Pols have sold us out to Bloomy

for The Brooklyn Paper
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State Sen. Daniel Squadron and Assemblywoman Joan Milllman reneged on their promise of no new housing to pay for Brooklyn Bridge Park.

The community came up with many alternatives to pay for the park besides luxury housing, including the payments in lieu of taxes for the Jehovah’s Witness Watchtower properties. Under the deal that Squadron and company reached with Mayor Bloomberg, the Witness properties are “partially” being used to scale back proposed housing on John Street in DUMBO, when the abundance of square footage available could completely eliminate the need for housing inside the park at Piers 1 and 6.

Because of federal intervention over the giveaway of our state park for profit and a $1-million reduction by the city of payment obligations by the first luxury condo, One Brooklyn Bridge Park, the city will be forced to look to the community’s proposed alternatives.

But neither Squadron nor Millman exercised their veto power against building on the John Street site in the heart of DUMBO. The elected officials justified this failed position because they “won” a five-story reduction on a proposed 17-story building.

A 12-story building will still obstruct the four- to six-story buildings in the DUMBO Historic District, continuing the trend of “walling off” the public waterfront and obstructing views of both the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges.

The veto was a great opportunity for Squadron and Millman to show real leadership, be visionary like Jane Jacobs, open up the outdated General Project Plan and look to the concrete alternatives the community came up with for funding.

Instead, Squadron and Millman chose to sell out, and try to sell it to us as “a win.”

The John Street site should remain public — a great open space to see the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges together on the waterfront. With the power plant closing this year, we should be looking at this site in its entirety up to the Brooklyn Navy Yard and not be thinking about the immediate real estate greed of the present administration.

Any building on the John Street site will eliminate this parcel and future Con Edison waterfront parcels to be considered part of the park and wall off the entrance of the surrounding communities of Vinegar Hill, Farragut and Bridge Plaza.

What should be the great north entrance of Brooklyn Bridge Park, accessing preexisting public transportation is not even considered.

Doreen Gallo is executive director of the DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance.

Updated 11:30 am, August 5, 2011
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Reasonable discourse

tee gee from sunset park says:
sadly, those of privilege, don't think of others until their cups runeth over and over. don't the residents of dumbo realize, if they get to use real estate tax revenue from the watchtower properties (when they are sold into private hands), they are taking city tax revenues away neighborhoods like mine, to fund their dumbo park. sunset park residents were cut off from their waterfront over a hundred years ago (a waterfront that had had beaches and open space) with Robert Moses' Gowanus Expressway - for the city's better good. half of the retail strip was torn down and hundreds of apartments and small homes too. adding insult to injury, the city then red-lined the prime waterfront properties so that residential use would be prohibited - moving people further from the waterfront. this was done as a favor to the longshoreman's union - preserving a working waterfront for a manufacturing NYC - two dreams that any city planner or economist with a brain would know were fantasies. then the port authority traded away any chance of a working waterfront by giving it to nj in return for manhattan getting the World Trade Center. and even then, the city wouldn't let sunset park return to its waterfront. and now - fast forward to modern day, our councilwoman celebrates a deal to store thousands of cars on our waterfront in return for money to build a small waterfront park and that money has not appeared although the cars have. democracy is a slow will take several more generations before america & its cities truly become democratic.
Aug. 5, 2011, 7:15 am
John from Flatbush says:
Interesting, no housing at Pier 6 and housing on John St and hotel/condos at pier 1 means the Cobble Hill crowd beat out the DUMBO and Fulton Ferry Landing folks. No doubt, these results are based 100% on vote turnout in the respective electoral districts.
Aug. 5, 2011, 11:15 am
john from nabe says:
these relative neighborhood outcomes are not based on voter turnout, but the political influence of a key person or two.
Aug. 6, 2011, 6 pm
John 8H from DUMBO says:
What power plant closing?
Aug. 6, 2011, 9:38 pm
john from flatbush says:
far more registered votes live in Cobble Hill and Brooklyn Heights than in Fulton Ferry Landing and Vinegar Hill = Millman and Squadron will get re-elect
Aug. 8, 2011, 7:57 am
Joe from Brooklyn Heights says:
I wonder how much Millman and Squadron got under the table for their approval of dismantling the park for profit. This is just the beginning of the end for the park.
Aug. 8, 2011, 8 am
Bob from Carroll Gardens says:
Got that right, Joe. The people lose but Millman and Squadron, they get the developers' money, Bloomies endorsements, and tout all the things they delivered. By the time voters wake up and realize they have been screwed (that all the housing goes up), Squadron will be in Congress screwing the nation (just like the mini-Weiner he is). At least the woman who wrote about the scandal had the guts to tell the truth. The whole thing is a lie and she called it.
Aug. 10, 2011, 5:10 am

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