By Dispatch Editors on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2022 at 11:53 am
A portion of the Bushwick Inlet Park at North 11th Street has opened.
After a fire destroyed a self-storage building in 2015, a drama over the future land use was set off. The area was rezoned under Michael Bloomberg in 2005.
The zoning change allowed high rise towers along much of the waterfront, now finally being realized in Greenpoint and along the Domino Park area. But part of that included concessions to build park land on some properties including the self-storage building that burned.
After the fire, the owner of the North 11th Street lot wanted more than $160 million for the land, significantly more than the property was worth during the rezoning and much more than it was worth without the right to build. The city eventually paid $53 million for the property.
At first the city fenced in the lot and offered picnic tables on grass as a temporary park space. The lack of trees on the lot mean there wasn’t much shade, and the city limited the number of people entering the fenced in lot.
Eventually in 2018, plans were approved. COVID delayed construction. In early December of last year the first phase of the park was close to finished.
In December, another $75 million was made available for the park. Although part of the park has opened, additional phases and more land needs to be acquired to complete the park to the standard promised in 2005.
The park has the look and feel of many of the more recently created city parks with a mix of artificial hills, circular paths, and lots of vegetation. Older city parks have more lawns and less features like public artworks.