Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Happy Rezoning Williamsburg Waterfront!

All we need to do is change the frosting!

Today, as Ward Dennis the Land Use Menace observes, is the birthday of the Greenpoint Williamsburg waterfront rezoning. Your rezoning is five years old today! (City Council voted on the rezoning on May 11th in 2005).

So what has changed? Let's go to 11211!

Things have slowly improved on the open space side of the equation in the past year. The first phase of Bushwick Inlet Park is now open as a soccer field (and a rather nice one at that). 0.28 acres down, 28 to go. Unfortunately, no headway has been made on the acquisition of the rest of the future Bushwick Inlet Park, so there is no waterfront access, no picnic area, no dog run, no bosque, no gardens and no great lawn. A waterfront pier opened last year at Northside Piers, the first taste of the publicly-accessible waterfront that one day is to run from North 3rd Street to Newtown Creek. That day is still far off, even for the Northside - the esplanades at 184 Kent, Northside Piers and the Edge are still not publicly accessible, and construction activity on land has rendered the pier a part-time amenity.

Up in Greenpoint, waterfront access is farther out on the horizon - there can be no waterfront esplanade until there is waterfront development. Work is soon to be underway at Transmitter Park, so maybe the public will have a real park to enjoy by the time we get to the 6th anniversary. But that's the good news for Greenpoint. The bad news is that sludge tank is still where it has been for the past five years - smack dab in the middle of a proposed waterfront park. And 65 Commercial Street is still in the hands of the MTA, which means that it too is still not a park

Here's to the next five years of waterfront rezoning. Take it away David Bowie...

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