The new city news site, Capital New York, has a thorough and interesting story on the controversy surrounding the building of luxury condos in Brooklyn Bridge Park, and a look at the future of the park. Read on, at Capital New York.
There’s been much controversy, trial and tribulation surrounding what is turning out to be a sort-of amazingly lovely urban waterfront oasis. Mayor Bloomberg proposed and pushed for the park, and for building luxury condos in the park as a means to pay for the park’s construction and maintenance. Local community activists and politicians have opposed the addition of new residences, as well as the philosophy in general of using private development within a public park to fund it. In the case of Brooklyn Bridge Park, the city proposal would divert the property taxes of condo residents directly into a maintenance fund for the park. The argument has been–doesn’t that give condo owners an ownership stake in the park?
A deal struck recently between the city and state Sen. Daniel Squadron and state Assemblywoman Joan Millman puts the plan at a sort of stalemate. One luxury condo building will get built, and construction plans are already underway, at the end of John Street. The others are on hold until 2014, when a deadline will expire for the sale of the Jehovah’s Witness Buildings in Brooklyn Heights. If those buildings sell in time to private developers, tax money from those properties will get diverted to pay for the park. If they do not sell in time, the additional luxury condos will be built around the end of Atlantic Avenue.