Friday, November 25, 2016
Impending election serves as great motivator for BdB
From the NY Times:
A patchwork of weeds, rusted refineries, dilapidated warehouses and pollution-soaked land along the East River in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn has long held the unfulfilled dream of local residents.
For more than a decade, New York City officials have promised to transform the industrial wasteland into a 28-acre park in exchange for neighborhood support for a rezoning that would allow the construction of luxury residential buildings in what was once a primarily working-class area.
In that time, as Williamsburg became a magnet for the wealthy and aspirational, only a portion of the promised Bushwick Inlet Park came to life. Acquiring the land from a host of owners proved to be difficult, fraying the patience of local residents. But this week, officials announced that the city had ended a standoff with the owner of the last 11-acre parcel needed to join the southern and northern ends of the park’s footprint, agreeing to pay $160 million for the property.
“It’s a damn miracle!” said Joe Mayock, 50, executive director of Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn, one of several groups that haves pushed for the park. “This isn’t just about a park or even about a neighborhood — it’s about holding the city accountable as it continues to transform.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio praised the acquisition, calling it “an investment in the future of Brooklyn” and saying the price was fair.
“Our administration keeps its promises,” Mr. de Blasio, a Democrat, said in a statement. “When we commit to build a new park or a new school in a growing community, we deliver.”