Park it elsewhere: Public-housing tenants pan idea to put Double-D pool’s stand-in on their pavement

Anywhere but here: Residents of the public Wyckoff Gardens pooh-poohed a proposal to put a tempory pool on a parking lot there when Gowanus's Double-D closes, claiming they need the spots now that the city has sacrificed others to develop two privately owned towers on the property.
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They’re shooting this pool plan down.

Residents at a Boerum Hill public-housing complex told the Feds to sink their proposal to put a temporary pool on a parking lot there when Gowanus’s Double-D closes as part of the Gowanus Canal cleanup, claiming they lost enough spots already after the city ceded other pavement at the property for a pair of privately owned towers.

The Environmental Protection Administration leaders in charge of scrubbing the Superfund site told Gowanusaurs in June that they are eyeing a parking lot at Wyckoff Gardens as a possible place for the short-term swimming hole, months after the city announced that it tapped developers Two Trees and The Arker Companies to build two 16-story buildings with 500 apartments — half of which will rent for below-market-rate — on blacktop at the complex.

And those towers will suck up too many parking spots as it is, the residents argued, so the Feds must search elsewhere for the interim splash zone.

“We don’t want it because they are trying to put it on the back parking lot, that’s the only parking space we will have because the other two went to developers,” said Wyckoff Gardens tenant Paula Smith, a member of the complex’s resident-watch program. “We already sacrificed space.”

Another tenant who supported the plan to build the temporary pool — which federal officials promised after revealing they must drain and demolish the Double-D because the ground it occupies within Thomas Greene Playground must be excavated and purged of toxins as part of the Gowanus Canal’s cleanse — agreed that it should go somewhere other than on her neighbors’ parking spaces.

“Where are the residents going to park? I don’t understand where they are getting all this space from, it’s insane, there’s no space,” said Wyckoff Gardens Resident Association member Monica Underwood.

The residents’ pushed back against the proposed location for the pool at a Wednesday meeting hosted by Gowanus Councilman Stephen Levin and local civic leaders on the North Gowanus Vision Committee, where other attendees floated ideas for alternate sites to build the stand-in swimming hole.

Some of those sites are privately owned, however, including the lot at 270 Nevins St. — which Council recently approved the use of eminent domain to seize from its owner, film studio Eastern Effects, if the city cannot work out a deal to buy the land and the next-door Butler Street parcel where the ancient Gowanus Station building stands as a location for a water-filtration facility required as part of the Canal cleanup.

The Gowanusaurs also suggested several plots along the fetid waterway owned by private developer Property Markets Group, as well as publicly owned streets that dead-end at the banks of Brooklyn’s Nautical Purgatory, which the locals said city transit gurus could close off to traffic.

A rep for Eastern Effects declined to comment on whether its bigwigs would agree to a deal to hand over its land for the pool and filtration facility, and a Property Markets Group rep did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Reach reporter Julianne Cuba at (718) 260–4577 or by e-mail at Follow her on Twitter @julcuba.
Posted 12:00 am, July 27, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Hm from Gowanus says:
Eastern Effects leases the property and I believe the owner is the same entity that sold a 3rd Street lot to the Kushners which the Kushners also sold.
Weren’t the residents of Wyckoff Gardens some of the most vocal opponents of the pool’s closing? It seems like the EPA is bending over backwards to accommodate the community and find a local and publicly owned location. No good deed...
July 27, 2018, 7:14 pm
Clarinda from nearby says:
One of first questions from one tables was "why did it take 65 years to get around to cleaning up the polluted park?" "why did the city build the pool on that stuff in the first place?". Then you have the city giving part of the NYCHA property away to developers. And we learned that Con Ed is building a new power station right there too.

There just is something wrong with the way those planning meetings are run. They feel like they already know what they want you say and just just jump to their conclusions anyway.
July 27, 2018, 9:37 pm
Parent from Brooklyn says:
Note that not a single kid is quoted in this story and yet they have the most to lose from this pool not being sited somewhere convenient to them. Who cares about a handful of parking spaces? The Double D pool is an amazing amenity for the community and gives kids a safe place to hang out, play, and keep cool during the summer.
July 30, 2018, 9:43 am
djx from Harlem, formerly Brooklyn says:
Parking is our most precious resource. Not kids. Don't forget that.
July 30, 2018, 11:26 am
Joe R. from Flushing says:
Wait, aren't they in public housing? To my way of thinking if you're so poor that you need public housing then you can't afford a car. And if you do have a car that's money spent which could either be used to pay more rent, or to save up to get out of public housing. Either way, owning a car should automatically disqualify you from being admitted to public housing.

Putting that aside, it speaks volumes that these people are more concerned about storage for inanimate objects which aren't used 23+ hours of the day than they are with having places for their children to play in the summers.
July 30, 2018, 6:06 pm

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