July 20, 2016
Mayor de Blasio made a very generous offer of $100 million to Norm Brodsky to purchase the last piece of property necessary to complete Bushwick Inlet Park. Yet with only 19 days until the offer expires, Mr. Brodsky still has not accepted it.
The city promised the park to the community as part of the 2005 rezoning which brought about a huge increase in the population of Williamsburg. 11 years later, the city is making good on its promise. With this deal Mr. Brodsky stands to make a significant return on his original investment, and the community will get the open space they need.
This parkland is not a luxury. Using our Open Space Index methodology, New Yorkers for Parks found that the total open space in Community District 1 is sufficient for around 85,000 people - just under half the current population. Even a fully built-out Bushwick Inlet Park, as proposed, provides only 60% of the amount of open space that Community District 1 residents need. With many hundreds more residential units soon to come, the completion of this park becomes even more imperative.
If Bushwick Inlet Park is not fully built, it will set a terrible precedent for the city. Communities across New York are facing significant increases in population that will put greater strain on existing open spaces. Without the creation of new, quality parkland, these communities will suffer.
We applaud the city for making good on its promise, and we encourage Mr. Brodsky to accept the offer. If we truly care about New York communities and neighborhoods, we must make sure they have the open space they need to thrive.