We've got our park!
Before we break for Thanksgiving, I wanted to make sure that you heard the wonderful news: a deal has been reached to acquire the last remaining parcel for Bushwick Inlet Park! Park land is critical throughout New York City, and I was pleased to join in the effort to ensure that this park became a reality.
More than ten years ago, the Greenpoint/Williamsburg communities were promised a nearly 30 acre park along the waterfront when the city upzoned manufacturing areas to residential ones. With less than half an acre of open space per 1,000 residents, these neighborhoods are currently starved of open space (the Department of City Planning recommends at least 1.5 acres per 1,000 residents). Yet, despite this promise and the glaring need for a new park, only a small portion of the park is open today. This, in part, is because an agreement could not be reached to acquire an 11-acre site, then occupied by a CitiStorage facility, right in the middle of the promised area. A commitment was made to our community and we refused to settle for a partial park. That’s why I have been working so closely with my colleagues in government and the community, including joining a “sleep-in” with residents, to make sure the city acquired all of the promised land. Our hard work has finally paid off.
This morning, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that the city has reached an agreement with the owner of the CitiStorage site to purchase it for $160 million. With this purchase, the city finally controls all of the property that was promised to the community more than 10 years ago for Bushwick Inlet Park.
Now, this soon-to-be-beautiful park will serve New Yorkers for generations to come. I look forward to seeing environmental remediation and park construction begin, and cannot wait to see the final product. This long awaited promise is finally becoming a reality. No longer do we need to chant “we want our park.” Now, the cheer is “we’ve got our park!” It has been a long fight, but in the end it was worth it.
All over the city, open space is critical. I have been pleased to work to create, preserve and expand parks throughout my district, including repairs to the seawall at Queensbridge Park and improvements to the East River Esplanade. Bushwick Inlet Park will too become a wonderful resource for all New Yorkers to enjoy.
As always, your concerns for New York and for our nation remain my top priority; please visit my website to let me know what is on your mind.
Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family!
Carolyn B. Maloney
Member of Congress