Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Come Out To Support A Brooklyn Bridge Park...Without Condos



It took decades of planning, of jumping over hurdles, and sheer determination by dedicated community members to get the beautiful new Brooklyn Bridge Park that we all enjoy now.  But one important hurdle remains: to deter the city from building luxury housing inside the park.  Because, truly, parks should be green, and free of personal interests, no?
The city says the high-rise condos are needed to pay for the park's maintenance. Not so, say those in the community who have been involved with the project from the start.
To understand the issue, please read the detailed letter below from Roy Sloane, President of the Cobble Hill Association:

Hi All,

For over 25 years, we in South Brooklyn have worked to secure a park along the waterfront. We are pleased that residents are finally able to access the waterfront at Brooklyn Bridge Park. But our job as a community is not over.
The city is still planning to build 5 more luxury condo and hotel towers inside the park’s borders, with two particularly non-compatible buildings at 20 and 30 stories high planned for Pier 6 at Atlantic Avenue. And despite what some may think, these luxury high-rise towers are not needed to fund the park’s maintenance. There are many solutions to “pay” for park maintenance. When condos came into the park all year round recreation came out. Landscaping replaced the two pools, the indoor recreation center and ice rink that the community had worked so hard for decades to get. Landscaping sells condos while baseball fields do not.
We now have a unique opportunity to regain the recreational facilities our children need at the same time tell the city planners that we do not want more housing inside the park’s borders. Residents are asked to come to two public comment meetings on Tuesday, November 30th at 6 PM at Long Island College Hospital and again on Thursday, December 9th at 6 PM at St. Francis College on Montague Street. 
These public meetings are critical to demonstrating yet again the importance of our parks, the real value they provide to the livability of the city, and to the actual dollars they “put back” into city coffers. The rise in DUMBO values since their part of the park opened is evidence enough of a park’s tax value. A recent proposal offered by community members – to negotiate a deal with the Jehovah Witnesses to develop their soon-to-be-abandoned buildings close to the park, for the benefit of park financing – is gaining traction. Other park funding models, including Senator Squadron’s park increment recapture proposal (named the PIRC plan) also offer relief from the draconian condos inside park borders plan.
But you need only come out and say no to housing, and yes to recreation! Please make sure that your voice is heard at the two public hearings:

Tuesday, November 30, 2010, 6pm – 8pm
Long Island College Hospital, 339 Hicks Street
Avram Conference Center, 1st floor

Thursday, December 9, 2010, 6pm – 8pm
St. Francis College*, 180 Remsen Street
Founders Hall Auditorium, 1st floor

Thank you, 
Roy Sloane
President, Cobble Hill Association



Anonymous said...

Perhaps more condos will create more stock and allow more people to own in this area. The renters get screwed. Anyone who doesnt want these new residential buildings to be constructed should volunteer their precious brownstone to be demolished and used for parkspace.

Anonymous said...

@anon- wow someone seems bitter. i am not an owner, but a renter. i grew up in this neighborhood. There are plenty of condos being built along columbia street, atlantic ave, etc not to mention the current condos at One Brooklyn Bridge park (with PLENTY condos still available). What makes you think that these condos they want to build will be anymore affordable than the housing that is already for sale in that area?
you seem to have a chip on your shoulder with the brownstone owners, but how will you feel about the potential condo owners who get to use the PUBLIC park as if it is their PRIVATE playground....