Check back here regularly for the news affecting Brooklyn Heights and reports on the issues we’re tracking.
Our 2017 Annual Meeting was a huge success, thanks to the BHA members and community residents who filled the auditorium at St. Francis College on February 27th!
You can watch YouTube videos of the panel discussion on the Brooklyn Queens Connector (BQX) Streetcar Project and of the BHA’s Community Awards presentations here. And be sure to follow us on our new YouTube page.
The BQX panel discussion was led by Jim Dwyer, author of the "About New York" column in the New York Times and a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist. The panelists were David Bragdon, Executive Director of Transit Center, Inc.; Candace Brakewood, Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering at City College; Benjamin Kabak, Associate at Loeb & Loeb and Blogger at 2nd Ave. Sagas; and Samuel Stein, PHD student at CUNY Graduate Center. While all panelists recognized the need for better transit solutions for New York City, and particularly for those communities not currently well served by our subway and bus network, they were highly skeptical of the rationale for the City’s plan to invest billions of dollars in the BQX’s proposed waterfront route from Sunset Park, Brooklyn to Astoria, Queens. From their own diverse perspectives, they agreed that there are less costly and potentially much more effective approaches to meeting the needs of the Brooklyn and Queens waterfront communities than what the BQX will deliver, and further, that there are other communities in the outer borough that have much greater need for the City’s transit investments.
The YouTube video encompasses a brief overview of the proposed project and the 45-minute panel discussion and Q&A.
Community Service Awardees were Irene Janner, long-time community activist; Love Our Pool: Families United for a Pool in Brooklyn Bridge Park; Pier 6 Litigation Team: Judi Francis, Henry "Ren" Richmond, and Jenner & Block; and Seth Phillips, Principal of PS8/MS8, who received the Martha Atwater Award.Videography by Steve de Sève. All Photos by Andrew Porter
In January, the NYC Department of Finance (DOF) released actual market valuations and assessments for the recently-completed properties in Brooklyn Bridge Park. The new data supports the BHA’s legal claim that the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation (BBPC) misled its Board, which led to the Board approving the construction of two residential towers on Pier 6.
Whereas the BBPC estimated the total market value of the existing developments at about $289 million in FY2018, the DOF valued them 30% higher at about $376 million. The higher valuations, in turn, would produce annual payments-in-lieu-of-taxes (PILOTS) that would be more than $300 million higher than the BBPC’s financial model, which was the basis for the Board’s approval of the Pier 6 towers.
The construction of the new towers would contravene the Park Corporation’s legal obligation under the General Project Plan to limit future real estate development to only that necessary to fund the maintenance and operation of the park.
The BHA wrote on February 10th to Justice Lucy Billings, the NYC Supreme Court judge who will hear the BHA’s lawsuit to halt the development of the two towers, to alert her to the new DOF data and to highlight its support of the BHA’s legal claims in the petition it brought against the Respondents in July 2016.
The BBPC responded to the court on February 28th, to which the BHA replied on March 7th challenging the issues raised by the Park Corporation. The oral arguments by the BHA and the Respondents, which were to have taken place on March 22nd, has been postponed and a new hearing date in April is pending.
After failing to gain support among the community for the redevelopment of the LICH site that would have likely included affordable housing, a public school, and retail space, but also been considerably larger than what current zoning permits, Fortis announced in November 2016 that it would build the As-Of-Right (AOR) Plan.Read More...
Get ready for something new. This coming spring, the BHA will debut an exciting benefit event to pick up where our traditional House & Garden Tour left off. Introducing the 2017 Brooklyn Heights Designer Showhouse, a new way to celebrate the historic district we love and showcase the design creativity of Brooklyn today.Read More...