Wall Street Journal
JUNE 1, 2011
By Joseph De Avila
A milestone for the future of Brooklyn Bridge Park is approaching as officials continue to look for ways to generate operating funds for the partially built public space that eventually will cover 85 acres.
The original plan to fund the park's expected annual expenses of $16 million called for building new housing within the park. That plan is opposed by many locals who say that housing would detract from the park.
Now a committee of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp., the nonprofit that oversees the park, is awaiting a final report from an outside consulting firm examining how the park can earn money to pay for its yearly budget. The report is expected in June. "The final report will provide a timely and incisive road map for a reliable funding plan," said Regina Myer, president of Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp.
The first portions of Brooklyn Bridge Park opened last year, and further construction is under way. On Saturday, an additional two-acre section of the park opened. Empire-Fulton Ferry State Park, another part of Brooklyn Bridge Park where Jane's Carousel will be housed, is scheduled to be ready this summer.
When completed, the park is expected to cost about $350 million, of which the city and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey have already committed a combined $224 million for construction. The city will chip in an additional $44 million for building costs, but only after the park's board agrees on a plan to pay for the park's yearly maintenance and operation.
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