Monday, November 14, 2011
$315M for Williamsburg parks
From the Wall Street Journal:
City officials say that they are still committed to finishing the park, as well as two smaller ones, but that they simply do not have the money to buy all the land in the neighborhood. Prices there have climbed over the years, driven in part by the city’s own actions in transforming areas zoned for manufacturing into far more valuable high-density residential land.
The city ended up paying $95 million just for the first parcel — 8.7 acres — it acquired because the owner appeared to be swaying the court in a condemnation suit by arguing that since the land would have been rezoned to allow for towering apartment buildings, the value should take that into account. The city has since bought a 2.5-acre plot for $30 million and has entered an agreement to buy another piece near Bushwick Inlet from Bayside Fuel Oil for about $80 million by the end of fiscal year 2015.
“The city is investing in excess of $315 million in this one community, which is a quarter of our total capital budget for 20 years in the borough of Brooklyn,” said Adrian Benepe, the New York City parks commissioner. “There’s still a lot of work to do. I think the city’s commitment to acquire and develop those remaining sites exists.”