Over the weekend, Â AN joined an Open House New York on a tour of the under-construction Empire Stores warehouse in Dumbo, Brooklyn. The old coffee bean warehouse was built in the 1870s, but has been sitting empty along the East River for decades. By next fall, though, the Empire Stores will have been transformedÂ with all the Brooklyn-type fixings you’d expect. Yes, there is an artisanal Brooklyn market featuring local purveyors. And office space for tech and creative companies. And cafes, restaurants,Â and beer gardens. Included in the mix is also a rooftop public park and a museum focused on New York City‘s waterfront.
All the topÂ names in New York City architecture are vying for a piece of Brooklyn Bridge Park, but whether any of their designs will be realized still remains to be seen. As community groups try to blockÂ Mayor de Blasioâ€™s controversial plans to bring affordable housing to Michael Van Valkenburgh‘sÂ celebrated park, the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation has unveiled 14 design proposals for two coveted development sites on Pier 6. Those proposals were unveiled just hours before a Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation meeting that was packed with community members voicing their strong opposition to any new development in the park.
As AN covered earlier thisÂ month, Mayor de Blasioâ€™s plan to bring affordable housing to Brooklyn Bridge Park has received steep opposition fromÂ localÂ groups in neighboring Brooklyn Heights. They contend new housing development will eat up public space and that under-market housing would not provide necessary funding for park maintenance. Under a Bloomberg-eraÂ plan, revenue from private, market-rate development would help cover upkeep at the Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates-designed park. Under de Blasio, 30 percent of the two proposed towers for theÂ parkâ€“one 31 stories and the other 16â€“would be subsidized.Â The groups opposing that plan have now formalized their opposition against it.
For over 120 years, the Municipal Art SocietyÂ has been an important organization in New York City’s efforts to promote a more livable environment and preserve the best of its past. It’s successful preservation campaigns and advocacy for better architectureâ€”such as its advocacy to rebuild a better Penn Stationâ€”areÂ well known. Now the organization has announced its annual MASterworks Awards, and of the nine buildings selected this year asÂ honorees, manyÂ are in Brooklyn, confirming that borough’s continuing upgrading evolution.
As Brooklyn Bridge Park opens two new piers, a planned green space five miles south continues to sit empty. Work began on Bush Terminals Piers Park in Sunset Park in 2009â€”just months after Brooklyn Bridge Park got startedâ€”but has been behind construction fencing ever since. The park was slated to start opening last fall, but that did not happen. And it’s still not clear when it will.
The opening of a new pier and beach at Michael Van Valkenburgh’sÂ Brooklyn Bridge Park this week marks the halfway point in the transformation of the celebrated 85-acre site. Local elected officials and community leadersâ€”including Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen and Parks Commissioner Mitchell Silverâ€”appeared on the new Pier 2 toÂ markÂ the occasion. They used words like â€œamazingâ€ and â€œunbelievable” to describe the new six acres of space, but didnâ€™t need much help selling the project.
Bjarke Ingels and Michael Van Valkenburgh are teaming up to design Pier 6 at the southern end of Brooklyn Bridge Park. As AN reported, the pier will feature a pastoral landscape terminated by a triangular viewing pavilion called the Mantaray. The landscape and viewing platform will offer unmatched views of the Manhattan skyline and accommodate special events like concerts. Take a look at the gallery of renderings below or read more about the project here.
Taking the podium at Pier 6 in Brooklyn Bridge Park, New York City Representative Nydia M. VelÃ¡zquezÂ introduced new legislation, called the “Waterfront of Tomorrow Act,” to protect and fortify New York City’s 538-miles of coastline. The bill would instruct the Army Corps of Engineers to come up with an in-depth plan to stimulate economic growth and job creation, update the ports, and implement flood protection measures. Sandwiched between Red Hook Container Terminal and One Brooklyn Bridge Park, a large residential development, the pier was an appropriate place for the Congresswoman to announce legislation that addresses the city’s needs to bolster its shipping industry while also taking steps to mitigate flooding and ensure the resiliency and sustainability of its residential neighborhoods, parkland, and businesses.
Much has been brewing at Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP) over the last six months starting with the opening of Pier 5 to the completion of Squibb Park Pedestrian Bridge. And now, according to DUMBO NYC, the Park, along with Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates,Â recently unveiled plans at a community meeting to overhaul theÂ Main Street section of its 1.3-mile waterfront stretch at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge.
Another residential high-rise will soon join Brooklynâ€™s rapidly changing skyline. In response to Brooklyn Bridge Parkâ€™s Request for Proposals in December, nearly a dozen teams submitted designs for the vacant John Street Development Site at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge in DUMBO. Now BBP has released renderings from the eleven contenders, showing a wide range or proposals. The vacant 96,000-square-foot parcel, located at the corner of Pearl and John Streets, can accommodate up to 130 residential units, 101,000-sq-ft of residential space, and a whopping 110 parking spaces.
HNTB’s Squibb Park Pedestrian Bridge connecting the Brooklyn Heights Promenade with Brooklyn Bridge Park opened to the public last Thursday. The $4.9 million bridge was built using “trail bridge technology” with galvanized steel cables and cylindrical black locust timbers, providing an efficient and lightweight structure that, as a sign at the entrance to the bridge warns, quite literally puts a bounce in visitors’ steps. “The bridge is very light weight. You will feel yourself walking across the bridge,”Â HNTB’s Chief Engineer Ted Zoli said at a construction tour in December. On AN‘s visit to the bridge Friday morning, traversing the spans did in fact provide a bouncy effect.