She’s movin’ on up — Downtown.
Brooklyn Bridge Park president Regina Myer is leaving her post as the head honcho of the private organization that oversees the waterfront green space in November, when she will replace Tucker Reed as the chief of pro-development group the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. After eight years in the hot seat, Myer says she’s achieved just about everything she wanted to — and done a “tremendous” job, if she should say so herself — during her eight years in the hot seat, so when Reed announced his departure, she jumped at the chance to jump ship.
“Number one, Tucker decided to move on, so it was available,” she said. “The great news here is I’ve really done a tremendous amount to transform the waterfront. Brooklyn Bridge Park is 90 percent finished, it’s been a tremendous opportunity for me. I’m really excited to take on a different job.”
Then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg first appointed Myer — a former City Planning Department bigwig — to oversee the development of Brooklyn’s Front Yard in 2008, and though she’s since brought a luxury marina to the park, it has never been smooth sailing.
Back then, crews had just started razing warehouses on the old working waterfront, and locals were still smarting from news that their new park would also be home to money-spinning condos to help finance the massive undertaking, despite earlier assurances that any private development there would take the form of restaurants, lodgings, and sporting facilities.
Today, it is an oasis beloved by residents across the borough, who come to play soccer, rollerskate, catch concerts, dine, and scratch their heads over bizarre public art installations — but many are still really upset about the a-park-ments, and her tenure was marked by multiple lawsuits over redevelopment, heated public meetings, and accusations she and other park honchos prioritized commercial ventures over community space and are too secretive about their operations and finances.
It is a cross Myer admits the next president will have to bear.
“The job always had two aspects — building and maintaining this park space, and figuring out how to finance it,” she said. “Being a steward of this park means being a steward of the maritime infrastructure.”
Among the potential future headaches, locals and area pols are still fighting park management and the city to stop more housing going up at Pier 6 — a project that is now under scrutiny due to Mayor DeBlasio’s questionable ties to developers and their lobbyists.
Residents are now moving in to the new Pierhouse and One John Street luxury condos, while the hotel near the Brooklyn Bridge will open later this year.
And neighbors in tony Brooklyn Heights are kicking up a stink about what they claim is a crime spike in the neighborhood due to riffraff coming in and out of the park — including what many consider are racist demands to scrap the park’s basketball courts in favor of tennis facilities to attract a “different” crowd.
Myer wouldn’t speculate on the dramas awaiting her next in line, but said one of the most important tasks will be to make sure the still-undeveloped space under the Brooklyn Bridge is transformed into something worthy of the iconic span, which she called the “crown jewel of the park”
“The Brooklyn Bridge is a national treasure and the open space underneath it should be treated as such,” she said.
A Downtown Brooklyn Partnership spokesman refused to say how much the group will pay Myer for the new gig, but Reed was pulling in $300,000 as of 2014, according to the Real Deal. By comparison, her Brooklyn Bridge Park base salary is $190,550 a year, per a Crain’s report.
The mayor will announce his pick for the new president by the end of October, according to a park spokeswoman.