By Brooklyn Reader

March 16, 2015, 1:57 pm

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City Councilman Stephen Levin
City Councilman Stephen Levin

Elected officials representing North Brooklyn joined about 300 neighborhood protesters and parks advocates at City Hall today to demand the City make good on its promise to give the community a 28-acre park along the East River’s Bushwick Inlet to help mitigate the effects of the 2005 North Brooklyn Waterfront Rezoning Agreement.

Specifically, they called on the City to acquire the CitiStorage warehouse site that was partially burned down last month, and convert it to parkland. The 2005 rezoning caused a dramatic surge in high-rise towers threatening neighborhood residents who have the smallest per capita amount of open space of any neighborhood in the city, the protestors said.

“It has been ten years since North Brooklyn was promised a 28-acre Bushwick Inlet Park and still to this day this promise has not been kept,” said North Brooklyn City Councilman Stephen Levin. “The City must now acquire the CitiStorage site and finally make good on its word. Williamsburg and Greenpoint have demonstrated unparalleled tenacity in advocating for their community and together we will fight until the City delivers a 28-acre Bushwick Inlet Park.”

Borough President Eric Adams, State Sen. Daniel Squadron and Assemblyman Joe Lentol all echoed similar sentiments at the rally.

But the de Blasio Administration countered that phase one of Bushwick Inlet Park is already complete and open to the public, featuring a multi-purpose field and a building for community activities with a state-of-the-art green roof which doubles as a seating area.

“NYC Parks continues to take substantive steps toward the development of Bushwick Inlet Park’s additional parcels, which together with the completed area will bring 28 new acres of public green space to the Williamsburg-Greenpoint waterfront,” said Parks Department spokesperson Sam Biederman. “Along with the developed 9thStreet parcel, the City has acquired the crucial Motiva and 50 Kent parcels, and anticipates completing acquisition of Bayside in June, after which we will begin the important work of environmental remediation at this former industrial site.”

Complicating the situation is the Citistorage parcel is privately owned and the owner by law can sell the lot to the highest bidder. In 2011, the owner of the property indicated in the New York Times that he would be willing to sell the parcel for a hefty $120 million.

But Levin spokesperson Matt Ojala said the CitiStorage parcel is right in the middle of the Bushwick Inlet Park and it only makes sense to include it in the park.

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