Date: Dec 23, 2003
Press Release Number: 168-2003
Bistate Agency to Donate Brooklyn Piers for New Park
The Port Authority Board of Commissioners has committed $85 million for the planning, design and construction of Brooklyn Bridge Park, which will be built on surplus piers that will be donated to a state agency.
The 63-acre property, known as Brooklyn Piers 1, 2, 3 and 5, will be donated by the Port Authority to the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation (BBPDC), an Empire State Development Corporation subsidiary responsible for the park’s design and construction. The Port Authority and BBPDC will enter into a Memorandum of Understanding to facilitate the property transfer and funding.
Governor George E. Pataki said, “Brooklyn Bridge Park will be a world-class park in a world-class borough. When completed, the park will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with such New York City jewels as Prospect Park and Central Park.”
New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg said, “We continue to make enormous progress in the continuing construction of Brooklyn Bridge Park, which will be the biggest park to be built since Prospect Park once it is completed. We are committed to working with the State on the design and development of this major park that will allow New Yorkers to reclaim Brooklyn\'s waterfront, and I want to thank the Governor and the Port Authority for their ongoing support.”
Port Authority Chairman Anthony R. Coscia said, “This funding commitment will ensure that an underutilized property will have a new role as a vital and active part of New York harbor’s waterfront, attracting residents and tourists alike to a beautiful new waterfront park with spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline.”
Port Authority Vice Chairman Charles A. Gargano said, “The concept for Brooklyn Bridge Park was developed through an extensive community process that resulted in an outstanding park plan that has broad community and political support. The detailed master planning and environmental review of the park is currently underway and is expected to be completed by the middle of 2004.”
Port Authority Executive Director Joseph J. Seymour said, “Since 1995, the Port Authority has invested nearly $34 million to maintain the physical integrity of the piers in anticipation of the park’s future development. An additional $8 million is included in the Port Authority’s current five-year capital plan to complete this state-of-good-repair program.”
In the early 1980s, the Port Authority determined that the piers were no longer needed for their original maritime use given the evolution of much of the maritime trade to containerization. In 1994, the Port Authority officially declared the property as surplus.
In 1997, the Downtown Brooklyn Waterfront Local Development Corporation was formed to develop an illustrative master plan for the park. That plan, completed in 2000, provides the basic framework for the current park planning and design.
In May 2002, Governor Pataki and Mayor Bloomberg announced the formation of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation and committed $85 million in state funds and $65 million in New York City funds towards the park’s construction. The Environmental Impact Study (EIS) on the park plan began earlier this year. The transfer of title is expected to occur upon completion of the EIS.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey operates many of the busiest and most important transportation links in the region. They include John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International, LaGuardia and Teterboro airports; AirTrain JFK and AirTrain Newark; the George Washington Bridge; the Lincoln and Holland tunnels; the three bridges between Staten Island and New Jersey; the PATH (Port Authority Trans-Hudson) rapid-transit rail system; the Downtown Manhattan Heliport; Port Newark; the Elizabeth-Port Authority Marine Terminal; the Howland Hook Marine Terminal on Staten Island; the Brooklyn Piers/Red Hook Container Terminal; and the Port Authority Bus Terminal in midtown Manhattan. The agency also owns the 16-acre World Trade Center site in Lower Manhattan. The Port Authority is financially self-supporting and receives no tax revenue from either state.