Just yesterday, The Observer reported that a request for proposals for a third development site at Brooklyn Bridge Park, which was not part of a deal announced the day before to reduce the amount of development in the park, was expected “shortly.” Turns out shortly meant one day.
The city-run Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation is now seeking developers for two parcels adjacent to Pier 1, one rising to 100 feet and covering 65,000 square feet and the other 45 feet and 35,000 square feet. These two will house a combination of 225 hotel rooms and 150 apartments or 175 hotel rooms and 180 apartments. The project will be built by the same developer, along with inducements for ground-floor dining along with parking, restrooms and support facilities for the park.
“The hotel and residential component represent a critical element of our park maintenance plan and the development’s amenities will benefit all park users for decades to come,” BBP president Regina Myer said in a release.
Payments in lou of taxes, or PILOTs, from the two parcels are expected to fund a portion of the park’s maintenance. Already One Brooklyn Bridge Park, the hulking converted warehouse on the park’s southern under, has contributed a few million dollars to the fund since 2006. Construction costs are still coming from the city, which in part of Tuesday’s deal pledged $55 million to begin work on Pier 2. Responses are due October 24.
It is not surprising that Pier 1 is the first ground-up site to be developed. The Empire Stores was to have been converted years ago, but stability, preservation and disagreements over its commercialization held that up. Meanwhile, Pier 1 opened last year, providing developers the best front yard possible, so to speak. The other sites, at Atlantic and John streets are next to plots still under development.
For those who feel that private property built on public parkland is a problem, the city has gone ahead and transformed Brooklyn Bridge Park from boring old public space into a full-on brand, as evinced in this video that accompanies the RFP. Wedged between America’s Oldest Suburb and Silicon Beach, this fits nicely with the borough that has become a way of life.