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City's Plan for Restaurant in Transmitter Park Infuriates Greenpointers

By Gwynne Hogan | April 24, 2017 10:04pm
 Neighbors circulated a petition that garnered 200 signatures within a day against the restaurant plan.
Neighbors circulated a petition that garnered 200 signatures within a day against the restaurant plan.
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Parks Department

GREENPOINT — Transmitter Park neighbors are broadcasting their anger over a proposed bar and grill they said the city tried to sneak by them without community review.

The Parks Department released a request for proposals Thursday for the empty building inside the park, soliciting ideas for restaurants with the option of having a liquor license, amplified sound and indoor as well as outside seating.

Greenpoint residents with Friends of Transmitter Park, who'd been in talks with the Parks Department for the last month about their idea of turning the building into a botanical learning center surrounded by gardens featuring native species, said they were blindsided by they city's plan.

“We just got wind of this through the woodwork,” said a frustrated North Brooklyn park advocate Steve Chesler, and member of the park's friend group. “There was no public process.”

Chesler circulated an online petition against the proposal Monday that garnered a flurry of more than 280 signatures within the day.

“It’s going to ruin the park," he said. "Just having people eating and drinking in the middle of the park.”

“It’s just crazy," he said. "There’s a playground right there.”

The potential for a bar and restaurant inside the 1.6-acre park is what residents see as the latest affront to the sanctity of their beloved green space.

A developer of the building on eastern edge of Transmitter Park is currently pushing for a zoning change through the city's land use process that would allow them to orient the building to face the park, so that a ground floor restaurant and commercial space would open onto it.