story is continuing to be written,” deputy mayor Alicia Glen, who’s also the chair of the BBPC, said at the presser. “This is going to be a big chapter in its history.”