Brooklyn Bridge Park operates under a mandate to be financially self-sustaining. This mandate was memorialized in the Park’s General Project Plan approved in 2005. While a small fraction of the required operations and maintenance funds for the park will be collected from permits and concessions, the majority of the funds will come from a limited number of revenue-generating development sites within the project’s footprint. The development program was determined after an in-depth analysis of potential locations. The analysis focused on finding uses that would generate sufficient revenue to support park operations, minimize the size of the required development footprint, and be compatible with the surrounding park and neighborhood uses. Development locations were chosen to take advantage of the existing urban context by concentrating development closest to existing park entrances and maintain the protected view corridor from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, and thus create vital, active urban junctions at each of the park’s three main entrances.
The approved development program includes the sites and uses outlined below:
One Brooklyn Bridge Park
One Brooklyn Bridge Park (OBBP) is a residential condominium building. Completed in 2008, this building is a converted 1,000,000+ square foot warehouse building located along Furman Street just south of Joralemon Street. The building includes over 440 residential units, approximately 80,000 square feet of ground floor retail, and over 500 parking spaces.
Located at the Old Fulton Street entrance to the Park, the Pier 1 development site includes two parcels. The larger parcel to the north is approximately 65,000 square feet, and the smaller parcel is approximately 35,000 square feet. In 2012, BBP selected a joint venture of Starwood Capital and Toll Brothers City Living to develop the Pier 1 sites. Their proposed development will include a 200-room Starwood hotel, approximately 100 residential units, 16,000 square feet of restaurant space, 2,000 square feet of retail space, a 6,000 square-foot fitness center, and 300 parking spaces. Construction began in spring 2013 and is expected to be completed by winter 2015-2016.
The Empire Stores are a complex of seven contiguous four- and five-story historic warehouses containing of approximately 350,000 square feet. The warehouses were built between 1869 and 1885 and primarily used for coffee storage until they were abandoned in the 1960s. The warehouses have been closed for over 50 years due to deteriorated buildings conditions. Redevelopment will adaptively reuse the structure and allow for a mix of commercial, retail and office uses that complement the unique character of this industrial waterfront structure.
In summer 2013, a team led by Midtown Equities was designated to redevelop Empire Stores. Designed by Studio V Architecture, the proposed building plan will feature nearly 80,000 square feet of restaurant, retail, and event space and 300,000 square feet of office space. West Elm will anchor the building by leasing both office and retail space. In addition, Brooklyn Historical Society will occupy 3,200 square feet of exhibition space as part of the project to celebrate the rich cultural history of the borough. Construction began in early 2014 and is expected to be completed in June 2016.
The John Street development site is located at the Park’s northern edge in the future John Street section of the Park. In July 2013, BBP selected a joint venture of Alloy Development and Monadnock Development to design and develop the John Street development site. The residential development will include approximately 50 residential units comprising a total of 96,000 square feet, 2,600 square feet of ground floor retail, and 1,750 square feet of cultural space. The cultural space will be occupied by the first annex of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum, based in Crown Heights, Brooklyn that provides exhibitions, cultural and environmental educational programming for children and families. Construction began in summer 2014 and is expected to be completed by mid-2016.
Located at Atlantic Avenue, the main southern entrance to the park, the Pier 6 development sites include two parcels, each roughly 10,000 square feet in area. On June 30, 2015, BBP announced plans for a joint venture of RAL Development Services and Oliver’s Realty Group to develop two residential buildings at the Pier 6 uplands development site. If approved by the BBP Board of Directors, the new project will ensure the long-term financial stability of Brooklyn Bridge Park. The recommended project comprises 339 units – a reduction from the 430 permitted at the site – space for a 75-seat universal pre-K facility, a 1,500-square foot community facility, plus ground floor uses and streetscape upgrades to enhance the park experience and create a welcoming gateway to the Park. The project would be built with union labor under an expected project labor agreement between the developers and the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York.