Year After CitiStorage Fire, Park Conversion Is Still a Hot Topic
Bedford + Bowery
January 29, 2016
Nearly a year after a seven-alarm fire ravaged the CitiStorage building in Williamsburg, the fate of the hotly contested land remains in limbo. On Sunday, the fire’s anniversary, Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park will gather to once again call on the city to turn the controversial plot into parkland.
“The call to action is really to make De Blasio finish, and acquire that last piece of property, so that sometime in the future we can have that 27-acre park that the community really needs and was promised,” said Jens Rasmussen, speaking for Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park.
In 2005, the Bloomberg administration pledged to acquire the 8-acre plot so that it could become parkland along with the neighboring Bushwick Inlet Park soccer fields. Years later, the city said it couldn’t afford to acquire the property, which owner Norm Brodsky’s real estate agents have valued at over $300 million.
Rasmussen said the city’s claims are “bullshit,” since “there’s a huge budget surplus right now” and “one of the surpluses is specifically for capital investment.”
“Frankly, even without the surpluses, the actual legitimate purchase price – not this inflated $500 million [sic] bullshit that Norm Brodsky has been trying to float, doing his best to try to create the de facto value in the press – the actual purchase price is a drop in the bucket of this city’s annual budget and well worth the money and the financial benefits that it would bring to the businesses in the area, and really all of the businesses in all of the city,” Rasmussen told us.
“Really it’s a matter of not wanting to spend it, and frankly we don’t understand that,” he added.
Photo: Daniel Maurer