Is it possible that the epitaph-like headlines leading up to last Thursday night's meeting about the financial state of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporations could have overstated the precarious position of the park? Clearly those who never liked the idea of private housing supporting the park are taking some kind of perverse i-told-you-so pleasure in the financial challenges facing the park, but we think there's a more positive case that can be made. Prior to the meeting, the press positioned the fact that only $230 million out of a total $347 million construction budget had been secured as some kind of death knell. This ignores the fact that it's plenty of money to see the first and largest phase of construction through. And while the delay of the new-construction hotel and condos certainly raises concerns longer-term about how to cover the $16.1 million annual operating budget of the park, One Brooklyn Bridge Park is on the hook to contribute $3 million a year, a number that will suffice through at least 2012. As far as we can tell, the worst-case scenario at this point is not "no park" but rather a modestly-scaled back version of the flashy plans that have been floated over the past year, which wouldn't be that big a deal as far as we're concerned. We suspect most people just want a nicely-landscaped waterfront area with room to picnic and jog. If there's not enough money for some of the bells and whistles, it's hardly the end of the world. In fact, one of the outcomes of Thursday's meeting was the announcement of a Community Advisory Committee to keep the BBPDC in touch with the neighborhood's concerns. It's unlikely to satisfy those philosophically opposed to the development in the park but perhaps can provide useful input in the case that the scope has to be narrowed somewhat. At this point, everyone should be working together to keep the park construction moving forward; reductions and modifications are bound to be necessary, but let's not drag the process back to Square One. It's taken long enough to get to where we are today.
Local Anger Spills Over at ‘Park’ Meeting [Brooklyn Paper]
Future for B’klyn Bridge Park Clouded [Brooklyn Eagle]
BBPDC Open Meeting Recap [Brooklyn Heights Blog]
Brooklyn Bridge Park: Don't Write It Off Yet
Copyright Brown - Brownstoner