This morning City Hall updates Vito Lopez’s campaign to do in Daniel Squadron, who represents Lower Manhattan and sections of Brooklyn in the State Senate:
Brooklyn Democratic Chairman Vito Lopez is still looking for a candidate to run against state Sen. Daniel Squadron, after his former chief of staff Debbie Feinberg decided against running and instead took a job with the city Finance Department. Another potential candidate, Brooklyn Strategies founder Evan Thies, says he’s friends with Squadron, his consulting business is growing and he’s not running for anything. Lopez isn’t just looking in Squadron’s district: With redistricting looming in Albany, he could try to bend the lines any way he wants. Still, the senator has no opposition for the moment: “The guy that’s happiest today is definitely Squadron,” a source said.
Ridiculous! Daniel Squadron is the best representative we have had in a very long time. Energetic, responsive, creative.
Must be precisely why they want to get rid of him!
“Damn it, Daniel! You disrupt the cart when you’re this effective!”
State Senator Daniel Squadron
and Assemblymember Joan Millman, refusing to use their hard-won veto power to
control unwanted development in Brooklyn Bridge Park (BPP), have reneged on their
promise of no new housing to pay for BPP, an issue that they had specifically
run on in the previous election.
Due to successful Federal
intervention over the giveaway of our Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park to a for-profit
corporation and a $1 million reduction by the Department of Finance of payment
obligations by the first luxury condo – One Brooklyn Bridge Park – the City
will be forced to look to the community’s proposed alternatives.
The communities that surround
BPP came up with many alternatives to pay for the park besides luxury housing,
including Payments In Lieu Of Taxes (PILOTs) for the Jehovah’s Witnesses
Watchtower properties in DUMBO. The abundance of square footage available at
the Witnesses properties could completely eliminate the need for housing inside
the park, including proposed potential luxury housing development of Pier 1 and
Pier 6 as well as the John Street site.
Unfortunately, that is not the current plan.
Today, Squadron and Millman
refused to exercise their veto power against building on the 1-11 John Street
site, located on the waterfront in the heart of DUMBO. The elected officials
justified this failed position because they “won” a 5-storey reduction to a
proposed 17-storey building, a building that members of the community described
as Dock Street 2.0. Instead, a 12-storey building will obstruct the views to
and from the four to six-storey buildings typical of the DUMBO Historic
District, continuing the trend in zoning of “walling off” the public waterfront
and obstructing views of both the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.
The veto was a great opportunity
for Squadron and Millman to show real leadership: they could have been
visionary like Jane Jacobs, opening up the outdated General Project Plan and
using the concrete alternatives the community came up with for funding. Instead, Squadron and Millman
chose to sell out, trying to assuage our outraged community, with Squadron
stating that “this is a win.”
The 1-11 John Street site should
be a public open space, as it is one of the best places to view the Manhattan
and Brooklyn Bridges together on the waterfront. What should be the grand north
entrance of Brooklyn Bridge Park is not even being considered. With the nearby
Con Edison power plant closing this year, we should be looking at this site in
its entirety, all the way up to the Brooklyn Navy Yard, and not be thinking
about the immediate avaricious real estate plans of the present administration.
Any new construction on the John Street site will eliminate this parcel and potential
Con Edison waterfront parcels to be considered for inclusion into the park and will
ultimately wall off the surrounding communities of Vinegar Hill, Farragut
Residences and Bridge Plaza.
Finally, another high-end tower
on what should be an extension of our
waterfront park is a terrible outcome for DUMBO, Brooklyn and New York City.
Our elected officials must reconsider their position and start representing the
actual wishes of their constituents, who overwhelmingly support no
new development in Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Doreen Gallo, Executive Director DUMBO Neighborhood Alliance
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