Dewey Thompson of the North Brooklyn Boat Club reached out to confirm a few details.
According to Thompson, the North Brooklyn Boat Club will likely be the occupant of the community space in the new building that's planned for 51 Ash Street. Broadway Stages has let the boat club operate on the site rent-free for several years now, and they are currently in talks to give the club a permanent home in this new structure. Thompson said no lease has yet been signed, but it's looking very likely. The new boathouse would have 8,000-square-feet of space on the ground floor for an education center, boat storage, and public access to the water.
Thompson also said that the plan for locating the boathouse in the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center down the block fell through because they could not work out an agreement. They hope to finalize plans with Broadway Stages in the coming weeks. As for the "transient hotel" part of the new building, it seems like it will be lodging for production staff working with Broadway Stages (not a traditional hotel).
Well that certainly sounds like a load of crap. In other words, this is actually planned to be an apartment building, further gutting the Manufacturing/Industrial Business Zone, and to top it all off, next to a Superfund site. Who is going to make sure the occupants are transients? No one.
From the Daily News:
“It’s beyond sketchy,” Geoffrey Croft, executive director of NYC Park Advocates, said of the plan to use public funds to help build a for-profit enterprise, which was selected in 2011 and recently turned up on two local blogs, Curbed and Queens Crap. “No money from the city should go for a private hotel.”
“There’s absolutely no conflict of interest,” said Dewey Thompson, co-president of the North Brooklyn Boat Club. The club runs the boathouse at the mouth of the creek, near the East River.
“The grant money is going specifically and only to building the community boathouse facility within the commercial structure,” he said.
State Department of Environmental Conservation officials also said the money will be used for the boathouse, not for the hotel, and said the City Parks Foundation requested an extension for the project completion deadline, which was to expire on Feb. 18.
But Broadway Stages president Gina Argento told a different story, saying she plans to split the cost of the entire project, which will include about half a dozen hotel rooms, down the middle with the boathouse.
“Nothing is final yet,” said Argento, who has also been identified as an investor in the controversial Knockdown Center event space in Maspeth.
The City Parks Foundation would not comment. The city and state Health Departments and city Department of Environmental Protection did not return calls and emails.
Ah, so there we have it. Gina plans to use taxpayer money to build her fake hotel and has no problem saying so. Once again, this is someone found to be lacking good character, honesty and integrity, so there's no surprise here. The DOB filing says there will be 11 units in this building. She says "1/2 a dozen".
And embarrassingly, the City Parks Foundation will bend over backwards to help her build her hotel, going so far as to request an extension. This boat club hasn't been able to get its act together after several years, folks. They don't even have a lease or agreement for the new space at this point, and as Gina says, "Nothing is final yet." Take them off the list and redistribute the money to the other projects on both sides of the Creek that are ready to go.
Otherwise, it appears to be time to BRING IN THE FEDS.