Private Towers Fund NYC Waterfront Public Park

NEW YORK (AP) -
Two proposed apartment buildings, right front, next to Pier 6, center, on the Brooklyn waterfront bordering the East River. (ODA/RAL Development Services/Oliver’s Realty Group via AP)
Two proposed apartment buildings, right front, next to Pier 6, center, on the Brooklyn waterfront bordering the East River. (ODA/RAL Development Services/Oliver’s Realty Group via AP)

Brooklyn is taking the next step toward turning New York City’s most populated borough into a 21st century residential enclave — with two private towers helping fund 85 acres of public parkland set against the Manhattan skyline, officials announced Tuesday.

Plans were unveiled for the last stretch of the sprawling waterfront community on the East River that already includes landscaped lawns, a promenade, playgrounds, restaurants and sports and performance venues.

Completing a pioneering model of private property that pays for public space, the so-called Pier 6 project at Brooklyn Bridge Park is a joint venture of RAL Development Services and Oliver’s Realty Group.

One tower will be a 29-story, 192-unit condominium; the other a 14-story building housing more than 100 rental apartments designated as affordable at below-market rates.

Construction is to begin in about a year, pending approval of the plan by the nonprofit park board.

Board consent is likely, with park president Regina Myer saying Tuesday that the waterfront development has proved to be “an incredible success story because this was a section of Brooklyn that was totally cordoned off from the public … had no open space.”

The developers note that the park and its facilities drew about 4.5 million visitors last summer, making it a popular destination despite real estate prices that are expected to approach those in Manhattan.

“This has provided an entire new perspective for the residents of Brooklyn where they can finally come and have a park celebrating the fantastic vistas of lower Manhattan and the Brooklyn Bridge,” said Myer.