Designers tackling Brigham St. park

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Designs for a new park at Brigham Street will be completed by the end of August, a consultant with New Yorkers for Parks told the Bay News this week.

Pamela Governale, design program consultant with New Yorkers for Parks – the advocacy group working with the Sheepshead Bay/Plumb Beach Civic Association and others to establish a new public space at the end of Emmons Avenue – toured the 2.5 acre site with supporters last week.

“Having a waterfront park is going to have a huge impact on people in the community,” Governale said.

According to New Yorkers for Parks, there are 2,500 kids per playground residing within the 48th Councilmanic District.

Gene Berardelli, one of the driving forces behind the Brigham Street park effort, said that many people are excited about the project following a public hearing held at Community Board 15.

“It really is the last hope for a public water view,” he said. “We’re busting and ready to go.”

New Yorkers for Parks is now in the process of choosing a design fellow from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a student from the City College of New York to work on the project.

Once chosen, Governale said the team will be working “full time” throughout the summer with input from the community, Parks Department and other relevant city agencies.

Supporters of the park are expected to meet with the design team at the site of the future park on June 4 at 10 a.m.

“The design phase is really going to be ratcheted up,” Berardelli said.

Organizers of the effort still have to find a way to pay for the project. Funding is expected to come from a variety of grants from elected officials, corporations and foundations.

So far, the price tag on the park has been set at anywhere from between $3 and $7 million. That figure could increase, however, if the bulkhead around the park needs to be repaired.

Berardelli says that the existing dock, under the auspices of the Department of Environmental Protection, is in pretty good shape.

“It’s absolutely feasible,” Governale said.

If need be, Governale said the project could be implemented in phases as funding becomes available.

At last week’s meeting of the Sheepshead Bay/Plumb Beach Association, Berardelli suggested that closing down the decaying roundhouse at nearby Plumb Beach could benefit a new park at Brigham Street.

The area – scene of the deadly attack on Michael Sandy last year – has earned the scorn of many in the community who believe it continues to be a dangerous place.

“Taking the Parks Department resources put into yearly upkeep [of the roundhouse] would certainly help our bottom line,” Berardelli said.

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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