The 186-boat marina was put out to bid this week along with a roller rink and sports facilities on Pier 2

No love boat! B’klyn Bridge Park activist says Pier 5 marina plan turns away boat-dwelling seafarers

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

They’re going to need some different boats.

That’s the response of one Brooklyn Bridge Park regular to park management’s call for design submissions from developers competing to operate a marina. The park put out the request for someone to devise and run a 186-boat marina on Pier 5 earlier this week, but it is squandering an opportunity to open up the waterfront to boat-dwelling seafarers from all over, according to a park provocateur.

“What I’m hearing is that the [request for proposals] is not responsive to the needs of the boating community that could be using this from far away,” said Tony Manheim, a member of the park’s community advisory council and longtime critic of private projects in the green space.

At issue is the fact that the park’s proposal outlines a set of docks free of live-aboard sailboats, reserved exclusively for commercial use and docking by sailors with places to stay on land. The marina operator the park chooses will get a 30-year lease and the boat-plex will accommodate only private, inhabitant-free pleasure craft and commercial ventures such as sailing clubs, charter services, and boat rentals, according to a request for proposals released by the Brooklyn Bridge Park corporation, meaning no bachelors can make like Tom Hanks in “Sleepless in Seattle” in Brooklyn’s front yard any time soon, and tugboats are out, too.

“Live-aboards would present a whole set of other issues as we run a public park,” said Regina Myer, the present of the Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Manheim says he supports the idea of a marina, which has long been a part of the plan for the waterfront green space that is relying on private projects including a hotel and luxury condos for its annual funding, but that he has a boatload of questions about what it will look like. Chief among them is his concern about whether the space between Pier 5 and Pier 4 to the north, roughly the size of 24 Olympic swimming pools, can accommodate all those boats.

In addition to the marina, the park also is looking for a company to run a roller rink on Pier 2 and a concession stand on Pier 5. Pier 2 is not yet open to the public, but will also include facilities for shuffleboard, basketball, bocce ball, basketball, and handball, as well as concessions, according to plans released by the park.

The roller rink is already under construction and is predicted to open in early 2014, along with the rest of Pier 2, according to a park spokeswoman.

Brooklyn Bridge Park has not estimated the cost of the marina’s construction, but Pier 2, including the roller rink, will cost $25 million to build, the spokeswoman said.

Reach reporter Jaime Lutz at or by calling (718) 260-8310. Follow her on Twitter @jaime_lutz.
Updated 10:15 pm, July 9, 2018: Story has been updated to reflect clarification from the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation saying that private boats will be allowed, but not live-aboard ones.
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Paul from Kensington says:
Every major waterfront city in the world has a live-aboard marina. The city has wasted so many opportunities to welcome the bluewater sailing community. What little dockage there is (79th St Boat Basin) is awkward, poorly managed and insanely over-priced. Brooklyn is the logical place for a new marina though frankly I think Pier 5 is a stupid place for it. If the marina is built as a non-live-aboard, daylight hours operation it will be an absolute insult to the city's maritime history. New York would not be here if it wasn't for the water. You don't honor that by building a marina for the 1%.
Sept. 27, 2013, 7:07 pm
Jake from Clinton Hill says:
While live aboard sounds romantic I can't quite understand how it would fit into a public park. Or why it should. Any sensible pricing of such live aboard marinas would certainly end serving the 1% anyway. Sailing clubs, charters and boat rentals sound much more public friendly to me.
Sept. 28, 2013, 7:14 am
pookie da Lion from slip slope says:
not a thing wrong being in the 1pct (which is a dopey concept ) - there should be live in marinas - hey if you can afford it why not. perhaps a more equitable approach be an open lottery.
Sept. 28, 2013, 8:01 am
Canonchet from Brooklyn Heights says:
Most commercial marinas, in New York and elsewhere, whether privately owned or publicly operated, prohibit liveaboards, for a variety of legal, insurance and security reasons. Nothing new there, as a few phone calls from a reporter to area marinas and city authorities would have quickly verified. The Park's 'RFP' for the marina, available on line, makes clear that the concept is for a mix of public boating facilities, including rentals, with mostly short-term visiting private yachts, the latter occupying most of the 186 slips and to some extent subsidizing the former. Whether this is either commercially viable or publicly desirable in the context of a city park are the real questions here.
Sept. 30, 2013, 8:38 am
Josh from Brooklyn Heights says:
I would like to go boating from Brooklyn. But if the marina is for live-aboards, how does this help me? We don't allow people to park a camper in a park and use it for living so why should people be allowed to do this in a marina? Waterfront slips are very scare in Brooklyn. It's seems more egalitarian that spots be used by as many people as possible and not privatized as someone's personal residence.
Oct. 8, 2013, 8:12 am

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: