“It makes no sense to diminish in any way the importance of the Brooklyn Bridge as a New York landmark unlike any other.” – David McCullough, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book, “The Great Bridge,” in support of SaveTheViewNow.org
New documents reveal Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp and Toll Brothers mislead the Public and the Court about structures being added to the Pierhouse rooftop
On Thursday July 22, 2015, Save The View Now filed a motion to amend our complaint and renew our motion for a preliminary injunction based on newly discovered evidence that reveals the Defendants’ (Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation, Toll Brothers, Empire State Development Corporation and Starwood Capital) have repeatedly misrepresented the contents and size of the 30 foot bulkhead under construction on the hotel roof of the Pierhouse. Any construction above the height limits, including structures, must be taken down.
The structures for amenities on the Pierhouse rooftop do not comply with the MGPP and the Lease. They violate the zoning regulations which defendants have stated they used to build the bulkheads. Defendants have also repeatedly claimed to the Public and the Court that the rooftop structures are needed for “mechanical equipment” since the rooftop bulkheads equipment could no longer be placed in the basement due to Superstorm Sandy. However, after lengthy delays caused by city agencies, we received a copy of the building plans which reveal that the bulkheads are designed to contain an enclosed kitchen, food service and preparation areas, an “outdoor” shower, six (6) separate elevators and vestibules (which exceed the permitted square footage for vestibules), and a separate room for “pool equipment”. The Defendants also plan to construct additional “food and bar” areas, raised decks, awnings and a structured canopy for wedding/event space on the roof around the bulkheads. These structures do not qualify as “mechanical equipment,” nor are they “permitted obstructions” and, therefore, are illegal structures and must be taken down.
We also recently received copies of the property leases between Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp (“BBPC”) and Toll Brothers which confirm the maximum height limit for the Pierhouse buildings. Parcel A (the hotel parcel) has a maximum height limit of 100 feet, and Parcel B (the condo parcel) has a maximum height limit of 55 feet. The leases do not make reference to any exemption to these height caps, nor is there any reference to allowing, “Permitted Obstructions”. The Modified General Project Plan (“MGPP”) and the leases are clear – the maximum heights are the maximum heights, inclusive of mechanicals and/or “Permitted Obstructions”. BBPC has never denied that the buildings are taller than was permitted in the MGPP. Instead they have tried to have our lawsuit dismissed, claiming it was filed too late.
The building plans and leases reveal that the BBPC has colluded with the developer to deceive and misinform the Public and the Court and allow them to exceed the plainly worded maximum height limits. Defendants, including the BBPC in particular, have failed the community and breached the trust the public placed in them. They failed to enforce the agreements made in 2005 and 2006 with the public to protect and improve the view of the Brooklyn Bridge from the Promenade. BBPC’s blatant misrepresentation and deceit is appalling, especially for a government agency put in place to protect the public’s interest.
STVN will continue to pursue all legal measures to assure that the MGPP is followed and the vision of the park maintained. In the meantime, we demand that the BBP leadership explain why they are allowing construction of buildings that clearly violate the MGPP and their binding leases and we demand that the illegal construction above 100 feet be taken down. The time has come for obfuscation to stop and true transparency to begin.
On a related topic, the public hearings for the Modified General Project Plan for the proposed construction on Pier 6 will be held on Thursday evening at 6:00 PM at St. Francis College, 180 Remsen Street. This is an important event to attend and show your support for stopping any additional unneeded construction in the Park. Save The View Now will be attending in support of halting any further construction. It is clear that the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp has not demonstrated that any additional revenue is needed to financially support the Park.
Out next day in court will also be on Thursday, July 30, 2015. We will send around a notice with the exact time.
We greatly appreciate the out-pouring of support you have provided; however to fully take advantage of the new evidence supporting our legal case, we need to continue to receive additional contributions. Please go to our web page and contribute online or by mailing a check.