A ballyhooed hotel that would have funded a large part of the maintenance budget for the controversial Brooklyn Bridge Park has been quietly abandoned by the condo-and-greenspace development’s planners.
The Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation has shelved plans for the 225-room luxury hotel at the foot of Old Fulton Street.
“We have no schedule for the hotel now” due to the dismal economy, said Regina Myer, president of the development corporation, during a Community Board 2’s park committee on Monday night at Brooklyn Hospital.
Plans had called for construction of the luxe lodge to being next year, with a 2012 opening.
The hotel was part of the unique financial model of the project in which park upkeep was to be fully funded by revenue-producing elements inside its gates. The hotel was expected to generate 14 percent of the annual upkeep.
Critics denounced that scheme for ushering in deluxe housing and hotels into a public park, while supporters lauded the scheme as the only way to ensure that the park’s maintenance be insulated from the whims of government budget cutters.
Instead of paying taxes, the hotelier would make payments earmarked for the park’s upkeep, as would residents of approximately 1,210 condos in the 85-acre development. Planners in 2005 said park upkeep would cost $15.2 million per year, and analysts estimated the hotel would bring in $2.5 million.
But the maintenance figures and the total construction cost are severely out of date.
In 2002, Mayor Bloomberg and then-Gov.Pataki said $150 million would build the full park stretching from Pier 6, near Atlantic Avenue, to a site on John Street in DUMBO. Since then, costs have mushroomed to more than $300 million — and counting.
The murky state of the park’s finances are a source of outrage for critics who have tried to pry updated projections from Myer and her staff.
“It is vitally important to have numbers that are current, and public, so that the community can work together around shared goals and outcomes,” said state Sen. Daniel Squadron (D–Carroll Gardens).
Questions about the development’s budget are complicated by the derailment of various sections of the park. At one time, the park was to be completely built by 2012, but key recreation areas in the middle of the park on Piers 2 through 4 are in limbo because of ballooning costs. For now, there is no plan to build them, because there is at least a $75 million shortfall.
Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation will discuss its “financial model” at a public meeting at NYU-Polytechnic University (5 Metrotech Center, on Adams Street between Willoughby and Tillary streets in Downtown), Jan. 29 at 6 pm. Call (212) 803-3100 for info.