Following CitiStorage Victory, No Rest for the Bushwick Inlet Park Activists
January 18, 2016
North Greenpoint was treated to some unusually good news regarding the legal status of its waterfront right around the New Year, but as the anniversary of the CitiStorage fire approaches, open space activists are hardly about to rest on their laurels.
That’s because Norm Brodsky, the owner of the CitiStorage site, still maintains an as-of-right position over the property, which means developers could swoop in overnight to begin construction on a mall or commercial building, even though the city has ruled against a residential rezoning.
But more on that good news: after intense lobbying from local council members and community boards, Mayor de Blasio dashed the hopes of money-grubbing developers by taking a residential rezoning off the table late last month. So long as the opposition continues to make its voice heard, this (sort of, for now) guarantees that there won’t be any more ludicrously pricey condos going on the land, even if the promised green space never comes, or it turns into another Smorgasburg.
This news was certainly welcomed by Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park, a local activist group that’s been leading the charge to get the city to make good on its 2005 rezoning promise to build a 28-acre park on the Williamsburg waterfront. But at their most recent meeting on Jan. 13, the mood was far more resolute than celebratory.
At Dirck the Norseman on Wednesday.
“We’re happy and thrilled with the mayor’s support, but we are at imminent risk,” said organization member Scott Fraser. “There’s a real sense of urgency and there’s a reason we’re having an anniversary meeting on Jan. 31 about the fire, because obviously the fire threatened us and we all galvanized. We are still very much under a threat because the property could be developed tomorrow, and it could be a mall, it could be an office complex…Chelsea market, it could be like that. So we have to keep the pressure on. We have to keep fighting.”…
Photo by Steph Koyfman