Pier 6 Deal Closes With Developers Shelling Out $110M For Two Residential Buildings
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Property records have shown that the controversial deal to build two residential towers at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6 has finally closed, with a hefty $110M price tag.
RAL Development Services and Oliver’s Realty Group—whose proposal was selected from a pool of 13 other would-be developers—finalized the ground lease with the joint city/state entity Brooklyn Bridge Park Corp, with the two developers to pay rent over a 93-year term, according to the Commercial Observer.
The 300 planned units will be spread fairly evenly across two towers: 160 will be in a 28-story, luxury, market-rate condo. The other 140—two-thirds of which will be reserved for low- and middle-income residents—will be in a 14-story rental building.
The properties are planned to sit on a vacant 1.3-mile plot along the East River, which was once a part of Brooklyn's industrial coastline, but has evolved towards a public park space after the Port Authority sold off piers for commercial development in 1984.
At the start, the project seemed to be going smoothly, with RAL and Oliver’s willing to pay for $106M up front for the chance to lease the land and develop the project, even offering major concession to locals. But after a legal challenge by local opposition group People for Green Space, the project was forced to go through a public review.
The public opposition didn’t end there, with countless debate and battles over city views, proper parkland use and affordable housing that had been raging for years. The project hit a major snag this spring when Empire State Development pulled its support over ethical concerns relating to RAL’s $10k donation to Mayor Bill de Blasio’s One New York (which has since shut down), among other controversies and potential scandals.
Some officials insisted the project could advance without the state’s support, citing legal decisions that give companies the power to develop without state approval.
It all came to a head with a June 7 vote, but ESDC chairman Howard Zemsky wrote a letter proclaiming the state, in order to support affordable housing, wouldn’t interfere with the project and that BBPC didn’t have the authority to do so. [CO]