Brooklyn Bridge Park
Brooklyn Bridge Park is an 85-acre post-industrial waterfront site stretching 1.3 miles along Brooklyn’s East River edge. The site spans from the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges in the north to Pier 6 and Atlantic Avenue in the south. The site is long and narrow with a crenulated edge formed by the piers.
The park, designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates, includes Piers 1-6, Empire Fulton Ferry and Main Street. In addition, two historic properties, the Civil war-era Empire Stores and the Tobacco warehouse, will be integrated into the park.
The park provides green space for active and passive uses including playing fields, sport courts, playgrounds, lawns, and running and bicycle paths. A calm water area is available for kayaking and canoeing.
Construction of the park began in January 2009, with the first six acres of the park opened in March 2010 at Pier 1 including the park’s first waterfront promenade, lawns, a playground and the “Granite Prospect.” Nearly 7 acres of park land on Pier 6 was opened in June 2010, and an additional 3.5 acres of parkland on Pier 1 and 1.4 acres of parkland on the Pier 2 uplands was opened in Summer 2010. In the fall of 2011 the renovated Empire Fulton Ferry section was reopened to feature the historic Jane's Carousel. In the summer of 2012, the Pop-Up Pool on the uplands of Pier 2 was open to the public. In December 2012, the Pier 5 recreation fields,playgrounds, bait prep stations and picnic peninsula opened to the public. Shortly after, in March 2013, Squibb Park & Bridge opened to pedestrians and surrounding community.
Park Planning History
Brooklyn Bridge Park was the subject of extensive planning and community advocacy for over twenty years. After the close of its cargo operations in 1984, the Port Authority announced plans to sell the piers for commercial development. That action caused a re-evaluation of the site's value as a public resource. In 1998 the Downtown Brooklyn Waterfront Local Development Corporation was created to undertake a public planning process for Brooklyn Bridge Park. The result of that effort was the September 2000 Illustrative Master Plan, which presented a conceptual framework for a waterfront park.
On May 2, 2002, Governor George Pataki and Mayor Michael Bloomberg signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) dedicating state and city funding for the park's construction and providing for the creation of Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation (BBPDC) to oversee the design and construction of the park. An important mandate of the MOU was that, once built, the park is required to be economically self sufficient with respect to its own ongoing maintenance and operations. Therefore, revenue producing development is a necessary component of the project to support its annual maintenance and operations.
In 2004, BBPDC hired the landscape architecture team of Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates to lead an intensive planning process and prepare a master plan for Brooklyn Bridge Park. In 2005, the Master Plan was released, environmental reviews for the project were completed and the General Project Plan was approved (and subsequently modified in 2006 and 2010). Ground was broken on the park in February 2008. Piers 1 and 6 opened to the public in the first half of 2010 and immediately following, a new entity, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, known as Brooklyn Bridge Park, was established to continue planning and construction, and to maintain and operate the park.
In the summer of 2012, development plans for Pier 1 were announced. The Pier 1 development will include a 200-room hotel, 159 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. The Pier 1 development, a joint venture by Starwood Capital Group and Toll Brothers City Living, is expected to break ground in summer 2013. Click here to view a gallery of the renderings.
On July 31, 2013, the development plants for John Street were announced. Located at the northern edge of the park just past the Manhattan Bridge, the John Street site is a 10,000 square foot site with a maximum allowable height of 130 feet. The John Street development will include up to 130 residential units, as well as ground floor retail and up to 110 parking spaces. The John Street development, a joint venture of Alloy Development and Monadnock Development, is expected to break ground in 2014 with anticipated completion in winter 2015. Please click here to view a gallery of the renderings.
On September 4, 2013, Mayor Bloomberg announced the approval for redevelopment of the Empire Stores. The Empire Stores are a complex of seven contiguous four- and five-story historic warehouses containing approximately 347,000 gross square feet. Midtown Equities, in partnership with Rockwood Capital and HK Organization, were selected for the restoration. The adaptive reuse plans call for commercial uses including restaurant, event, retail and office space. In addition, a long-term lease with St. Ann’s Warehouse was approved to develop a theater in the historic Tobacco Warehouse. Please click here to view a gallery of the renderings.
Things to Know
LENGTH OF WATERFRONT