As we noted yesterday, North Brooklyn was promised a lot of new open space when the Greenpoint-Williamsburg rezoning was enacted in May of 2005. To date, we don’t have much to show for it. We do have a lot of new condos, which the rezoning enabled. But we don’t have many new parks, which the rezoning promised. Actually, we don’t really have any new parks that the rezoning promised.
One new park that we don’t have but that we might have soon is Bushwick Inlet Park. Or, at least we might have part of it. The entire park is slated to be 28 acres. Most of it will be in Williamsburg, but a small portion will continue north of Bushwick Inlet into Greenpoint. Most of that 28 acres – the part between North 10th and North 14th Streets – is underneath land occupied by a large storage facility and Bayside Fuel Oil. That area also corresponds to the historic home of the Astral Oil Works, Charles Pratt’s massive kerosene refinery and storage facility. Between Astral, Bayside Fuel Oil and the former Brooklyn Eastern District Terminal, there are a few environmental issues that have to be dealt with before the City can make those blocks parkland. There is also the small matter of acquiring the property, which the City has not yet done.
That leaves the one block at the south end of BIP, the block between North 9th and North 10th. For the past couple of years, Enterprise Rental Car has been storing cars on a lot here (which you can see in the photo to the left). But the City did acquire this lot, and has issued plans for its transformation into a park (which you can see in the rendering above and plan below). That plan includes a Parks headquarters and comfort station, an athletic field, a picnic area and a waterfront restaurant. The plan was to have the athletic field up and running and to start construction on the comfort station this summer. The comfort station was to open in Summer 2010. That last bit might still happen, but the athletic field (or anything) opening in Summer 2009 seems pretty unlikely, as the Brooklyn Paper reported last month.