Letter from the Blogger: Brownfields

Plan for the Bush Terminal Pier Park, image from the New York City Economic Development Corporation

I’ve noticed a lot of interest recently in a rather old post on the $10 million dollars allotted for brownfield development along the Sunset Park waterfront. I’m guessing it may have been sparked by the recent announcement that the city may take control of the Brooklyn Bridge Park, as the state does not have the funds to meet the challenge. If you’re curious what this means for the unfinished Bush Terminal Pier Park on Sunset Park’s shore (one piece of a larger Waterfront Vision Plan for the area), so am I.

I’ve done a bit of reporting on this, but it certainly merits further investigation.

It’s on my ever-growning list, but as holidays are coming and government offices becoming unresponsive, let me know what you know. Post a comment, or send a note to sunsetparkchron@wordpress.com. If you have other neighborhood issues or stories you think should also be on my list, let me know that as well.

Here is some background to start us off. I have to admit I’ve been remiss. For months I’ve been meaning to speak with UPROSE about several issues around the neighborhood, and haven’t yet had the chance:

UPROSE (United Puerto Rican Organization of Sunset Park, which now extends beyond just the Puerto Rican Community)  has partnered with city agencies as “local stakeholders” to create the Brownfield Opportunity Areas Program, which works with the community to plan redevelopment projects in these areas.

The Park looks to need about $1 million beyond the funds currently allotted in order to clean it up properly, said Jeremy Laufer, manager of CB7. He was confident that the community could raise the money, but in September could not yet put a time-table on the project.

“I think we can accommodate one or two million dollars,” said Representative Felix Ortiz, assemblyman for District 51. “I have to make my case. I think that that’s not too far from reality. I think we might be able to accomplish that. But it’s just the process and the timing and it’s a very scary time in the economy.”

I spoke with Ortiz in October. Though budgetary questions loomed two months ago, they have only worsened since. For those in need of a refresher course, or a real downer, The New York Times published an extensive editorial today on New York’s Fiscal Crisis.

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1 Comment

Filed under community happenings, development, economy, letter from the blogger, readers respond

One response to “Letter from the Blogger: Brownfields

  1. tee gee

    I wouldn’t count on much true community advocacy from UPROSE. It is sad that the city’s oldest Puerto Rican organization has sold out to the Mayor.

    They have fallen asleep at the wheel (pun intended) over the Gowanus construction issue – UPROSE’s director was chair of the coalition “watching” the reconstruction and on her watch numerous things have happened to hurt our community – for example – look at the added lanes around 17th Street – more darkness for the sidewalks below – more noise, more air pollution….and this is on top of the totally illegal addition of a full lane over the Gowanus canal – with support pillars installed on the already too narrow sidewalks. And why, oh why, has construction gone on for a decade while the EIS is still being presented? The excuse is that the highway is in immediate need of repair – but i have watched the same sections patched, repatched, torn up and completely replaced, then patched and repatched again. (I guess i’m a bit of a hypocrite and should be doing more, but I was the one who blew the whistle on the feds in 1989 and thought i had done my civic duty when it was turned over to UPROSE…and at least i’m not drawing a salary off the community).

    It isn’t just the Gowanus issues, UPROSE has chosen the wrong side on the power generating station issues too.

    Is there an UPROSE family member working for the Mayor? Last time I looked – the answer was YES. UPROSE has a huge monthly operating bill to meet to stay afloat and in my opinion – UPROSE has sold out.

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