How the Completed Bushwick Inlet Park Will Change Williamsburg
November 22, 2016
The long-promised and highly anticipated Bushwick Inlet Park is finally going to become a reality.
The city has struck a deal to purchase the last 7.5 acres needed to complete the 28-acre Williamsburg park from developer Norm Brodsky for $160 million, the city announced Tuesday. The final price is well below the original ask of $325 million and comes after the state had considered intervening on behalf of the city to make the sale happen earlier this year.
Community groups and local politicians rejoiced when they heard the news. Park advocates Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park commended both State Assemblyman Joe Lentol and City Councilman Steve Levin for facilitating negotiations between Brodsky and the city.
“Today is a truly momentous day for the residents of Greenpoint and Williamsburg, who have been fighting for decades to make the vision of Bushwick Inlet Park a reality,” Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said in a statement. “Their tireless advocacy has been inspirational to thousands of Brooklynites, myself included. It has been my honor to stand with them in the fight to preserve this important section of Brooklyn’s waterfront as open space to help us raise healthy children and families.”
The impact of the purchase will be significant. This final parcel of land sits in the middle of the planned park. The park’s completion will create a large public green space connecting the community to the North Brooklyn waterfront.
On this parcel, the park will replace the CitiStorage warehouse, which held medical and city records and burned in 2015.
The completion of the park, which is still years away, will make good on a long-delayed promise from politicians to create the park land in exchange for the 2005 rezoning of the Williamsburg and Greenpoint waterfront. Residents have been asking the city to make good on its promise for more than a decade. Buildings have sprung up everywhere, but the park has not fully materialized.
The plans for Bushwick Inlet Park have been in place in one form or another since the middle of the Bloomberg administration. The de Blasio administration has been trying to buy up portions of land for the park. Some residents recently expressed concern the lack of progress would lead to more waterfront housing development on the promised parkland.
The 2005 rezoning led to an explosion of housing construction and other development that coalesced into the boom Williamsburg has seen over the past 10 or so years. All the while, the promised park’s progress has remained mostly stagnant. A sliver of the promised park, a soccer field and community building, opened in 2013.