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Millman Looks At Brownstone Brooklyn Issues

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By Harold Egeln | Brooklyn Daily Eagle

CARROLL GARDENS — When Jane’s Carousel at Brooklyn Bridge Park opened with a grand celebration, Assemblywoman Joan Millman rode on it. The much longer ride to get the park completed and paid for, she said, required ensuring a self-sustaining operations revenue stream.

Recently her colleague, state Senator Daniel Squadron, talked about one factor that could help to fund the park and, more importantly, decrease the need for housing on the park’s perimeter.

In a mailing to his constituents, he said that if enough of the Watchtower Society’s (Jehovah’s Witnesses) Brooklyn Heights properties are sold by Jan. 1, 2014 — the cut-off date for a potential park housing plan — these properties could hopefully be added to the city’s tax rolls, as was recently reported in this publication.

“The Witnesses talked to us, state Senator Daniel Squadron and myself. We got the mayor involved in the process,” said Millman in a wide-ranging interview on Friday in her Smith Street district office. “It’s revenue for the city. The mayor wants to get this done.”

Squadron, who is on the park corporation’s board with Millman, has defended the Memorandum of Understanding that gave control of the park to the city, which he and Millman forged with Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The current park plan, he said, reduces the proposed new luxury housing in the park by 80 percent and brings the height of the planned John Street building into context with adjacent structures. It may, Millman said, also eliminate two Atlantic Avenue high-rises, depending on property sales by the Watchtower Society.

Eight of the 34 Watchtower properties in the area are up for sale. The Witnesses are reserving the right to sell these properties, which are near the Pier 1 and Pier 2 sections of the park, to whomever they want. They prefer academic institutions or senior housing, according to a recent article in Crain’s New York Business.

In their deal with the mayor, Millman and Squadron also got an ice and roller rink and a swimming pool added to the park plan.

Read the Full Article: Brooklyn Daily Eagle


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