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Press Releases

Governor Paterson Announces Agreement to Create New Operating Entity for BBP


Governor David A. Paterson, in partnership with Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, today announced a Modified General Project Plan (MGPP) that will help to expedite the completion of Brooklyn Bridge Park. The proposed modifications include a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the City and the State, which would create a not-for-profit entity to manage the development and operation of the park. Together these actions trigger the release of an additional $55 million in city capital funds for construction, bringing the 85-acre world-class waterfront park closer to completion.

“The modification put forward today is an important component that will accelerate the completion of the Brooklyn Bridge Park project,” Governor Paterson said. “As we prepare to celebrate the opening of its first parcel on Pier 1, an important milestone and the culmination of over 25 years of planning, we are reminded of the rewards that follow commitment and hard work. We continue to move the park from a phase of development to a phase of operation. I would like to thank Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Benepe for their collaborative efforts, and Senator Squadron and Assemblywoman Millman for their work to provide for the longevity of Brooklyn Bridge Park.”

Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said: “Brooklyn Bridge Park can and should be one of the world’s greatest waterfront parks. Despite the economic challenges we face today, we can’t turn away from important projects that will help build a better future for our City – in fact, we need to make those investments today more than ever. As we enter this new phase, the State and local elected officials will continue to play an integral role in the development of the park, and the community will be an even greater part of the process. When it’s complete, Brooklyn Bridge Park will be a treasured destination for all of Brooklyn and the entire city.”

The proposed not-for-profit organization, known as the Brooklyn Bridge Park Operating Entity (BBPOE), would be responsible for the planning, construction, maintenance and operation of the park. It would also solicit and manage proposals for the development sites as well as disposition of such sites. BBPOE will receive an assignment of all revenues from the development sites and park parcels. The new entity would have a 17-member board representing the park community, the State and the City.

The agreement also includes significant provisions that State elected officials worked to secure to protect the Park community, which will need approval by the BBPOE Board. These include the formation of a Community Advisory Committee, and also a Subcommittee on Alternatives to Housing to look into possible revenue sources other than the development parcels intended for Pier 6 and John Street.

Through the BBPOE, New York City will commit $55 million dollars in new money to the project, as well as provide a guarantee to complete the park according to the vision laid out in the MGPP. The Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation met on Wednesday and authorized the modification of the General Project Plan. This approval will designate the BBPOE as the developer of the park and development parcels. A public hearing will be held regarding the proposed MGPP, followed by a 30-day public comment period.

When completed, the 85-acre park will stretch along the Brooklyn waterfront from Atlantic Avenue to Jay Street, north of the Manhattan Bridge. Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation has overseen the design and construction of Brooklyn Bridge Park since it broke ground on the demolition of the long-abandoned piers in February 2008, just two months after the appointment of Regina Myer as President. Sections of Pier 1 and Pier 6 will open this spring.

State Senator Daniel Squadron said: “Today’s agreement is a great victory for the community and the city. We get a commitment to complete the park, a path to find alternatives to housing, and increased year-round amenities. I want to thank the local community leaders who have fought so hard for a real, world-class park, as well as Mayor Bloomberg and Governor Paterson, Assembly Member Joan Millman, Congresswoman Nydia Velazquez, Borough President Marty Markowitz and Council Members Brad Lander and Steve Levin for their work on making this park a reality. It’s a win for our community and our city, and a significant step toward achieving a true Harbor Park-a Central Park for the center of our city.”

Assemblywoman Joan Millman said: “As we approach the long-awaited opening of Piers 1 and 6, I am pleased that the city is taking the lead to develop the rest of this much anticipated world-class waterfront park. I applaud the city for its commitment to provide the funding for the park and its willingness to listen to the community’s call for year-round recreational opportunities, such as the skating rink, the indoor sporting recreational facility at Pier 5 and the floating pool. I also want to thank my colleagues in city and state government, especially Mayor Bloomberg, Governor Paterson and State Senator Squadron, for sharing in my commitment to building this world-class park. I fully support a public process to discover alternatives to housing as a means to fund park operations.”

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz said: “I commend Governor Paterson, Mayor Bloomberg, Senator Squadron, Assembly Member Joan Millman, and of course the dynamic Regina Myer-for working out this agreement to ensure the 85-acre gem Brooklyn Bridge Park becomes for the 21st century what Central Park and Prospect Park were to the 19th and yet remain. Brooklynites and tourists alike will surely say, as Brooklyn’s greatest poet Walt Whitman once did, “I loved well those cities, I loved well the stately and rapid river,” as they play, relax, take in the majestic views and experience this age-old reverie in new and exciting ways.”

New York City Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe said: “With the upcoming opening of Pier I and Pier 6, Brooklyn Bridge Park is poised to make its debut as Brooklyn’s new ‘front yard’ on the waterfront. We look forward to continued cooperation as we work to construct, open, operate and program the most important new park in Brooklyn in more than a century.”

Empire State Development Chairman & CEO designate Dennis M. Mullen said: “Under the leadership of Governor Paterson, Empire State Development is proud to have gotten this project off the ground in earnest. Regina Myer’s steadfast dedication enabled us to make great strides in the development of Brooklyn Bridge Park. With Regina continuing to serve in her role and the City overseeing the final phases of this project, I have no doubt Brooklyn Bridge Park will continue reaching major milestones. ESD is thrilled to join with the City in opening the first parts of the park in the coming weeks.”

Executive Director of Empire State Development Peter W. Davidson said: “New York State has been unmatched over the past several years in jumpstarting transformative projects that spur economic development and create jobs. And when a development is successfully underway, we find the right partners and systems to help us achieve the best long-term outcomes for our projects. That time has now come with Brooklyn Bridge Park, and this new structure is a win for the State, a win for the City, and a win for the local community in making this shared long-term vision a reality.”

Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation President Regina Myer said: “Over the course of the past two years we have made tremendous progress despite serious economic challenges. With the support and guidance of Empire State Development and our city partners, we are forging ahead with the construction of Brooklyn Bridge Park. With spring around the corner, we look forward to inviting Brooklynites and visitors out to Pier 1. We remain dedicated to fulfilling our commitment to the revitalization of Brooklyn’s waterfront and to giving our residents and visitors the Park they deserve.”

The BBPDC will continue to operate as necessary to discharge its statutory obligations with respect to the GPP and will remain a subsidiary of ESDC under the leadership of BBPDC Chairman Peter W. Davidson and Regina Myer who will simultaneously serve as the President of BBPDC and the BBPOE.

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