Jan. 6, 2020 By Allie Griffin
An advocacy group is calling on the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) to withdraw its request for proposals for the redevelopment of agency property along the Bushwick Inlet Park in Greenpoint.
The MTA-owned property at 40 Quay St sits adjacent to public land that will be developed into a parkland to expand the current Bushwick Inlet Park nextdoor. A warehouse on the property currently houses MTA mobile wash vehicles, which are used to clean the subways.
In May, the MTA sent out a RFP for the property with a deadline of Aug. 1, but the MTA said it is still accepting proposals as the RFP remains active.
In the RFP, the MTA advertised the property as an opportunity to develop “a large mixed-use project in one of the most exciting and rapidly developing areas of the Brooklyn waterfront.”
A community-based organization, Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park (FBIP), is afraid that a large apartment tower will be built on the 40 Quay St. site. It doesn’t want the park — which will expand from North 9th Street to Quay Street when complete — to be cut off by a highrise.
The Friends of Bushwick Inlet Park would instead like to see the publicly-owned waterfront property be redeveloped into parkland to add to the 27-acre park.
In its RFP, the MTA stated its primary goal is to generate financial returns to the MTA to further the agency’s capital program. The agency is already $43 billion in debt and is expected to owe billions more after its new capital plan is enacted.
“Understanding that the MTA faces critical funding shortfalls, FBIP believes that the one-time injection of cash that a sale of 40 Quay Street would bring is not the way to solve the MTA’s systemic funding problems,” the group said.
FBIP also argued that building a high-rise residential tower would block off residents of Greenpoint from the park, as it sits on the Greenpoint Williamsburg border and that a new building would only exacerbate flooding as 40 Quay St sits in a flood zone.
“40 Quay Street should be a resilient addition to the North Brooklyn waterfront, supplementing existing State and City parks,” Co-Chair of FBIP Steve Chesler said. “Selling off this piece of public land to the highest bidder is irresponsible and short-sighted. This RFP should be withdrawn and the MTA and Governor Cuomo should rethink their priorities for the Greenpoint waterfront.”