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Pierhouse Hotel and Condo Development Cleared for Brooklyn Bridge Park

By Rosa Goldensohn | September 22, 2015 12:05pm
 The Pierhouse condos will obscure the view of the Brooklyn Bridge from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, opponents say.
The Pierhouse condos will obscure the view of the Brooklyn Bridge from the Brooklyn Heights Promenade, opponents say.
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DNAinfo/Rosa Goldensohn

BROOKLYN HEIGHTS — A judge Monday swatted away a lawsuit fighting Brooklyn Bridge Park's swanky residential development Pierhouse and has ruled construction can go ahead.

Save the View Now, a group of locals trying to stop the project, sued the state, city, park as well as the developers Toll Brothers and Starwood in April saying the Pierhouse is taller than initial projections and ruins the Brooklyn Heights Promenade panorama. 

After an initial loss in court, the group returned with more objections, but State Supreme Court Judge Lawrence Knipel said they were too late in filing their lawsuit.

"Defendants' motion to dismiss on statute of limitation grounds are granted and the action is dismissed," the judge wrote.

Save the View activist Danielle Cyr said the judge "avoided deciding on the substantive issues of concern to the community by punting on a purported technicality.

"He basically said, 'sorry, you waited too long,'" she said. "He didn’t even bother to decide on the merits."

The Pierhouse has been placed and measured differently than in earlier plans that were debated by community groups, Cyr said.

The current layout obscures an uninterrupted view of the Brooklyn Bridge from most of the Promenade, the walkway hovering above the BQE and along the river.

The Pierhouse will include 108 condos priced between $1.1 million and $11.1 million and a hotel, according to state documents.

It sits on public land within Brooklyn Bridge Park and property taxes from the condos will be directed to the park rather than the general city budget.

"We're gratified that the court once again agrees that the Pier 1 development can proceed," Brooklyn Bridge Park president Regina Myer said in a statement.

"Since Brooklyn Bridge Park's inception in 2002, its funding plan has been straightforward: revenue from development sites within the project's footprint supports the park's long-term maintenance and operations," she added. "Without those sites, there would be no Brooklyn Bridge Park."

The group is likely to appeal the judge's decision, Cyr said. She feels that community input into the project was "a charade," with developers and the mayor holding all the power.

"They're probably guffawing and laughing at us," she said. "The public thinks they have a say in what happens at Brooklyn Bridge Park, but at the end of the day it's Bill de Blasio and Toll Brothers and Starwood."

Wiley Norvell, spokesman for the mayor, called the activists' charges "ridiculous."

"The administration has shown itself to be a good steward of the Scenic View District, including issuing stop-work orders at the project to bring it into compliance," he said.

Toll Brothers and Starwood said in a statement that they are on track to open next year. “We are pleased that Judge Knipel has dismissed the case against Pierhouse.  We are proud to play a part in the historic development of Brooklyn Bridge Park, and we look forward to the grand opening of Pierhouse and 1 Hotel Brooklyn Bridge in the Spring of 2016.”