City buys last piece of land needed to build Bushwick Inlet Park
NY Daily News
November 22, 2016
The city has finally struck a deal to buy the last chunk of land it needs to build Brooklyn’s long-delayed Bushwick Inlet Park, Mayor de Blasio announced Tuesday.
The de Blasio administration will pay $160 million under an agreement reached Monday for the site of the former CitiStorage warehouse, which sits smack in the middle of the land the city needs to build the Williamsburg park.
City officials pledged in 2005 under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg to build the 28-acre park as part of a deal to rezone the north Brooklyn waterfront for luxury towers, but only a small sliver of it ever got done.
“Today is the day we begin turning the full vision of Bushwick Inlet Park into a reality. After an extensive negotiation, we have struck a fair agreement to acquire the CitiStorage site,” de Blasio said. “Our administration keeps its promises. When we commit to build a new park or a new school in a growing community, we deliver. We look forward to working with local officials, activists and residents as we design and build a Bushwick Inlet Park we can all be proud of.”
City officials pledged in 2005 under former Mayor Michael Bloomberg to build the 28-acre park as part of a deal to rezone the north Brooklyn waterfront for luxury towers.
The former warehouse was decimated in a fire last year, and it’s still expected to take years to do environmental cleanup and prepare the site. But buying it was the major roadblock stopping the park from moving forward.
“The community’s been waiting for this for 12 years,” said Councilman Steve Levin (D-Brooklyn). “It took a lot of work.”
The city previously offered $100 million for the property, which owner Norman Brodsky rejected. He initially asked for $325 million, he said. The sides finally reached a deal late Tuesday night.
The former CitiStorage warehouse site was decimated in a fire last year. It’s expected to take years to do environmental cleanup and prepare the site.
“I always wanted it to be a park. The city stepped forward and got a great deal, and I’m thrilled. And the neighborhood got what they were promised in 2005,” Brodsky said. “It’s a Cinderella ending.”
The purchase puts the city in control of the full footprint of the planned park.
“When the city makes a promise, people need to be able to trust it. For a long time, Bushwick Inlet Park gave people reason to doubt the city, and today hopefully is a big step in restoring their faith,” said state Sen. Daniel Squadron (D-Brooklyn). “It’s great news, and now we have to work together to make sure the park gets build as quickly as possible.”