The advocacy group who won a previous fight to complete the acquisition of the 27-acre Bushwick Inlet Park, is once again pressing elected officials to build a public green space. Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park launched its latest campaign with two new videos and a letter to Mayor de Blasio, which was signed by all of Greenpoint and Williamsburg’s elected officials. The group will also hold a rally on Wednesday, May 26 at 6:30 p.m. at North 11th and Kent Ave, to demand the park’s inclusion in the city’s annual capital budget.
It’s been nearly two decades since the City rezoned the North Brooklyn East River waterfront from industrial to high density residential in 2005, and residents are eager to see the park finally built.
The February 2021 Department of City Planning brief reports that since 2010 the highest concentration of housing growth in New York City is in Greenpoint and Williamsburg. The 2005 rezoning has also resulted in overcrowded subways, buses, streets, sidewalks and schools and has given the campaign added urgency.
According to New Yorkers for Parks, Greenpoint-Williamsburg remains one of the most open space-starved neighborhoods in New York City, but less than 20% of Bushwick Inlet Park is actually open to the public. Although the Park’s 50 Kent parcel is currently under construction and the Motiva site is not far behind, two thirds of the Park is still completely unfunded with no timetable for demolition, remediation and completion. All the while, the neighborhood’s open space ratio remains stuck at .6 acres of open space per 1,000 residents while the city average is 1.8 acres.
Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park is calling on the City to keep their “Park Promise” by including funding in the fiscal year ’22 budget for the demolition of the massive CitiStorage building purchased five years ago which still sits in the middle of the park. They’re also calling for the badly needed turf replacement at 86 Kent’s soccer field.
The parks group is asking City Hall, the Office of Management and Budget, the Department of Parks and Recreation, and the City Council to collaborate on a capital plan that fully funds the remaining remediation, design, and construction of the CitiStorage and Bayside parcels as part of the 2022 Financial Plan that will be released later this year.
“The tremendous challenges of the past year have made it abundantly clear that parks are critical infrastructure,” Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park said in a statement. “The moment is now to secure long-term funding for Bushwick Inlet Park.”