The last few months have been filled with heated discussions about the construction of new housing in Brooklyn Bridge Park, in particular, the construction of affordable housing in Brooklyn Bridge Park. At the center of the debate is the question of whether the city should support the construction of subsidized housing in the park when housing was to be built in the first place with the sole purpose of subsidizing the park.
In a thorough rundown last week, The New York Times documented the debate, which has been complicated by decidedly classist overtones, with some residents of One Brooklyn Bridge Park—the first of the park condo developments—worrying that moderate- and middle-income residents in their midst might hurt property values. And that would be with 30 percent of the units set aside for the middle class, with priority given to those who already live in the neighborhood.
Such attitudes are enough to make even many otherwise inclined to be skeptical about including affordable housing in the park want to flood the space with low-income residents. Other warning signs for future development included worries among existing residents that more condos would increase crowds, indicating that an unsettling, proprietary air has already developed among residents.
But enough abstract discussion! Let’s look at the renderings for the proposed developments, which will either give everyone something else to focus on, or more likely, give opponents something else to focus their anger on. The 15 architecture firms who submitted proposals will present their designs to the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation this afternoon and the non-profit will make a selection in the fall.
Building proposals had to be built on two sites adjacent to the park, with a maximum height of 315 feet and 155 feet, include 30 percent affordable housing, “create a vibrant new entrance to the park” and contribute amenities to the park on the ground floor, including public rest rooms. Some even went so far as to add public pools and pre-K centers (kissing up to de Blasio much)?