Posts tagged with "Brooklyn":

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Group unveils plans by SCAPE for verdant Gowanus Canal

First came the factories. Then, decay and abandonment followed by an alphabet soup of toxic waste and three-eyed fish (maybe). Now, one nonprofit has plans to transform the Gowanus Canal, one of the country's sickliest waterways, into a park and ecological corridor for western Brooklyn. Last night the Gowanus Canal Conservancy unveiled its verdant vision for Gowanus Canal–adjacent areas of Brooklyn. In collaboration with New York's SCAPE Landscape Architecture, the group's Gowanus Lowlands: A Blueprint for NYC’s Next Great Park outlines possible plans for a park along the waterway in anticipation of a master plan that will be developed over the next six to nine months. For those who don't know, the entire 1.8-mile Gowanus Canal is a Superfund site, a heavily polluted channel that cuts through the tony neighborhoods of Park Slope, Cobble Hill, Carroll Gardens, as well as Red Hook and Gowanus. In lieu of the raw sewage and malodorous trash that currently dot the waterway, Lowlands imagines boaters and picnics, performance venues and cafes, and other amusements set between attractive walking paths and arrays of native flora that will knit neighborhoods together. Grassy hills and meadows will line the edge of the canal, while mitigation basins, bioswales, and sponge gardens will filter runoff and provide habitat for local wildlife. The plan was developed with neighbors' input over the past two years, and this year the Conservancy hired SCAPE to develop the Lowlands idea. The plan dialogues with the Canal's Superfund cleanup, local and state environmental remediation efforts, as well as a potential city rezoning that could encourage more development.
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Community, elected officials still not pleased with Brooklyn armory redevelopment scheme

Approvals aren't looking so hot for the redevelopment of a massive city-owned armory in Brooklyn. Developer BFC Partners has plans to transform the Bedford-Union Armory, a hulking block-long former military compound in Crown Heights, into luxury condos, affordable, and market-rate rental housing, and a public recreation center. The New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), in collaboration with BFC Partners, introduced the current redevelopment project almost two years ago. Last night, kicking off the Bedford-Union Armory's public review process, Brooklyn Community Board 9's land use committee said it can't support the redevelopment, DNAinfo reported. This is after the area's city councilperson, Laurie Cumbo, backed off her support of the 542,000-square-foot project. “This committee has made it clear that we weren’t interested in approving this project in its current form. That includes having condos on public land… given that that’s the case, when are we going to see a presentation that reacts to that?” Michael Liburd, chair of the CB 9 committee, said. “Because this is the same information we’ve had all along.” To complete its Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP), a months-long process, the Bedford-Union Armory redevelopment must earn the support from the community board, Borough President Eric Adams (who conditionally revoked his blessing last month), the City Council, and the Mayor before ground breaks. Right now, the development includes 330 rentals, half of which would be affordable, but the affordability thresholds do not necessarily reflect the neighborhood's socioeconomic composition. In light of this mismatch, officials are pushing for a 100 percent affordable development through the ULURP process, while activists want the city to #KillTheDeal entirely: So what's next? The full community board will vote on the project this Monday, June 19. Although the board's vote is only advisory, its input is considered as the ULURP process moves forward.
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Fogarty Finger unveils 22-story tower next to historic Dimes Bank in Brooklyn

New York–based architecture firm Fogarty Finger along with developers Charney Construction & Development, 1 Oak Contracting, and Tavros Capital Partners, unveiled its latest project: a new 22-story mixed-use tower integrated with the historic Dimes Saving Bank of Williamsburg in South Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The site, nicknamed “The Dime,” involves a 342,451-square-foot building at 263 South 5th Street, with over 100,000 square feet dedicated solely to office space, 50,000 square feet of retail, and 177 rental apartments. The project is aimed towards the increasing number of office tenants in the area and features an open-plan space with large floor plates. The building's streamlined aesthetic with ribbon windows and rounded corners is a nod to art moderne architecture, particularly Frank Lloyd Wright’s Johnson Wax building and New York’s Starrett–Light building, according to the architects. The facade will be clad in white terra cotta tiles in reference to the neo-classical bank, which will also be undergoing a renovation. “It was tying back to the bank building, but the idea that the bank building and what we were using for the new building are materials that were used at the same time,” Chris Fogarty, a partner at Fogarty Finger, said to Commercial Observer. The restoration of the 16,700-square-foot bank will involve revitalizing existing columns and maximizing natural lighting by replacing the current skylight. The plan is to let the old Dime bank become a flexible commercial area, with spaces for a showroom, an office lobby for tenants, or stand-alone retail. The project’s strategic location, which is close to the Marcy Avenue J/M/Z stop, offers commuters a solution to the upcoming L train shutdown, according to the architects. “The Dime building will create the perfect gateway to Brooklyn, welcoming inhabitants at the crossroads of the bridge, the BQE, and the elevated train tracks, creating an iconographic project that merges the past and future of the city,” the firm said in a press release. Construction is expected to begin in June 2017 and finish by 2019.
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Home Studios brings luminous art nouveau to a Brooklyn cocktail bar

A certain type of Brooklynite has, in the past five years, done at least one of the following: lined up for pizza at Paulie Gee’s; caught a movie at Syndicated; and raced to happy hour at Ramona, Sisters, or Manhattan Inn. Even if none of those names ring a bell, chances are, if you’ve been out and about anywhere in North Brooklyn, then you’re already familiar with Home Studios, the firm behind these and Elsa, their newest addition to the Brooklyn bar scene. Elsa, a cocktail bar with subtly exuberant art nouveau flair, recently opened in Cobble Hill.

The creative firm actually designed the bar’s first Manhattan spot in 2008, though Elsa 1.0 closed three years ago. For the new Elsa on Atlantic Avenue, the client wanted to keep the ethos of the original East Village bar intact: “We loved the design of the original Elsa and wanted to reimagine the new space in a way that kept the essence of the Manhattan location, but with greater sophistication,” said principal Oliver Haslegrave.

“To that end, we experimented with every design element in the space, from the interior architecture to abstract material combinations of plaster, mirror, leather, and marble.” That is not an exaggeration. Home Studios designed the light fixtures, doors, banquettes, tables, shelving for the bottles behind the bar, cocktail tables, and stools—with much of the work completed in its in-house shop. It’s all in a day’s work for the firm, which specializes in highly customized interiors.

Here, everything glows, especially in contrast to the busy street outside. Deep burgundy booths with marble-and-brass tables line a wall opposite the bar, with a mirrored surface that reflects liquor bottles displayed on staggered dendritic steel displays. The space is inspired in part by Jean Royère’s voluptuous furniture, and is named for Elsa Schiaparelli, the spirited 20th-century fashion designer behind the Tears dress and manicure gloves.

Since its founding in 2009, the Brooklyn-based firm has completed 30 projects, from New York to L.A. to New Orleans, and it has at least another 10 coming up, including two in Philadelphia and one in Memphis, Tennessee. For those who just can’t get enough of its work, Home Studios is launching a furniture line called (what else?) Homework, out this May.

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Like design standards manuals? Then you’ll love this new bookstore

Perhaps it's the contemporary obsession with nostalgia, but somehow, just like Brutalism, dated design manuals have made a comeback. Thanks to a few within the design industry—notably "typomaniac" Erik Spiekermann and filmmaker Gary Hustwit—the thirst for graphic design guides and their retro-chic has flourished. These books have become coffee table musts. But where to buy them? Sure, they can be purchased online, but if we are to truly wind back the analog clock, nothing quite beats a visit to a proper bookstore and a new one in Brooklyn has the answer.

Graphic designers Hamish Smyth and Jesse Reed opened their new graphic design bookstore yesterday, along with their new design office, Order. Located in Greenpoint, the store was designed by New York architect Miran Jang in collaboration with Smyth and Reed. According to the owners, it is the only specialized graphic design bookstore in New York City.

Order specializes in branding, corporate identity, publications, signage, and wayfinding design. The Brooklyn-based pair favors a straightforward typographic approach, preferring function over decoration. Their work has been recognized by institutes such as the Type Directors Club and The American Institute of Graphics Arts.

Formerly of Pentagram, Smyth and Reed are also the two designers behind Standards Manual. The venture started off when they unearthed a 1970 edition of the New York City Transit Graphics Standards Manual and decided it would be a good idea to reproduce it. A 2014 Kickstarter campaign asked for just over $100,000 to print 1,000 books. The pair eventually raised more than $800,000. People actually wanted this, who knew?

Naturally, a second standards manual followed, this time for NASA and also from the 1970s. And this time their fundraising fell a mere $58,000 shy of $1 million. Their current Kickstarter, for the 1977 EPA Graphic Standards System, has already reached its goal.

These design manuals and a selection of curated graphic design books from a variety of publishers including Chronicle Books, Gary Hustwit, Harper Collins, Hartley and Marks, Hachette, Laurence King, Niggli, Phaidon, Prestel, Unit Editions, and Yale University Press are available to purchase at their new store.

Standards Manual store 212 Franklin Street Brooklyn, New York

Hours: Monday–Saturday, 10–6 p.m.

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Assemble takes us behind the facade at Brooklyn’s A/D/O

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London-based collective Assemble has built a temporary “factory” at the A/D/O creative space in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and clad its front with custom hand-made tiles produced on site. This is the Turner Prize–winning group’s first U.S. project, which forms part of the inaugural Design Academy at A/D/O, a center that allows the public to work, explore, and participate in design exhibitions and events.
  • Facade Manufacturer Assemble; A/D/O
  • Architects Assemble
  • Facade Installer Assemble
  • Facade Consultants n/a
  • Location Brooklyn, New York
  • Date of Completion 2017
  • System rainscreen 
  • Products galvanized steel frame, extruded clay tiles
The installation is inspired by utopian ideals of the factory as a healthy space shared by humans and machines for production, leisure, and education. Assemble designed an open steel frame structure that produces an outdoor courtyard. Clay tiles to clad the factory were steadily manufactured by a team using a single clay extruder and an electric kiln. A/D/O’s Design Academy participated as a collaborator in the process, which resulted in numerous additional items such as planters, dinnerware, and decorative objects. Louis Schultz, a member of Assemble, shares insights into their working process below: The Architect's Newspaper: Can you share any insights into the formal shape of the tiles used on the facade? Louis Schultz: The tiles work just like standard ceramic overlapping roof tiles. Each one overlaps covers half of two tiles below it as well as covering the seam between them. The difference is that because our installation was a rain screen on a vertical surface we didn’t need as much overlapping as roof tiles. The ribbed shape was partly about showing off the process of extrusion, but they also helped with airflow underneath the tile while the clay was drying, which reduced warping. The hook at the end of the tile was formed by hand after extrusion and it helps the tiles overlap neatly. How big is an individual tile unit? The tiles are approximately 16-inch by 6-inch. We noticed the tiles are installed with two fasteners at the top of each unit. Is it difficult to cut the holes into the tiles? The holes are cut while the clay is still soft using a tool called a hole cutter. The tool consists of a wooden handle with a small metal tube attached of the diameter of the hole you want cut. The business end of the tube is normally cut at 45 degrees. With one pug mill and an electric kiln, how long did it take you to produce the tiles for this installation? From conception to completion, it took about a month. We took delivery of the pug mill (which we had never used before) on the 14th of January and we had the whole exhibition completely finished by 12th of February. We spent a lot of time in the first couple of weeks playing around with the extruder, we made a couple of hundred cups and a couple of hundred other pieces, some useful, some less so. Once we had settled on a design for the tiles, it took about two weeks to manufacture and install them. The main limiting factor was the amount we could fit in the kiln. Were you concerned about the patterning of blue vs white? Is this something you planned or allowed to naturally occur? We weren’t sure exactly how it was going to look until we did it. We had long discussions about doing horizontal blue and white stripes instead while the first batch was firing in the kiln. In the end, we plumped for random because we thought it would be more forgiving of color variations and we knew we would have to use every last tile we made. We couldn't afford to reject any due to slight color discrepancies. We decided to embrace the discrepancies and make batches of lighter and darker blues. We chose the blue after comparing it to a few other pigments, the white we came to later as it was just plain uncoloured clay. It was an easy decision to make as white was the least amount of work to produce. We didn’t draw the random pattern, we just fixed the tiles on the building randomly. What was the most challenging issue to this project? The most challenging issue was probably navigating the NYC Department of Building (DOB) regulatory framework. As a foreigner, it seems like a very draconian and overly bureaucratic system. How did this project compare to Yardhouse? Obviously, that's a reference point. But process-wise it was completely different; the Yardhouse tiles were fibre-reinforced concrete applied into metal molds, whereas these were extruded clay.
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Brooklyn landlord to Oberlin grads: we don’t want you here

This may be one of the only buildings in Brooklyn turning hipsters away. A Brooklyn-based construction company with deep roots in a now-trendy neighborhood is planning to erect an office building with manufacturing space. On paper, it's a hipster honeypot, but in practice, the family-owned business wants little to do with the liberal arts grads, especially those from the Midwest, who flood the borough after each graduation cycle. Owners of Adams European Contracting want working-class Brooklynites to sign leases, not just "Oberlin students who have just moved to Brooklyn like an hour ago," according to the project's lawyer. Brooklyn's Marvel Architects is designing the nine-story building, at 79 Bogart Street in East Williamsburg, with commercial and manufacturing space. The owners are seeking a zoning variance for the building so they can add a video game room, wine bar, and showers, amenities to appeal to artists, ad agency employees, and "drone designers"—again, this building is not just for Midwest liberal arts transplants... "We're competing for talent," the lawyer, Ken Fisher, told DNAinfo. "We think that the density will create a community in the building and will give it a sense of destination." His client plans to move their offices to the new building once it's finished.
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New images released of Domino Sugar site public waterfront park

Today, real estate development firm Two Trees Management released new images of the James Corner Field Operations (JCFO)–designed Domino Park, which will line the waterfront of the 11-acre Domino Sugar redevelopment site in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. In its press release, Two Trees confirmed that the park is on track to open in the summer of 2018, as per its original estimates. “By opening Domino Park in its entirety next summer—ahead of the site’s new waterfront buildings—we are delivering on our commitment to bring waterfront access and much-needed public park space to North Brooklyn,” said Two Trees principal Jed Walentas in the press release. “Weaving in industrial remnants of the factory, Domino Park will serve as a living, breathing reminder of the history of this storied neighborhood.” As part of its design, JCFO preserved 21 columns from the site's Raw Sugar Warehouse, 585 linear feet of crane tracks, and 30 other "industrial artifacts" that will be used in the park. This includes "36-feet tall cylindrical tanks that collected syrup during the refining process, mooring bollards, bucket elevators, and various dials and meters from the factory." JCFO is extending River Street to run the length of the park, all the way from Grand Street to S. 5th Street at the base of the Williamsburg bridge. The aforementioned artifacts (including two 80-foot-tall cranes) will feature prominently in the aptly-named "Artifact Walk," a five-block stretch that includes a "450-foot-long elevated walkway" inspired by the catwalks of the old sugar factory. When complete, the Domino Sugar project—whose campus is being designed by SHoP Architects—will feature 380,000 square feet of offices and 2,800 rental apartments (700 of which will be affordable) across four buildings. The landmarked Domino Sugar Refinery building, designed by the Partnership for Architecture and Urbanism and Beyer Blinder Belle, will retain its facade and host the offices. 325 Kent will be the first residential tower to open, in June 2017
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NYC acquires last parcel needed for new Bushwick Inlet Park

8Yesterday, Mayor de Blasio announced that New York City had acquired, for $160 million, a large parcel needed to create the new Bushwick Inlet Park, located on the East River shoreline of Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The parcel in question is the 11-acre CitiStorage storage facility, which was ravaged by a seven-alarm fire back in 2015. The site's owner had been demanding up to $250 million for the land, and there were rumors the city would use eminent domain, though that appears to not have happened. “Today’s acquisition is proof positive that we keep our promises,” said Mayor de Blasio in a press release. “We are one step closer to realizing the vision of the completed Bushwick Inlet Park North Brooklyn deserves.” “On a per capita basis, Brooklyn Community Board 1 has one of the city’s lowest ratios of open space," said Brooklyn Community Board 1 Chair Dealice Fuller, also in a press release. "Since the 2005 rezoning our community has added tens of thousands of new residents, but the creation of new open space has not kept pace with the influx of new people. We are highly pleased that the Administration finally lived up to its promises and acquired the parcels that comprised the CitiStorage site. With the NYC Parks now leading the charge, we can begin moving forward to make this park a true reality.” This final parcel is just one of six that will go into the new 27-acre park; 3.5 acres are already finished and open to the public. The already-completed section, designed by Brooklyn-based Kiss + Cathcart, features a multi-purpose sports field, viewing platform, and community activities building, in addition to other amenities. Many ideas have been floated for the new park's design, including a "Maker Park" that would make sure of derelict industrial facilities near the inlet, though the City and NYC Parks have not released final plans. Four other parcels are currently in various stages of environmental remediation and development; the CitiStorage site must also go through a similar evaluation and remediation process. Once such an evaluation is complete, the City said in a press release, it will formulate a timeline for development. (The article's first image was taken from a 2005 Greenpoint – Williamsburg master plan created by Mayor Bloomberg's administration.)
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Two new schools and a 74-story high-rise planned for Downtown Brooklyn

Brooklyn-based firm Alloy Development has unveiled new scheme in Downtown Brooklyn that will boast 900 housing units (200 of which will be affordable), two new schools, and 200,000 square feet of office and retail space. The architect and development company will also design the scheme. The project known as "80 Flatbush" is being bankrolled by the Educational Construction Fund (ECF), a department within the New York City Department of Education that deals with development projects. It is sited next to the Atlantic Terminal, the Brooklyn Cultural District, and Barclays Center. In addition to the office and retail space, 40,000 square feet of the development—what Alloy called in a press release "neighborhood retail"—will be included in the scheme, as will 15,00 square feet of "cultural space." The latter was made possible by transforming the Khalil Gibran Academy (an old Civil War infirmary which dates back to 1860). This will then become an extension of the BAM Cultural District. As per the timeline outlined by Alloy, construction is set to start in 2019, with the project being built in two phases. The first will incorporate the two schools, both of which will be designed by New York studio, Architecture Research Office. Also included in this phase will be a 38‐story triangular residential block, office, and retail building. Phase one is due to be complete in 2022. Phase two, on the other hand, will comprise a 74‐story residential, office, retail tower and the rehabilitation of a coterie of buildings at 362 Schermerhorn Street. Phase two is due to finish in 2025. “It's rare for a developer to come to us for feedback in the earliest stages of a project,” said Peg Breen, President of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, in a press release. “But Alloy did that, listened, and made preservation a meaningful priority.  We're very appreciative of their efforts. This project shows that development and preservation can work together and that investing in historic buildings makes economic sense.  We're pleased to support this important project.” 80 Flatbush is yet to go through the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) and so final approval has not yet been granted.
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Large raised earth “Lily Pads” by KPF will help stop future floods at NYC’s Red Hook Houses

Kohn Pederson Fox's (KPF) New York office has had their planned coterie of dwellings in Red Hook, Brooklyn, recognized by the American Institute of Architects (AIA)'s 2017 Design Awards. The project was commissioned by the New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) and was a recipient of the Merit distinction in the Urban Design category; the New York chapter of the AIA identified KPF's work as an "outstanding design." Collaborating with Philadelphia-based landscape architects OLIN, KPF worked out a master plan that will serve as part of a contingency plan in response to the devastation Red Hook faced after Hurricane Sandy struck in 2012. After conducting community research, including surveys, workshops, forums, KPF now aims to install 14 "utility pods" that would provide heat and electricity to each building as well as doubling-up as a gathering place for public programs. In addition to this, a "Lily Pad" design will act as a flood barrier, using raised earth in the middle of internal courtyards, aided by an active flood wall with passive barriers. As renders depict, these spaces will become mounds where people can sit and relax. All in all, KPF's scheme will span 60 acres and service 2,873 residences. "These elements transform the experience of residents and guests by providing vibrant, social spaces in conjunction with the area’s infrastructural needs," said the architects. Last year, NYCHA reached out to developers to “finance, design, construct, and operate a campus-scale heat, hot water, and electricity generation and delivery network” that will supply 28 buildings housing 6,000 residents in the area. To aid the effort, the micro-grid will let the NYCHA produce its own energy and link up with the Red Hook Community Microgrid scheme. Projects recognized by the AIANY Awards will be on show at an exhibition at the Center for Architecture from April 21 through June 20, 2017.
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Governor Cuomo unveils Central Brooklyn revitalization plan that’s big on ideas

New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo has unveiled a sweeping plan to revitalize Central Brooklyn, the latest in a spate of ambitious, big-budget projects he has proposed for the state's airports, trains, bridges—and election year 2020, possibly. The $1.4 billion initiative positions itself as a "national paradigm" for addressing health, violence, and poverty in low-income communities. Called Vital Brooklyn, the proposal will target Brownsville, East New York, Flatbush, Crown Heights, and Bedford-Stuyvesant, communities where residents face persistent barriers to health, education, and employment equity as well as the rising threat of gentrification. Targeting eight investment areas, Vital Brooklyn aims to augment the supply of affordable housing; build resilience infrastructure; invest in community-based violence prevention, job creation, and youth employment; tackle open space and healthy food availability; and improve healthcare access with an emphasis on preventative care.
“For too long investment in underserved communities has lacked the strategy necessary to end systemic social and economic disparity, but in Central Brooklyn those failed approaches stop today,” said Governor Cuomo, in a prepared statement. “We are going to employ a new holistic plan that will bring health and wellness to one of the most disadvantaged parts of the state. Every New Yorker deserves to live in a safe neighborhood with access to jobs, healthcare, affordable housing, green spaces, and healthy food but you can't address one of these without addressing them all. Today, we begin to create a brighter future for Brooklyn, and make New York a model for development of high need communities across the country.” The lion's share of the plan—$700 million in capital investments—will go towards healthcare, followed by $563 million for affordable housing. The remaining money is split between Vital Brooklyn's six other initiatives, with food access getting the smallest portion of the funding. So far, Cuomo's plan is heavy on ideas but short on specifics. The healthcare component calls for more community health care facilities to fulfill current demand and provide additional preventative and mental health care services. To achieve this, a 36-location ambulatory care network will partner with existing providers, and to complement the health focus, the state will spend $140 million to ensure that all residents live within a ten-minute walk of parks and athletic facilities, and revamp existing facilities through grants. Vital Brooklyn also calls for building five-plus acres of recreation space at state-funded housing developments. Mindful that health outcomes and housing are linked, the governor confronts Brooklyn's affordable housing shortage with plans to build, build, build. With more than half of Central Brooklyn residents spending more than half of their income on rent, Cuomo's plan calls for the construction of more than 3,000 new multifamily units at six state-owned sites, with options for supportive housing, public green space, and a home-ownership plan. On the resiliency front, the state's projects aim to meet growing demand for electricity while shoring up the low-lying area's resistance to extreme weather. Under the plan, there could be 62 multi-family and 87 single-family energy efficiency initiative, plus almost 400 solar other projects in the pipeline. The initiative also calls for equipping Kings County Hospital, SUNY Downstate Medical Center and Kingsboro Psychiatric Center with backup power through the Clarkson Avenue microgrid project. Linked to the resiliency, Vital Brooklyn features a partnership between the Billion Oyster Project and the State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Environmental Justice program to expose area youth to habitat restoration practices on Jamaica Bay by adding 30 environmental education sites to the area. Through these sites, the Billion Oyster Project aims to reach 9,500 students who will learn about the benefits of oysters through the bay and SCAPE's Living Breakwaters Project on Staten Island. Not everyone is bullish on the plan, though. New York City Mayor (and Cuomo rival) Bill de Blasio, for one, is skeptical about the governor's follow-thorough. "Show us the money, show us the beef, whatever phrase you want," de Blasio said on WNYC las week. "I don't care what a politician does to get attention. What I care about is actual product." The state legislature has until April 1 to decide on the governor's budget, and negotiations may change the plan's final funding and form.