Today’s news:

New park deal struck

The empress of Brooklyn Bridge Park and the lords of DUMBO came to an agreement last week thanks to the state.

That after Gov. David Paterson announced that the Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corporation (BBPDC) and its president Regina Myer will assume the management of Empire−Fulton Ferry State Park.

As part of the deal, the carousel project of Jane Walentas, whose family run Two Trees Management is DUMBO’s largest developer, will be placed in the state park.

Walentas restored the 1920s carousel, and the family is donating it along with a pavilion and $3.45 million toward landscaping and improvements to BBPDC.

“We are so pleased that we have been able to work with the [state] Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation to reach an agreement that will allow us to move forward with meaningful improvements to Brooklyn Bridge Park,” said Myer.

“We are also excited to have this extraordinary neighborhood gem, the historic Jane’s Carousel call Brooklyn Bridge Park its home. This has been a milestone year for us and, with both Piers 1 and 6 opening at the end of 2009, Brooklyn Bridge Park will soon be a reality,” she added.

Walentas said it is a thrill to imagine the carousel spinning on that magical point on the river between the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges.

“Restoring the Carousel to its original splendor and donating it, together with a new Jean Nouvel designed building, to Brooklyn Bridge Park for children of future generations to ride and enjoy has been my wish and my passion,” she said.

The Empire−Fulton Ferry State Park is a nine−acre parcel on the DUMBO side of the 85−acre waterfront park extending from the Manhattan Bridge to Atlantic Avenue.

Under the agreement, the state will lease Empire−Fulton Ferry State Park to the BBPDC for 99 years at $1 per year. In turn, the BBPDC will manage all operations, maintenance and improvements of the Fulton Ferry State Park, including lighting installations to allow the park to stay open in the evening, and the expansion of the park lawn.

The BBPDC will also issue a request for proposals (RFP) in early 2010 for a long−term lease to rehabilitate and reuse the Civil War−era Empire Stores adjacent to park grounds that has recently been stabilized as well as manage the open−air Tobacco Warehouse.

“In easing the maintenance and management of the waterfront, we ensure an efficient parks operation that welcomes all its visitors,” said Paterson.

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