After manymonths of nonstopactivism to try to get the city to acquire the CitiStorage site—the last piece to complete Bushwick Inlet Park—it looks like the city and the owner of the property are close to reaching a negotiated deal. But they are only “close” and time is genuinely running out.
From Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park: We have been relatively quiet recently to let them work things out but now MAYOR DEBLASIO NEEDS TO HEAR FROM ALL OF US (ALL AT ONCE PREFERABLY).
We need to tell him to:
CLOSE the CitiStorage deal and deliver the FULL 27 Acre Bushwick Inlet Park NOW! Let’s all engage in a “Twitter-Storm” and/or 311 call-in from 12 noon- 2 p.m. today, Thursday, October 27. A flurry of activity will maximize our impact! Twitter: @NYCMayor Call: 311 (Parks and Recreation: You can let them know that eleven acres are missing from Bushwick Inlet Park.) You can also sign the Bushwick Inlet Park petition here.
What’s been going on with the negotiations between the city and the owner of the CitiStorage site? Come join Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park tonight at Greenpoint Beer & Ale to chat about the park’s future. While there’s currently nothing specific to report, FBIP has been told that the parties have begun negotiating, so they’re cautiously optimistic. But that said, they believe that time is of the essence and hope the parties will come to a settlement soon. However, if negotiations fall apart and no deal is made then potentially the only remaining course of action would be for the city proceed to eminent domain and condemn the CitiStorage site for the public good, fulfilling the 2005 rezoning agreement to the benefit of all New Yorkers.
Join FBIP tonight and engage with fellow open space advocates!
Greenpoint Beer and Ale | 7 N15th St @ Franklin St. Wednesday October 5th Meet Up at 7:00pm Updates + Q&A at 7:30-8:00pm Craft Beer & Conversation thereafter
“The city can’t just rest on its laurels and say it made an offer,” said State Assemblyman Joe Lentol on the steps of City Hall, where the North Brooklyn community alongside elected officials turned up the heat on an already sweltering summer day for Bushwick Inlet Park. It’s because the $100 million offer that the city made to acquire the last remaining parcel of prospective park land expired yesterday, Monday, August 8.
This puts the future of all 28 acres of open space in a precarious position and Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park is not taking it lying down. With impassioned chants of “Where’s our park?” and a series of speeches by community leaders and elected officials, they demanded that Mayor de Blasio does what it takes to deliver the waterfront park that was promised 11 years ago. Continue reading →
Because the L Train shutdown is consuming all our thoughts lately, senator Daniel Squadron (plus 32 other officials) are calling on Cuomo, de Blasio, and MTA Chairman Thomas Prendergast to start working on better solutions now.
One more G Train thing and then we’ll stop. Apparently a small number of G Trains are being used as a test group for those futuristic digital display screens you see on other trains from the modern era.
If sewage-related podcasts are your thing, check out this DNAinfo reporter’s chat with Zainool Ali, the manager of the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.
What about urban hikes? Are those your thing? On August 6, Newtown Creek Alliance Historian Mitch Waxman will be taking interested parties through our industrial borderlands.
Investors Bank recently cut the ribbon at its new location on Manhattan Ave. However, it’s already made moves in the community by getting in with local advocacy groups like the Greenpoint YMCA and the North Brooklyn Development Corporation.
Though owner of the CitiStorage site Norm Brodsky rejected this offer, there is still time to negotiate a deal – 45 days as of today. To put the pressure on closing the deal, Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park along with local politicians and community organizations, are counting down the remaining days on a clock located on the corner of Kent Ave and North 14th Street.
The city’s offer expires on August 8th. Do you want to help push the deal for the promised park? Join the community to flip the numbers on the countdown clock weekdays at 8AM and 9AM on weekends. Or, sign this petition started by the Greenpoint-Williamsburg Youth Soccer League.
Though the crucial CitiStorage site is still at large, Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park is celebrating an incremental victory in its fight to secure the full 28-acre park Brooklyn was promised so long ago.
The city finally made good on its efforts to purchase seven additional acres of the Bayside Fuel property for $53 million, scooping up the parcel located at 1 North 12th Street last Tuesday. Perhaps the second time’s a charm, because its previous attempt to strike a deal with Bayside stalled in 2015.
“We knew it was in the works, but we didn’t know exactly when it was going to happen,” Stephen Chesler of Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park told Gothamist. “We’re very grateful that all of the land has been acquired but CitiStorage, and we encourage the City to ride the momentum and make the full park like they promised.”
According to Gothamist, the city has set aside $22 million for the demolition and remediation of the Bayside site. Currently, remediation is underway at 50 Kent, where Brooklyn Flea used to be.
It only took a year, but the reports from the CitiStorage fire investigation have been wrested into public view by The Brooklyn Paper. The fire was allegedly sparked by a light fixture, subdued, and then reignited. Kind of weird that department reps maintained their line that the investigation was ongoing, even though investigators signed off on the report on Jan. 8. Continue reading →
At a rally held near the site on N. 11th Street and Kent Avenue, more than a few attendees wondered why the Williamsburg waterfront never saw massive, suspicious fires prior to its 2005 rezoning into a lucrative development opportunity.
But the event wasn’t held in service of a whodunnit mystery. Instead, open space activists brought in local representatives to drive home the message that the local government still owes the city one (1) Bushwick Inlet Park.
To be clear, the 28-acre park has been in the works for nearly two decades. In 2005, when the Williamsburg waterfront was rezoned, the open-space promise was part of the deal Bloomberg cut with neighbors and local politicians in exchange for all those pricey condos and added congestion. With the CitiStorage building aflame (which sits atop a major parcel needed to complete the park), fears were reignited that the land would go to another developer, and though de Blasio recently said he would deny a residential rezoning in the area, activist group Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park isn’t about to rest easy until the city acquires the land via eminent domain.
After years of beating the same (hopefully not dead) horse, there’s little to say aside from “where’s our park?”
And that was, indeed, the rallying cry at yesterday’s meeting.
Here are a few more versions of this from yesterday’s demonstration.
“On this date, there was a huge warehouse fire that would not be put out. Today, there is also a fire that will not be put out in any of us.” Kim Fraser, Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park
“It is very important that we keep our word as a city, very important that we keep our word as a government, and very important that we keep our word as a community to one another. Because that means something — a commitment means something. So we need to continue to fight for this, we need to continue to remind our city and our mayor, respectfully, that this is something they committed to.” Councilman Stephen Levin
“I want to point out that this park is not a gift. It was a negotiated trade. It was a contract. It was a contract between the community and the city of New York. And this contract said, ‘you vote and support upzoning on the waterfront, and we will give you this park.’ It was a hard and fast agreement in exchange for the rezoning that has led to massive density and population increases. And if they do not follow through on this agreement, they’re telling communities all over the city that their word is worthless. That they cannot be believed or trusted.” State Rep. Carolyn Maloney
“I started in politics when we were talking about Bushwick Inlet Park. As an intern. And I stand here today as your Deputy Borough President, working with Eric Adams as your Borough President, committed to this 20-year plan, and committed to what is bringing dignity back to this community. Because I grew up not going to parks. Because in Williamsburg, when you went to a park, there would be a shootout. We are long past those days. We’ve worked hard to make sure we have a safer neighborhood. But it is not fair that after all that work, that we have to stand here again calling for the same negotiated contract that was already negotiated.” Deputy Brooklyn Borough President Diana Reyna
“Open space is as much of a [deciding factor] for people I know as to whether they can make a life here [as schools and property taxes]. It’s not a luxury we’re asking for. This is not a little cherry on top. This is part of what any person who ever thinks about the life and death of cities knows is a necessity when a city grows and changes.” State Senator Daniel Squadron
“A lot of people believe this is all about money. And I guess it is all about money, because either the Bloomberg administration or the de Blasio administration has said ‘we’re not gonna spend the money that’s necessary in order to give us a park.’…We’re not responsible for the cost of this park. This park could have been bought for pennies compared to what it costs today. The East River Park was purchased for $10 million. This park could have been purchased for less than $10 million back in 2005.” Assemblyman Joe Lentol