Brooklyn Bridge Park honcho: Critics are wrong, hotel height is legal

for The Brooklyn Paper
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To the editor,

The Pierhouse development project at Brooklyn Bridge Park (“Battle of the bulkhead: Brooklyn Bridge Park hotel’s bar, machinery blocks view,” online Nov. 17) underwent a robust and transparent public design review process involving a series of public meetings dating back to 2011. Throughout, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation made clear that it would permit building-height alterations allowed by zoning regulation.

Following Hurricane Sandy, in response to changes in the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s 100-year flood plain elevations and New York City Building Code, it became necessary to move additional mechanicals and newly mandated backup equipment to the bulkhead on the roof. The building under construction today, including the bulkhead, is consistent with the designs that were presented to the community to favorable response in September, 2013.

Additionally, some have incorrectly suggested that Pierhouse, which occupies the former site of the dilapidated Cold Storage Warehouses, contravenes the Special Scenic View District protected in the New York City Zoning Resolution. At no point does Pierhouse pierce the view plane.

Pierhouse, which will generate significant revenue needed to fund long-term park maintenance, is fully permitted under New York City Building Code and fully complies with the park’s 2005 General Project Plan.

Regina Myer

The author is president of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation.

Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Ace from New Utrecht says:
"needed to fund long-term park maintenance" unless of course it wasn't built at all and we used our tax dollars to maintain our park.
Dec. 4, 2014, 9:16 am
Justine Swartz from Brooklyn Heights says:
So what if the common folk, the Hoi Polloi can't see all of the majestic bridge. What is really important is Marvel Architects, the real estate developer makes an enormous profit and the upper crust wealthy tenants of Pierhouse have a world class view of the Brooklyn Bridge. If you believe the myth " We are all created equal" you probably also believe, "At no point does Pierhouse pierce the view plane."
Dec. 4, 2014, 8:16 pm
Tom from The Slope says:
Who permitted this to happen? Regina Myer states something that is contradicted by this photo. "At no point does Pierhouse pierce the view plane." Of course this building pierces the view plane.
Dec. 6, 2014, 3:17 pm
Tom from The Slope says:
Now that they have built this monstrosity already. Who can prevent it from coming into completion? Can anyone demand that they de-construct it?
Dec. 6, 2014, 3:18 pm
Jay from Downtown says:
All you need to read is the word 'delapitated' in Regina's post. Clealy it sets her agenda....otherwise she only needed to name the building or just say 'a building"...clearly she thinks she is "lecturing" kindergardeners...

Btw, wasn't she involded on the rezoning of those parts? Investigating reporting; hello!!!
Dec. 6, 2014, 5:58 pm
Littlestbird from Brooklyn Heights says:
I don't believe this is okay, according to any zoning and would challenge her on that..

But we most also return to what's right; our generation has no right to sell the view of the Brooklyn Bridge. This is hubris.

What kind of park are we building if we are selling off its iconic asset? It's views? This is a Devil's Bargain. Can't ms.
Myer understands this?
Dec. 7, 2014, 10:14 pm
Johannes from Brooklyn Heights says:
" it became necessary to move additional mechanicals and newly mandated backup equipment to the bulkhead on the roof. "

Not exactly correct. The newly mandated equipment had to be added and placed at a safe height. Didn't necessarily have to be on roof. At that point, the developer should have been compelled to accommodate the new equipment within the dimensions of it's approved design.

"The building under construction today, including the bulkhead, is consistent with the designs that were presented to the community to favorable response in September, 2013."

The developer requested they be allowed to build roughly 35 feet above the approved designs. This was approved. The sad fact is, the Board didn't even ask for an alternate design for their backup equipment. (All of which would fit in half the space of one of their upper level condos)

"At no point does Pierhouse pierce the view plane."

Incorrect. And honestly? Just writing that is a fireable offense.
Dec. 8, 2014, 9:12 am
joe from brooklyn heights says:
I love her comment that the community gave her "favorable response"to these buildings in 2013. Sure, one guy who sits on her board, Hank Guttman, gave her a total thumbs up and he will soon move into one of the penthouses in this very building. How many more of these favorable reviewers will live there, too? Not to mention how this building is practically right on the walkways of this "park". Time for a reboot. NO MORE HOUSING IN OUR PARK!!!
Dec. 8, 2014, 9:18 am
Littlestbird from BH says:
... just quickly.. I had heard that will be a restaurant on top of this too? She doesn't mention that... Do we really need to build higher and block the view of the Brooklyn Bridge for restaurant?
Dec. 8, 2014, 9:23 am
0x0 from Brooklyn Heights says:
The mechanicals that extend into the view, are reportedly to support an elevator access to a rooftop bar. The lack oversight of the developer by BPCC is a violation of trust to the community. Only now does BHA seem to be awakening to that fact they were patsies for the platitudes from Regina Myer. Too little too late. Buildings are very permanent, mistakes are born for generations. Pierhouse demonstrates the consequences involved in forcing ultra-lux development to support park operations. Pier 6 is another potential travesty in waiting.
Dec. 9, 2014, 10:17 pm
ujh from Downtown Brooklyn says:
Stop blaming Regina Myer. She has to carry out the decisions of Mayor de Blasio and the Economic Development Corporation via the board of directors of Brooklyn Bridge Park. As to the post-Sandy mandates for construction in flood plains, no developer will sacrifice income-producing floors to accommodate mechanical installations.
Dec. 16, 2014, 12:10 pm
sg from Brooklyn Heights says:
When ever I asked someone about the building (before construction began) I was repeatedly told It would not be any higher than the Promenade. Clearly there was a substantial amount of misleading going on.

While I agree that it would be difficult to undo what has been built, there may be a very small chance of stopping the completion of the last section from destroying the last part of the open view. This can only happen if the neighborhood can band together and get a court order to stop the construction due to false statements in the filings or public hearings.

I also do not understand how the current building does not pierce the view plane, unless that is a very technical definition. You used to be able to see the iconic Brooklyn Bridge from the Fruit Street sitting area, now you can not. In plain English, that is an obstructed view.

I do not have a legal background, but if anyone reading this does, please comment on the feasibility of getting a court ordered stoppage pending review.
Dec. 16, 2014, 10:26 pm
Ezra Barnes from Brooklyn Heights says:
This is what I wrote to our elected officials. If you agree, do the same!

I’m writing to request your intervention in the construction of the
Pierhouse in Brooklyn Bridge Park. According to the agreement made by the
builders of the Pierhouse with the Brooklyn Heights Association, the
Pierhouse was supposed to be 100 feet in height, and apparently is now 130
feet in height. I’m asking your help in getting the builders to reduce the
height of this monstrous building. It is totally out of keeping with the
scale of the neighborhood and eats into one of the most unique urban vistas
in the world.

I’m a native of Brooklyn and specifically Brooklyn Heights, where I was
born in 1963. From the Promenade I watched the shipping industry and the busy
ports. From the Promenade I saw the World Trade Center go up and saw it come
down. The uniqueness of the vista from the Promenade was that one could see,
in one unbroken line, the sweep of the Brooklyn Bridge going into Manhattan
with the Empire State and Chrysler buildings in the distance, see lower
Manhattan and then look out to the harbor, the Statue of Liberty and beyond.
This view had no parallel in New York.

Its astonishing magnificence is now compromised. Because of the height of the
Pierhouse, the view of the bridge is obstructed, and depending on where you
are standing one can no longer see the Empire State beyond. This is a
landmark view that has been available to anyone standing on the Promenade.
One did not have to own a home to have this view, one simply had to go to the
Promenade. There was a sense of egalitarianism to the view; it was for
everyone, regardless of financial means, and it embodied a promise of shared

What we have now is a symbol of the degrading nature of greed embodied in a
building out of scale with its surroundings. The view is now interrupted by
housing for the very wealthy. The symbolism of this should not be lost: the
vista seen from the Promenade that was for everyone is now compromised, but
those with extreme wealth who occupy the Pierhouse will have it.

I refer you to the article in the Brooklyn Heights Blog that details the
agreement that was made and broken by the builders of Pierhouse
( I ask your help in
compelling the builders to reduce the height to what they agreed on in 2005.
In closing, I quote preservation advocate Otis Pearsall: “Please remember,
there are views and then there are views. This is one of the world’s best.
Let’s not nibble at it.”
Dec. 26, 2014, 11 pm
Ezra Barnes from Brooklyn Heights says:
Sign the petition if you want to get involved. It's not too late.
Dec. 26, 2014, 11:07 pm
Doug Biviano from Brooklyn Heights says:
This reminds me of Richard Pryor's classic line, "Who are you going to believe ... [Regina Myer] or your lying eyes?" or just insert any politician into the [brackets].

These people do not respect us.
Jan. 4, 2015, 7:42 pm

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