Controversy over plan to turn Brooklyn park into 2 apartment towers

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NJ Burkett has the story on the Pier 6 project. (WABC)

The latest battle over affordable housing in New York City is happening in Brooklyn.

A hearing is being held Thursday on the controversial Pier 6 project, to turn a popular park into the new home for two huge apartment towers.

"You can have fun and you can see a beautiful sight!", said 8-year old Sofia Hoyos of Jackson Heights, who took a ferry from Queens to frolic with her family and friends in Brooklyn Bridge Park, an 85-acre oasis of urban tranquility against one of the most spectacular skylines on earth.

But Brooklyn is booming, and many residents say their park is increasingly at-risk.

"Today, we have this one, last opportunity to do that. To take these parcels and turn them back into the parklands they were created to be," said Judi Francis of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Defense Fund.

Park preservationists like Francis are fighting two proposed residential towers on public land at the edge of Pier 6, the southernmost border of the 1.3 mile park.

"What we are calling for is a master plan to stop this madness," said Francis. "The communities that support us, Brooklyn Heights Association, the Cobble Hill Association, we're all united on this. We do not need this housing."

But the park is a public/private partnership where development pays the costs of maintaining the parks, which are open to everyone.

Supporters of the towers, which would include so-called "affordable" units, say the projected revenue is vital to ensuring the park's future.

"All the piles underneath that park need to be maintained for the next 100 years. We need these funds to pay for that waterfront infrastructure," said Brooklyn Bridge Park president Regina Myers.

Supporters of the towers say a recent independent study backs-up their claims. But critics have their own studies that show otherwise. The public hearing is set for Thursday night.

Related Topics:
realestatereal estate developmentbrooklyn newshousingBrooklyn HeightsNew York City
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