FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 6, 2009
MAYOR BLOOMBERG BREAKS GROUND ON FIRST PHASE OF 28-ACRE BUSHWICK INLET PARK
Park Receives Public Design Commission Award
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz and Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe today broke ground on the first phase of Bushwick Inlet Park on Kent Avenue between North 9th and North 10th Streets in the Greenpoint and Williamsburg neighborhoods of Brooklyn. This is the first section of the 28-acre Bushwick Inlet Park, envisioned in the 2005 waterfront rezoning of Greenpoint and Williamsburg, and it is part of Mayor Bloomberg’s broader effort to transform the City’s waterfront and open it up to all New Yorkers.
“Across all five boroughs we’re working to bring our waterfront back to life, and Bushwick Inlet Park will be the latest, but not the last, new park we’re bringing to this part of Brooklyn,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “With thoughtful design and planning we are creating new open space in a former industrial area and revitalizing growing communities. Once completed, Bushwick Inlet Park, along with adjacent East River State Park and several public esplanades in residential developments to the south and north, will create contiguous open space along the shore for New Yorkers to enjoy.”
“Thanks to nearly $30 million in funding from Mayor Bloomberg, the newly-created Bushwick Inlet Park will create enhanced recreational opportunities for Greenpoint and Williamsburg residents,” said Commissioner Benepe. “With a multipurpose field, an innovative building with green roof, and waterfront access, Bushwick Inlet Park will be a new green oasis along the East River. We are pleased to break ground on the first phase of the park today which includes the multipurpose field, and we look forward to soon beginning construction on the park’s second phase.”
“Today’s groundbreaking is a great step forward in fulfilling one of the key commitments of the historic Greenpoint-Williamsburg rezoning by providing waterfront open space that has been a priority for the community and a legacy of the Bloomberg administration,” said City Planning Commissioner Amanda M. Burden. “The City is reclaiming this once derelict waterfront for housing and a 2-mile long network of waterfront open spaces, of which Bushwick Inlet Park will be the heart. The 28-acre Bushwick Inlet Park, with its spectacular views, and opportunities for active recreation, will be a centerpiece of the neighborhood, a place to enjoy Brooklyn’s wonderful shoreline and a testament to the partnership between the people of this community and the City.”
The first phase of Bushwick Inlet Park will include the construction of a synthetic turf multipurpose field for soccer, football, lacrosse, field hockey, rugby, and ultimate frisbee. Funded with $7.1 million from the City, the field lies from North 9th Street to North 10th Street, between Kent Avenue and the East River. The site, a former rental car storage lot, is situated at the southern end of the planned park, and is adjacent to East River State Park. The first phase of the park is expected to be completed in winter 2010.
Construction on the park’s second phase will begin early next year and is expected to open in summer 2011. Funded with $22.6 million from the City, the second phase will create public waterfront access, a playground and a new sustainable building with community and Parks maintenance space. Serving as a gateway at North 9th Street, the building will feature a number of innovative designs including a green roof with a shade structure composed of photovoltaic cells that will provide solar energy to power the building. The building’s sloping green roof will connect the soccer field area with a hilltop recreational space and playground. The building is designed to accommodate community art exhibitions, community meetings and public programming, a kitchen for catering public events, public comfort stations and Parks district headquarters. The building will apply for LEED Silver certification for its innovative sustainable design, and has received a 2008 Design Award from the Public Design Commission. The second phase of construction on the park will also include the creation of a waterfront esplanade and the restoration of the park’s shoreline edge with wetland plantings.
With extensive community input and public review throughout the planning process, Bushwick Inlet Park is part of the City’s historic investment in the creation, improvement and expansion of parks in Greenpoint and Williamsburg, as a result of the 2005 rezoning. To date, the City has spent nearly $55 million to complete 14 separate projects and to plant street trees, and will spend over $152 million on 10 other projects already in development within Community Board 1.
The 28-acre planned Bushwick Inlet Park is comprised of six lots, all of which are now mapped parkland. Two of the three sites comprising the southern three blocks of the park have already been acquired and those two sites total 6.4 acres.
Stu Loeser / Jason Post (212) 788-2958
Phil Abramson (Parks & Recreation) (212) 360-1311