The community organization Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park has been fighting for green space in North Brooklyn since 2005. That year, the City rezoned Greenpoint and Williamsburg, leading to frenzied development in both neighborhoods. At the time of the Rezoning, the City promised to compensate North Brooklyn by adding park space to the neighborhood, with 27-acre Bushwick Inlet Park being the most prominent among the green parcels. But, 13 years later, residents are still waiting for that park space, and local advocacy groups like Open Space Alliance, Neighbors Allied for Good Growth, Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks and Planning, and of course, Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park, have been fighting from that time til this to hold the City accountable.
Goal 2: Create a balance between active and passive recreation opportunities to serve the diverse recreation needs of the community
Goal 3: Identify appropriate opportunities for direct interaction with the river, such as boating
Goal 4: Promote a healthy east river environment through sustainable design practices, habitat enhancement, and public education
Goal 5: Develop design guidelines to unify the waterfront as a whole, while encouraging the creation of unique, memorable spaces on an individual basis
Goal 6: Reflect the rich character, heritage and culture of the community in both publicly and privately developed open spaces.
Neighborhood advocates had enormous success working toward those goals in 2017: In April, Mayor de Blasio closed on all 27 acres of parkland, ensuring that Bushwick Inlet Park will be a reality; in October, the Mayor pledged an additional $17.5 million in funding to develop the park, and over the summer, the City finished remediating the 50 Kent parcel of parkland. Following those spectacular strides, Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park hopes to take advocacy “to the next level” in 2018, pushing the City, the Parks Department, and other involved stakeholders to remediate, design and develop the rest of the park with community input, in a way that adheres to the principles of the original Master Plan. Continue reading →
Neighbors Allied For Good Growth (NAG), is a long standing community group made up of dedicated local activists that volunteer their time. If you’re not already aware, NAG was instrumental in the Where’s Our Park campaign for the city to obtain the last parcels of land in Bushwick Inlet to create a new neighborhood park (and it was a success!). They are also helping our neighbors to test levels of lead in our soil. And they created a neighborhood Toxicity Map, a valuable tool and resource for members of our community. These are just some of the major community, development and environmental issues that NAG has given our neighborhood the power to address. In short, they are pretty badass.
This year NAG has partnered with the Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks and Planning (GWAPP) to develop a strategic plan for the creation of a new, larger community civic association. Looking forward to the 2018 launch of this new group, the 2017 NAG Gala is a chance to celebrate their 23 years of accomplishments and this new partnership. This Thursday October 26th, they are asking for your attendance and support. Here are the details:
North Brooklyn is celebrating a major victory today as the city announced the $160 million purchase of the contentious CitiStorage site from owner Norm Brodsky, which will expand Bushwick Inlet Park by approximately 7.5 acres. Mr. Brodsky turned down the city’s initial $100 million offer and was allegedly negotiating with private developers.
Compare the city-wide average of 158 square feet of open space per person with North Brooklyn’s 26 square feet of open space per person and it’s easy to see why the Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park began organizing in 2015 to pressure the city to acquire the land. Actions to hold the city government to its Bloomberg-era promise of saving the land for a public park intensified following a massive fire at the CitiStorage site in Jan. 2015.
“We look forward to working with local officials activists and residents as we design and build a Bushwick Inlet Park we can be proud of,” Mayor de Blasio said in a statement Tuesday morning. Continue reading →
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 →
Got your kayaks and kites ready? If you don’t, better hurry up! This Sunday, the Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park are about to make history and they want you in on the action.
This Sunday, August 9th between 12:30 and 2pm,Occupy the Inlet intends to fill up Bushwick Inlet’s waters with as many boats and kayaks as possible. The goal is to put the screws on City Hall to fulfill its promised 28 acre waterfront park before it’s turned into more luxury residential developments.
“The park is being held hostage from us,” says Steve Chesler, a local activist. “We’re getting angrier. Our base has been growing. We’re not going to relent until the administration starts talking about it and engaging our reps in the community.”
Ok Greenpointers, we really need to step up our game. In the months since CitiStorage mysteriously went up in flames,we were warned that our promised 28 acre park was in jeopardy of getting turned into more luxury towers. Sadly, that day of reckoning is near.
According to a recent Crain’s article, CitiStorage owner Norman Brodsky , (the man seen twirling his pinky ring in the photo below) is optioning off his 11 acre land to not one but TWO developers so they can built more luxury apartments and a whole lot of equally pricey commercial space.
According to Mr. Brodsky, his phone has been ringing off the hook these days with offers as high as $250 million dollars despite the 11 acre property’s current zoning restrictions. If that number weren’t enough to make your eyes bleed, this $250 million dollar price tag is only half of it according to Brodsky, who just a few weeks ago touted the value of his land to be worth a mere half a BILLION dollars.
Last month Greenpoint and Williamsburg neighbors broke out of North Brooklyn and headed down to City Hall to fight for Bushwick Inlet Park. We joined hands, sang songs, screamed our heads off and showed Mayor DeBlasio we have serious balls to bang on the table. In fact, there were so many of us at City Hall, 300+ people by most accounts, we were spilling out into the streets because there wasn’t enough room to for us all.
Our rabble-rousing Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park are at it again and need our help. They are passing around a petition which lays it out to the Mayor in clear-cut terms: We want our park, you know the one promised to us YEARS ago, and we won’t back down until we get one!