January 30th, 2009
The The Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation, the New York State government entity charged with designing and constructing the Brooklyn Bridge Park, held a public meeting Wednesday night. Matthew Parker provides an overview of the meeting over at Brooklyn Heights Blog. Last week, we posted an announcement by the BBPDC that due to the current economic conditions,close to 800 high-rise luxury condos and a hotel planned to support the BBP are on hold indefinitely. Also on hold are plans to renovate the Empire Stores warehouse. While this announcement didn’t surprise many in the community who have seen delays and postponing of the development of the park for several years, the BBPDC focused their presentation (pdf) on how they will be focusing on cost cutting to maintain the park. According to Mr. Parker, some in the meeting expressed criticism for the ballooning construction and maintenance budgets:
“Some in the meeting audience displayed acrimony and sharp criticism towards the BBPDC officials due to the park’s ballooning construction and maintenance budgets that have more than doubled since the BBPDC last released a detailed set of project financials. Additionally, some at the meeting were angry with the BBPDC over its decision to include luxury housing and a hotel in the park plan as a way to fund the park’s ongoing maintenance rather than seeking other forms of revenue that were not fully dependent on the real estate market.
Other criticism included calls for the BBPDC’s board of directors to better reflect the diversity of opinion about park planning from the surrounding communities.
Ms. Myer announced that the BBPDC would reconstitute a Community Advisory Council (CAC) comprised of members from the local communities. When asked how the selection process would work for the CAC, Ms. Myer said she would primarily look to local elected officials to appoint community volunteers.”
The bottom line by the BBPDC is the short term model allows the Park to cover projected expenses in the early years, and will phase in approved development sites to ensure that revenues cover operating expenses and maritime infrastructure rehabilitation. The current long term projections of revenues and expenses are within 5% of each other, and not possible to responsibly consider eliminating any development revenue sources at this time.