Pain in the grass: Another high-rise slated for Greenpoint waterfront

The Brooklyn Paper
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It’s growing, growing, gone!

A developer plans to add yet another luxury high-rise to Greenpoint’s rapidly expanding waterfront skyscraper district, which neighbors say will leave them with no view and no room to move.

“It’s just going to be a solid curtain, a wall of buildings blocking out the view, the sunset, and everything else, and bringing a lot more people and density into the neighborho­od,” said Katherine Thompson, who lives near the proposed building at 27 West St. and is the co-chair of parks activist group Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park.

Real estate company Halcyon Management wants to demolish a warehouse at the site between Cayler and Quay streets and stick a 19-story tower containing 234 apartments in its place, according to paperwork its architect filed with the city on Tuesday.

The planned building — which also includes ground-floor retail and a 120-space parking garage — joins numerous other towers slated for the neighborhood’s peninsula — including the Greenpoint Landing mega-development, which will add as many as 10 towers and 5,500 units between Box and Green streets — and the 77 Commercial Street complex, which will toss in two soaring towers and around 820 units near Manhattan Avenue.

City officials promised to bring more parks to the already green-space-starved area when the city controversially rezoned the waterfront in 2005 to allow developers to build housing in the formerly industrial zone, but residents say the skyscrapers are outpacing the slow trickle of new gardens — many of which are still a twinkle in their eyes 10 years later.

“Greenpoint already has one of the lowest per capita to open space ratios in the city,” said Dewey Thompson, Katherine’s husband and a board member of the Open Space Alliance, which raises cash for parks in Williamsburg and Greenpoint. “When the rezoning was done, even the most alarmist of community activists never had any idea that the area was going to blow up the way it did.”

The city finally opened Transmitter Park at the end of Greenpoint Avenue in 2012 after many delays. But it won’t start adding actual greenery to the all-concrete Newtown Barge Playground at the corner of Dupont and Commercial streets until next year. And the proposed Box Street Park between Box and Clay streets — which was stalled for yearswill remain a Metropolitan Transportation Authority parking lot until at least 2017.

Meanwhile, locals are still fighting to force the city to purchase enough land to build 28-acres of green-space at Bushwick Inlet Park on the border of Greenpoint and Williamsburg. The park is currently seven acres.

News of the West Street development should give the city a shot in the arm to snatch up the remaining waterfront acres and give the community the park they deserve, Katherine Thompson said.

“Now more than ever, we have to strike while the iron’s hot,” she said.

Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park is demanding that the city halt all waterfront construction until it follows through with its promise — and the group may resort to drastic measures if its voice is not heard, Katherine Thompson said.

“If we don’t get some kind of sense of progress on this or sense of commitment from DeBlasio and city planning, we’re going to take action,” she said. “We will stand in front of the bulldozers and do the traditional Jane Jacobs — linking arms, halting construction — until we get their attention.”

Halcyon Management did not return requests for comment.

Reach reporter Allegra Hobbs at or by calling (718) 260–8312.
Updated 10:17 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Simon from Greenpoint says:
I will absolutely join OSA as I now hear that it sounds like they mean business, and renegade techniques are seemingly all that remain to force the city to do the right thing.
Sept. 11, 2015, 1:19 pm
b from gp says:
Right now Transmitter Park is a fraction of the size it is suppose to be. When will its acreage be realized?
Sept. 11, 2015, 2:37 pm
b from gp says:
Sept. 11, 2015, 2:51 pm
Tom from Greenpoint says:
How is that BIP buyout money gonna get distributed? Who will benefit financially? Mmm?
Sept. 11, 2015, 4 pm
Alan from Greenpoint says:
Tom, there is no BIP buyout money. The issue is getting the city to deliver on its agreement to the neighborhood when it rezoned for residential development and provide for the full 28-acre park. Battery Park City and Long Island City had similar rezonings, but with much more parkland to offset the density. The city needs to buy the land as promised and deliver the park.
Sept. 12, 2015, 10:32 am
b from gp says:
Is there a general understanding as to how LIC was seemingly effortlessly able to create so much new open space relatively speaking (freaky corporate utopia hebegebees aside)? I do know early on architects were hired to do shadow diagrams, which did not seem to happen for Williamsburg and Greenpoint.
Sept. 12, 2015, 10:35 am
b from gp says:
And why are Greenpoint's existing waterfront parks being allowed to go to weed, dead trees and trash now? The end of Manhattan Avenue in particular. Hell, I've seen street medians better maintained.
Sept. 12, 2015, 10:45 am
Momma from Staten Island says:
This is momma's house - momma's rules apply!
Sept. 13, 2015, 8:05 am
Charles from Bklyn says:
The water front should be a park. The only viable reason the city gives developers the right to take so much and give so little is corruption. Here we go again. ... LICH, Atlantic Yard, etc ... what about the thousands of landlords and residents adversally affected all for people who don't even live here yet?
Sept. 13, 2015, 4:54 pm
yupsters go home from in town says:
Yupsters are the cause of the demise of the boros, their charm and diversity.

This is an already overpopulated place - go west my friends!

Can yupsters swim? Let's see!!
Sept. 14, 2015, 9:12 am
Glenn Murcutt from a different hemisphere says:
No grace, no sensitivity. All piggy greed. Milton's paradise was a work of fiction. The East River however is real beauty and will turn these buildings into sea glass and poisoned styrofoam sponge.

Had it been well planned, I might have been able to swallow the Dallas suck. Parking will go where?
Sept. 14, 2015, 4:18 pm
Tom M from GreenPoint says:
Back room deals, bloomblight, greed, yahoos from the midwest have infested Greenpoint where I was born and raised.
A neighborhood where Greenpointers knew how to raise their families and cultivate life long friendships.
Politicians, greed, yahoos are quickly destroying that fiber that bound them families and friendships.
I wonder how you destructive bastards sleep at night, no conscience, I guess.
Sept. 17, 2015, 7:32 pm

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