[beforeafter] [/beforeafter] 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, recently unveiled plans at a community meeting to overhaul the Main Street section of its 1.3-mile waterfront stretch at the foot of the Manhattan Bridge. [beforeafter] [/beforeafter] The proposal sketches out space for a variety of activities and amenities such as an outdoor nature exhibit facility, a new Department of Environmental Protection building with restrooms and center for children's educational programming, a revamped landscaping program, a bouldering wall, a dog run, and an area reserved for active recreation.
Posts tagged with "Brooklyn Bridge Park":
Another residential high-rise will soon join Brooklyn’s rapidly changing skyline. In response to Brooklyn Bridge Park’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. The BBP is hoping that this new development will serve to create a more active and integrated northern entrance to the park, and perhaps more importantly, produce revenue for the hefty maintenance costs of the park. The BBP has also called for LEED certification and a “high-quality, visually appealing residential development.” The group declined AN's request to name architects involved with each proposal, so for now, all we have are the renderings. Hang on tight, the winning proposal will be announced this summer. In the meantime, weigh in on your favorite in the comments below.
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," 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. The 400-foot-long Squibb Park Pedestrian Bridge zig-zags through Brooklyn Bridge Park, moving through what will one day be a mixed-use development on the park's edge designed by Rogers Marvel Architects and providing a crucial connection to the Brooklyn Heights neighborhood which sits largely cut off from the waterfront by the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. Concrete piers support the main bridge spans across Furman Street and through the park, which gently decline from a height of 50 feet to the waterfront park. LED lights are incorporated into the handrails that will wash the pathway with light in the evening.
While Hurricane Sandy hasn’t slowed development in some parts of Brooklyn, it has delayed the groundbreaking of the Roger Marvel Architects-designed hotel and residential complex at Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park called the Pierhouse. The New York Post reported that the project was originally slated to begin construction this month, but Toll Brothers, the developer, said they will hold off until the redesign of the 159-apartment and 200-room hotel complex is updated with measures meant to protect against future storm surges. Changes include elevating the building three feet, adding steps and ramps to the lobby, and placing the mechanical systems on the roof. This development is paying for a considerable portion—about $3.3 million—of the park’s $16 million annual maintenance budget. Nearby, plans for a velodrome proposed for the park were scrapped in part due to potential flooding of the site.
Another Announcement at Brooklyn Bridge Park: Rock Climbing Wall Could Rise Under the Manhattan Bridge
It seems as if a day can’t go by without a new announcement from Brooklyn Bridge Park. The Brooklyn Paper reported Tuesday that park planners are pushing for a free bouldering wall to be built beneath the Manhattan Bridge. The proposal calls for a ten to 12-foot-tall climbing wall at Plymouth and Washington streets. This fits within a larger vision to develop the park area by Main Street by expanding lawn space, designing a new entry plaza, and relocating the dog run. This news comes right after philanthropist Joshua Rechnitz announced he was abandoning plans to build a velodrome, a complex for cyclists, in the park. As planners delved into the project, they found that the mounting costs of construction exceeded Rechnitz’s $50 million budget and growing concerns about flooding as a result of Hurricane Sandy added another layer of complexity to the design. Rechnitz, however, is still on the hunt for the right location for his velodrome in New York.
An ambitious plan to build a $50 million velodrome in Brooklyn Bridge Park has been scrapped due to budget problems. Philanthropist Joshua Rechnitz had committed funds for the project to be built inside the footprint of an old one-story industrial building sitting within the park boundaries but, despite scaling the project back, site requirements like an aesthetic roof and the risk of flooding at its waterfront site made the proposed building too expensive. Original plans called for a 650-foot-long inclined bike-racing track with nearly 2,500 fixed seats inside a 115,000-square-foot LEED certified structure, which could could be reconfigured to also accommodate basketball, tennis, volleyball, and gymnastics. The roof, visible from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade atop the BQE expressway, was to be a focal point of the building's design. Thomas Phifer and Partners had been tapped to design the velodrome but no design has been released. Greg Brooks, executive director of the nonprofit NYC Fieldhouse overseeing the project told the New York Times that the project will move forward at another site. “We’re very excited and eager to find a new home for this recreation center and velodrome. The funding remains intact,” he explained to the Times. Other previously-considered sites in New York and New Jersey will be looked at again. Brooks told the Times that the group reduced the size of the project to 95,000 square feet and only 500 seats, and elevated the building two feet to avoid flooding, but in the end the numbers wouldn't work. Some in the surrounding Brooklyn Heights neighborhood had opposed the project citing concerns over parking and the size of the new building. Park officials said they will return to their original plans to use the building as a maintenance warehouse.
For those in the market for prime waterfront real estate, there is something brewing in DUMBO. Today Brooklyn Bridge Park issued a Request for Proposal for a development on a vacant parcel in the north section of the park right next to the Manhattan Bridge. This site, located in what will be called the “John Street Section,” is approximately 9,600 square feet and will accommodate up to 130 residential units (with a maximum height of 130 feet) in addition to over 100 parking spaces and retail on the ground floor level.
“The addition of the residential development at the John Street site represents a critical element of our park maintenance plan,” said Regina Myer, President of Brooklyn Bridge Park, in a press release. “This development will not only benefit the DUMBO community, it will further activate the northern end of the park.” This development will join the sprawling Toll Brother’s project, The Pierhouse at Brooklyn Bridge Park, a 200-room luxury hotel combined with 159-residential units designed by Rogers Marvel Architects. We'll see what kinds of proposals surface this March when the deadline for the RFP is due.
It has been a busy few weeks at Brooklyn Bridge Park. Last week, AN got a preview of the Squibb Pedestrian Bridge, which will be completed before the end of the year, and today, Mayor Bloomberg announced the opening of the new sports fields on Pier 5 and the nearby Picnic Peninsula, designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates. Regina Myer, the President of Brooklyn Bridge Park, told the crowd that they have been advocating for these recreation fields since the mid-1980s, which will now be used for a variety of field sports including soccer, lacrosse, rugby, flag football, and cricket. This $26 million project spans 5-acres and offers turf fields supported by shock pad and organic infill made of sand and coconut fibers, shade sails on the northern and southern sides of the pier, and lighting for evening games. In addition to field recreation, there will be an area reserved for fishing with bait and preparation tables provided and a 30-foot promenade on the periphery of the field. While Mayor Bloomberg said that “Pier 5 is designed to withstand sever weather events,” it didn’t make it through Hurricane Sandy unscathed. According to the press release, the electrical equipment “sustained significant flood damage during Hurricane Sandy,” and evening play will be postponed until the equipment can be replaced. The Picnic Peninsula, next to Pier 5, will offer a barbeque area outfitted with picnic tables made from salvaged long-leaf yellow pines, umbrellas, grills (to accommodate more than two dozen grills), a concession area, and a tetherball court. “Before Mayor Bloomberg, most of Brooklyn—except for Coney Island and Brighton Beach—was closed off from the water,” said Borough President Marty Markowitz. “I think one of your legacies, frankly, is that we’ve opened up to the waterfront.” The last three unfinished piers planned for recreation space are wedged in the middle of Brooklyn Bridge Park, and are slated for completion in Fall 2013. The 5-acre Pier 2 will be reserved for basketball, handball, and bocce, in addition to a skating rink and swings. Pier 4 will offer an area for non-motorized boating and an upland park. Pier 3, however, is the only unfunded slice of the park, but the plans for it include a “reprieve” said Paul Seck, Associate Principal at Michael Van Valkenburgh Landscape Architects, with lawn areas and an esplanade.
These days, it seems that the Brooklyn community is doing its best to find creative solutions to ameliorate the awkward neighborhood divisions caused by the BQE. The Atlantic Avenue Business Improvement District (BID) just received a grant for $75,000 from the NYC Department of Small Business Services to create what they’re calling a “funderpass” that will turn the dreary BQE underpass into a pedestrian-friendly passageway, which provides a direct connection between the shops and businesses on Atlantic Avenue and the Brooklyn Bridge Park and Pier 6. The Atlantic Avenue BID will team up with the Design Trust for Public Space to redesign the underpass to include wall murals by Groundswell, and new amenities such as a bike service station, seating, lighting improvements, and prominent wayfinding signage. BID hopes to finalize the design and possibly implement these changes by the end of 2013.
Before the end of this year, the Squibb Park Pedestrian Bridge will be completed connecting Brooklyn Heights with the Brooklyn Bridge Park on the waterfront. This windy path over the BQE and through the treetops will quite literally bridge the divide and substantial grade shift between the neighborhood and the park. Construction of this $4.9 million pedestrian bridge, made of black locust timber and galvanized steel, is already underway, and on December 14th and 15th, the spans will be hoisted into place over Furman Street. HNTB's chief engineer Ted Zoli chose materials that were consistent with the landscape design of Brooklyn Bridge Park designed by Michael Van Valkenburgh. “The bridge is very light weight. You will feel yourself walking across the bridge,” Zoli said at a hard hat tour of Squibb Pedestrian Bridge at Brooklyn Park this afternoon. While the pedestrian bridge represents a contemporary solution, it is also a throwback to a pre-Robert Moses era when there was direct access to the water before the highway was built. “It is like a gangway,” said Zoli. “It is like how you used to walk to vessels on the water.”
The Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation issued an RFP last week seeking qualified developers to revamp the post-Civil War Empire Stores warehouse in DUMBO, according to Crain's. The adaptive reuse project, originally drafted in 2002, has been postponed several times over the last decade due to a lack of developers willing to address the building’s “scary structural issues.” Proposals, which are due on December 10th, could add up to 70,000 square feet and two additional stories to the existing buildings. Projects must be community friendly and address design challenges at the intersection of preservation and sustainability.
Just as rolling hills of green lawn have replaced the industrial waterfront at Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP), two new buildings by Rogers Marvel Architects will soon mask the terraced autopia of the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway cutting off Brooklyn Heights from the park below. City officials announced today that the mixed-use proposal by Toll Brothers and Starwood Capital Group was selected from a list of seven proposals to be built alongside immediately south of the Brooklyn Bridge along Furman Street at the entrance to the park's Pier 1, providing much-needed maintenance and operational funding for the new waterfront green space. Zig-zagging through the site, the two new buildings are composed of three distinct masses of stone, glass, and steel all topped with lush planted roofs and terraces. Rogers Marvel countered the linear horizontality the site presented with a bold facade of vertical stone panels delineating residences from the hotel. A ten-story glass tower situated at the entrance to BBP's Pier 1 contains a 200-room luxury eco-hotel atop a lobby and two-story restaurant spilling out onto a terrace fronting the park. Connected to the hotel over a four-story open passageway, a terraced ten-story residential slab has been aligned to take advantage of skyline and park views. A park-side cafe sits adjacent another pass-through at the residential lobby. Small retail shops front Furman Street and banquet and meeting rooms face the park. Separated by the planned Squibb Park Pedestrian Bridge to the south, a smaller 5-story residential structure includes park amenities like restrooms and maintenance areas and includes a third access point connecting Furman Street to the park. Ground-floor residences have been pulled back from the property line to create private outdoor space alongside the park. Combined, the two new buildings encompass 550,000 square feet, including 159 apartments and 300 parking spaces, and adhere to height restrictions of 100-feet and 55-feet respectively established by City Planning. Rogers Marvel worked closely with BBP's landscape architect Michael Van Valkenburgh to integrate the new buildings with the existing landscape, including the multiple pedestrian passageways through the buildings and a landscaped berm serving as a buffer between the development and the park, said David Lowin, vice president of real estate at Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation. This responsiveness to the landscape and porosity within the larger building mass was important to Community Board 2 (CB2), said CB2 district manager Robert Ferris. He said the community approached the project from a functional level including how the rooftops will appear when walking along the Brooklyn Heights promenade and how light will reflect off the building in the evening. Toll Brothers and Starwood signed two 97-year leases for the two park-side parcels in a deal that's expected to net BBP $119.7 million, or about $3.3 million annually when the buildings are complete, in payments in lieu of taxes to cover maintenance costs. Until now, the park has relied on funds from the One Brooklyn Bridge Park condominiums at the southern end of the park to cover security, maintenance, and infrastructure costs. The public-private funding model at BBP calling for about ten percent of the park to be developed to cover maintenance costs has drawn criticism from some in the community who have charged that turning over public space for development transforms the park into a lawn for expensive residents—and the back yards of several ground-level residences back directly up to the park—but "CB2 largely accepted the proposed building program as the best way to raise the most income for the park on the smallest footprint," said Ferris. Boundaries between public and private space, between what is the park and what is someone's backyard need to be established in a meaningful way, he said. Toll Brothers and Starwood hope to break ground on the new buildings by summer 2013 with the hotel and residences opening in the fall of 2015.