Today’s news:

Green grass and greenbacks - Town hall on phase one of Brooklyn Bridge Park project

Don’t expect Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation President Regina Myer to address future funding for the 85-acre waterfront park spanning from the Manhattan Bridge to Atlantic Avenue.

However, she will address any questions regarding the $150 million first phase of park construction at this Monday’s Town Hall meeting at 6 p.m. in Polytechnic University’s Dibner Auditorium, 6 MetroTech Center, according to BBPDC spokesperson Warner Johnston.

“We will have additional money for additional phases and are currently finalizing total costs for the park, which is why we won’t be discussing it [at the meeting],” said Johnston.

Johnston noted that Myer has been BBPDC president only since December and her main focus is on phase one, which is currently going on in the park.

Currently, there is $18 million of work being done on the park including the demolition of the Purchase Building beneath the Brooklyn Bridge at 11 Water Street along with removal of sheds on several piers.

Johnston said that, in total, the $150 million will pay for 67 percent of the work done on the park, which is expected to be completed in 2012.

The first sections of the park will be accessible to the public by the end of 2009, he said.

Johnston said other sections of the park to be completed under phase one include the multi-use ball fields on Pier 5, playgrounds at both Pier 1 and 6, and the sand volleyball court at Pier 6.

The park’s mandate is that once constructed, it must become self-sustainable. Thus the park’s General Project Plan includes about 8.2 acres or about 10 percent for private development to generate the estimated $15.2 million annual cost of operating and maintaining the park.

These private developments around Pier 6 includes two residential buildings – 315 feet and 95 feet high – and the existing building at 360 Furman Street, which has been converted to luxury condominiums.

Johnston said there will be more information on letting out Request for Proposals (RFP) for these private developments in the fall.

The town hall meeting comes about a month after published reports stated that the cost of building the park has ballooned to $340 million.

The BBPDC has repeatedly refused t5o confirm or deny this number.

In related park news, the Downtown Brooklyn Waterfront Local Development Corporation (DBWLDC) last week announced they will again run a free shuttle bus service to the park this summer.

The service will transport passengers from major subway stations to the Brooklyn Bridge Park’s “Summer ’08 at Pier One,” which will provide public access to the pier and spectacular views of the New York Harbor and the New York City Waterfalls by Olafur Eliasson, presented by the Public Art Fund.

The shuttle stops are Borough Hall and High Street at Cadman Plaza West.

The free shuttle service will run from June 27 through August 31 and will operate on Fridays from 5 to 10:30 p.m., and on Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 10:30 p.m.

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