Latest News (8/12/14)
The North Brooklyn Boat Club continues to work to finalize an agreement to bring the Greenpoint Community Boathouse and Environmental Education Center to 51 Ash Street.
While negotiations continue the North Brooklyn Boat Club has officially opened its 2014 season! In the first month of the season, NBBC has already put more than 200 people on the waterways in canoes and kayaks through its free public paddle program. In the last week, NBBC has also added two new 12-person canoes, which have already been put to good use carrying boaters up the creek to check out the Newtown Creek Alliance's Plank Road restoration project.
The Greenpoint Boathouse Project proposed to provide a location to store more than 60 small human propelled boats. The Boathouse Project also proposed to provide space for environmental and historical education as well as a skills training facility to ensure small boat safety. The Boathouse Project planned to utilize the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center (GMDC) site at 1155 Manhattan Avenue. The proposal called for the reconstruction of the GMDC bulkhead as well as the rehabilitation of the basement of the GMDC building. The rebuilt bulkhead would become a public pedestrian promenade and the space in the basement of the GMDC building would house the boathouse and environmental center.
North Brooklyn Boat Club (NBBC), a member of the Greenpoint Waterfront Association for Parks and Planning (GWAPP), has spearheaded the project, serving as the representative of the community in working to implement the boathouse project.
GMDC and NBBC/GWAPP engaged in negotiations on and off since the project was first approved by DEC in September 2011. The two parties were unable to come to an agreement on the terms of the lease. The primary areas of contention were the annual rate of rent as well as the question of what constitutes legitimate use of the space.
Due to the failed lease negotiations, the Greenpoint Boathouse and Environmental Education Center community sponsors requested the opportunity to explore a project change in location from the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center. DEC authorized the community sponsors to consider alternate locations provided the alternative site selection was restricted to Kings County, on Newtown Creek and within the study/impact areas of the EBP.
The community sponsors identified a potential alternative site. According to the proposed alternative, the boathouse and environmental education center would be implemented in conjunction with a newly constructed four-story building at 51 Ash Street. The North Brooklyn Boat Club would take ownership of approximately 6500 sq feet of this newly constructed building. The remaining portion of the building would be owned and occupied by Broadway Stages, a private corporation which is constructing the new building.
Newtown Creek funds would only be eligible for implementing the portion of project devoted to the Greenpoint Boathouse and Environmental Education Center.
Additionally, as part of the project, approximately 20 feet of the 51 Ash Street bulkhead alongside Newtown Creek would be reconstructed in order to ensure safe boat launches.
The proposed Greenpoint Boathouse and Environmental Education Center would directly benefit the communities immediately adjacent to the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant in several ways:
- The project would create waterfront access to the creek.
- The project would create opportunities for recreational programs involving human powered boats—The North Brooklyn Boat Club will offer regular public paddles free and open to anyone. These paddles will be led by trained expert guides to ensure safety.
- The project would create opportunities for ecological education—The North Brooklyn Boat Club would continue several environmental programs, including bird watching, work with filter-feeders and bio-remediation with the Newtown Creek Alliance, and participating in the Citizens Water Quality Testing initiative..
For more information please contact us at NewtownCreek@CityParksFoundation.org
CHECK BACK SOON FOR UPDATES—FURTHER DETAILS WILL BE PROVIDED AS THEY BECOME AVAILABLE
In the meantime check out the North Brooklyn Boat Club
in the news:
CBS New York: Boat Club Members Paddle Through Pollution On Newtown Creek
New York Times: Paddlers Find a Home in Water they Wouldn't Dare Drink