The city has made a deal to acquire the final piece of land needed for a long-promised park in Brooklyn. NY1's Lori Chung filed the following report.
The CitiStorage site in Williamsburg will soon be under city ownership, and ultimately, the land that will finally complete Bushwick Inlet Park.
"We're going to have an enormous 27-acre public park on the waterfront in Brooklyn," said Adam Perlmutter, chairman of Open Space Alliance. "It's a major development."
One made possible by the city's deal to pay $160 million for the 11-acre site, well above the mayor's initial $100 million offer.
That bid came after a massive fire destroyed the CitiStorage warehouse building last year. Owner Norman Brodsky rejected that bid.
"It's going to be paid out over time," Perlmutter said. "There's a tenant in the remaining warehouse, and that tenant has to vacate for the city to take title to the property. But there's a structured deal in place.
It's a relief to advocacy groups that demonstrated and even held a sleep-in to urge Brodsky to make the deal. They had also called on the city to use eminent domain to make good on the promise made back in 2005 to add more greenspace to this once industrial area.
"They made a deal with us when they rezoned 185 blocks," said Kim Fraser of Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park. "They said, 'You're going to get this 27-acre park in the middle.' So let's fulfill the deal."
Advocates say the park has already been a benefit to the Greenpoint and Williamsburg neighborhoods, and this new land will bring more people to the waterfront.
"These two neighborhoods really deserve some beautiful open space on the East River, not just the people that live in the towers and have their living room windows on the East River," Fraser said.
"It's going to be big enough for everybody to come with their families, to play games with their kids," said Katherine Thompson of Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park.
The Parks Department will now look to clean up the CitiStorage site and set a timeline for development.