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Advocates Denounce MTA’s Plan to Sell Land Near Bushwick Inlet Park to Developers

40 Quay St (Google Maps)

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.

(MTA)

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 This RFP should be withdrawn and the MTA and Governor Cuomo should rethink their priorities for the Greenpoint waterfront.”

The MTA responded that it hopes to work with the community during the proposal process.
“We have an active RFP out for 40 Quay Street, and as obligated by statute we are seeking best value for our property,” MTA Chief Development Officer Janno Lieber said. “We are, of course, interested in working with the City and community during the RFP process.”

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4 Comments

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Ed Babcock

To insist that this property should not be put on the tax rolls – to insist that it continue to be not cotributing to the city’s operating expenses -is short sighted and not in the public’s best interest. The cost of running NYC keeps going up and we need to get every dime from everywhere that we can.

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schaz

You short-sightedlty talk about the what you consider to be in the “public interest” my friend. This, as you incredibly propose to trade away our quality of life and our community’s future for “getting every dime from everywhere we can”. It makes me wonder if you yourself are perhaps not a developer, or employed by one…
It is definitely IN the public interest to preserve one of the last available waterfront parcels of land in our community as a sorely needed green space – before developers grab it all. Once gone, it will never be reclaimed.
Those who really care about the public, about our community, about our waterfront, and about posterity must join together to stop this MTA sale.
As towers rise all around us, as congestion increases,
as light & air & open space become all the more rare, those who come after us will thank us for our efforts and our foresight in preserving this land –for them, and for all of us.

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Born&Bred in Greenpoint

This is an opportunity that will never come again on this crucial part of the incresingly congested North Brooklyn waterfront.
All residents of Greenpoint and Williamsburg need to rause their voices to reclaim & protect this public land for public use, both for us and for those who will come after us.
Will they ask why we so short-sighted? Will they ask why we failed them? Or will they be gratefule for our foresight?
Speak up! The MTA is run by the State. Tell Cuomo to do the right thingg for our communities.

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