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Bushwick Inlet Park Officially Set For Stroller Saturated Williamsburg

The city just bought remaining Williamsburg waterfront land. Bring on the landscapers—a park is on its way.

By Jeff Vasishta November 28, 2016
Photo courtesy of 25 Kent/Steelblue

Developer and entrepreneur Norm Brodsky finally came through. After years of negotiations with the city, he finally sold his prized 7.5 acres of land on the Williamsburg waterfront for $160 million. Which means, the final hurdle to complete the proposed 28-acre Bushwick Inlet Park has now been eliminated.

Don’t let the name fool you, though. Bushwick is getting pricey—but not that pricey. The park will actually be based in Williamsburg/Greenpoint, where hormonal hipsters have created a baby boom. Urgently needed outdoor space has now arrived.

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A sliver currently comprises a soccer field and a green-roofed community building. It took a long time getting this point. Brodsky had ambitiously touted the land as being worth $325 million. He was extremely prescient in first purchasing the land —11 acres between North 10th and North 12th streets — in the mid 1990’s after he founded CitiStorage. He moved the company there from Long Island City in 1994—going on to build state-of-the-art warehouses and a personal apartment. Then Brodsky sold CitiStorage for a cool $110 million in 2007.

There was talk of the state stepping in and seizing the land on the city’s behalf in order to push through Bushwick Inlet Park—which Mayor Bloomberg had promised in 2005. Whether that was a factor or not in Brodsky climbing down in price isn’t clear. Anyways, an expansive waterfront park will now grace an area congested with shimmering skyscrapers and SUV stroller sidewalks.

“Today is a truly momentous day for the residents of Greenpoint and Williamsburg, who have been fighting for decades to make the vision of Bushwick Inlet Park a reality,” Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said in a statement. “Their tireless advocacy has been inspirational to thousands of Brooklynites, myself included. It has been my honor to stand with them in the fight to preserve this important section of Brooklyn’s waterfront as open space to help us raise healthy children and families.”

The New York Times reports that the city spent $225 million buying up nine acres of the proposed 28. In March, it dropped $53 million for another seven acres. Over a year ago, Bushwick Inlet had already exceeded the Highline in taxpayer costs.

Former-Mayor Michael Bloomberg promised the park during a 2005 Brooklyn waterfront rezoning that paved the way for luxury condominium development. But as the cost of acquiring the land increased, Bloomberg admitted in 2011 that he couldn’t afford Brodsky’s CitiStorage parcel. The charred, 11-acre property on North 10th Street cuts through the middle of the long-stalled park.

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“Our administration keeps its promises,” Eric Adams added in his statement. “When we commit to build a new park or a new school in a growing community, we deliver. We look forward to working with local officials, activists and residents as we design and build a Bushwick Inlet Park we can all be proud of.”

Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park co-chair Steve Chesler said: “It’s a lot of money but the alternative would have been horrific. Not just more development, but more development on promised open space. This upcoming March, he said, will mark the 12-year anniversary of Bloomberg’s promise.

Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

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