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© Brooklyn Bridge Park

Project Development

Project Development

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 are collected from permits and concessions, the majority of the funds 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:

Development Sites

  • 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.

  • Pier 1 Sites

      One Hotel Brooklyn Bridge & Pierhouse Condominiums 

      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 development includes 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 opened 2017.

  • Empire Stores

      Empire Stores

      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 were closed for over 50 years due to deteriorated buildings conditions. Redevelopment has adaptively reused the structures and allowed 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 features nearly 80,000 square feet of restaurant, retail, and event space and 300,000 square feet of office space. West Elm anchors the building by leasing both office and retail space; TimeOut Market located in the first and fifth floors offers 24,000sqft of dining options. Construction began in early 2014 and was completed in June 2016.

  • John Street Site

      One John Street

      The John Street development site is located at the Park’s northern edge in the 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 includes 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 was first occupied by the first annex of the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. Currently, the Brooklyn Public Library Annex occupies the space. Construction began in summer 2014 and was completed in 2016.

  • Pier 6 Sites

      Quay Tower & The Landing

      Located at Atlantic Avenue, the main southern entrance to the Park, the Pier 6 development site comprises two parcels, each roughly 10,000 square feet in area. On June 7, 2016, the BBP Board of Directors voted to approve a joint venture of RAL Development Services and Oliver’s Realty Group to develop two residential buildings at the site. The last of the Park’s five development sites approved in the 2005 GPP, the Pier 6 development will ensure the long-term financial stability of Brooklyn Bridge Park, provide affordable housing, and create hundreds of union jobs. Streetscape upgrades enhance the Park experience and create a welcoming gateway. Construction was completed in 2019.

Project Approvals & Presentations

Conversion of Tobacco Warehouse and Empire Stores

Pier 1 Development Facts

The Pier 1 development occupies, approximately, the footprint of the National Cold Storage Warehouses, a complex of buildings that blocked views for over a century. The warehouses were demolished in 2010 to make way for parkland and the Pier 1 development that had been approved as part of the 2005 Brooklyn Bridge Park General Project Plan (GPP).

While many people do not recall the visual impact of the old warehouses, it was understood that from some vantage points, the Pier 1 development would obstruct views of the Brooklyn Bridge and Manhattan – particularly from the northern end of the Promenade and from the “Fruit Street Sitting Area,” which is not part of the Promenade.

The project comprises two parcels: Parcel A, the site of the taller hotel and residential buildings to the north; and Parcel B, the site of the smaller residential building.

In order to clear up some misunderstandings regarding the project, following is a list of pertinent facts.

  • Height Limit

      The BBP General Project Plan prescribes a height limit of 100 feet. This reflects the effort to develop a building of scale and impact similar to the National Cold Storage Warehouses. The GPP is silent on the inclusion of mechanicals within the 100 feet. Upon consultation with Empire State Development Corporation (ESDC), the decision was made to permit rooftop mechanical equipment to exceed the 100’ height limit provided that it fit the definition of a “Permitted Obstruction” in the NYC Zoning Resolution.

       

       

       

  • Base Plane

      Based on consultation with ESDC, the 100’ height limit for the Pierhouse is determined in accordance with the NYC Zoning Resolution, under which height is measured from the Base Plane. Prior to Hurricane Sandy, the Base Plane for the Parcel A building at Pierhouse was set at 10.2’. After Hurricane Sandy, in response to changes in FEMA’s 100-year flood plane elevations at the site, the Base Plane was raised by 3.55’ to 13.75’.

  • The Brooklyn Heights Scenic View District (SV-1)

      Adopted in 1974, this protected view plane extends from the Promenade at specified angles in the shape of a fan. The height of buildings covered by the view plane cannot be taller than the plane. Protection of the view plane has always been a requirement of this project and the Park as a whole.

      The taller hotel and residential buildings of the Pier 1 development are not located within SV-1, and do not at any point violate the legally protected scenic view plane.

      The smaller residential building of Pierhouse is largely within SV-1, and the building on that site will fully comply with that restriction.

      The National Cold Storage Warehouses did violate the view plane, but were “grandfathered” because they existed before the Scenic View District was created. New buildings will comply with the view plane restrictions.

       

  • Fruit Street Sitting Area

      Views from the Fruit Street Sitting Area, which is not part of the Promenade, are not protected under SV-1. Views from this area had been obscured by the Cold Storage Warehouses prior to their demolition.

  • Squibb Park

      As with the Fruit Street Sitting Area, views from Squibb Park are not protected. In the four years since the warehouses were demolished, it was understood that the open views were temporary and the Pier 1 development would obstruct views once constructed.

  • Bulkhead

      The 1Hotel bulkhead contains two parts. The lower bulkhead, closer to Furman Street, is approximately 23’ tall and contains an emergency generator and cooling towers. The remainder of the hotel bulkhead is approximately 30’ tall and contains three levels. The lower level contains the access for the elevators and egress stairs. The middle level contains the elevator equipment room, an IT equipment room and exhaust and supply fans serving all floors of the hotel. The upper level of the bulkhead contains the required overrun heights for elevator service and equipment and pressurized fans. A model showing the post-Sandy bulkheads presented to the community in September, 2013, can be seen here.

       

  • Public review process

      Through a series of public meetings dating back to 2011, the Pier 1 development underwent a robust and transparent design review process. Our Community Advisory Council (CAC) – the body through which the Park reports to the community regarding its projects – was updated on all design changes, and from the earliest meetings it was made clear that mechanical equipment would exceed the 100 foot height limit provided it fit the definition of a “permitted Obstruction” in the NYC Zoning Resolution. This was acknowledged by the CAC from the first meetings on the project. In September 2013, the post-Sandy design was presented to the community. This is the same design as is being constructed today.

       

       

  • Hurricane Sandy

      Following the 2013 release of FEMA’s post-Sandy 100-year flood plain maps, (which extended the flood zone to include the area of the Pier 1 development site) and DCP’s Flood Resilience Text Amendment which modified zoning to encourage flood-resistant construction, Pierhouse architects adapted the design by raising the base plane 3.55’ – thereby elevating the building out of the flood zone – and relocating mechanical systems above flood levels and onto the roof.

  • Project Benefits

      In 2002, Brooklyn Bridge Park was established with a mandate that the site itself would generate the revenue to maintain the park in perpetuity. That funding is provided by development on sites at the edges of the park project. Pier 1, the hotel and condominium under construction adjacent to the Park near Pier 1, has been permitted in this location since 2005. Over the course of the lease term of 97 years, the development is projected to result in $119.7 mil in net present value of revenue. Upon completion, the project will generate a projected total of $3.3 mil annually in rent and PILOTS. Public Benefits

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