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$40 Million Fieldhouse In Brooklyn Heights A Threat Or Boon?

Posted: 05/ 3/2012 12:23 pm Updated: 05/ 3/2012 12:23 pm

Brooklyn Bridge Park

The Post makes an interesting point.

The city's tabloid postulates that the coming of a proposed $40 million fieldhouse to an already burgeoning new waterfront may bring a little too much foot traffic to the hidden, idyllic streets of Brooklyn Heights.

Already the small, uprooted sidewalks on Joralemon are clogged with people coming to see the still under construction Brooklyn Bridge Park, which is slowly extending its green arms from DUMBO toward the Heights.

Now with the possibility of a brand new 115,000-square-foot 'fieldhouse' along the water, some residents are concerned that the quiet, prim neighborhood may become a sort of Brooklyn South Street Seaport.

From the Post:

“This would be devastating to the southern Heights,” said Mary Goodman, who lives a few blocks away and is on Community Board 2's parks committee.

“[Joralemon Street] would become the secret way to get there faster, and in a street full of babies, dogs and people, it would be disastrous.”

There's also a call to fence off the bottom of Joralemon to keep revelers from using the narrow street to gain access to the water. Sure, that'll work.

The concept of the sports center near Pier 5 gained steam with a donation of $40 million from philanthropist (and cyclist) Joshua Rechnitz. The Brooklyn Paper details the specs of the proposed space, which includes a velodrome:

The center’s main feature will be the 200-meter inclined cycling track, equipped to host major races. Plans for the massive building — which is slated to be roughly the size of two football fields — include space for high school, college, and professional sports such as basketball, tennis, and gymnastics, as well as amenities including a public boathouse and bathrooms.

So far the development along the water has been exciting for those in the neighborhood, surely, but there is a fear that all the attention might harsh the area's mellow. And if this means that we have to wait longer to sit down at the incredible Iris Cafe, then we and that fieldhouse will have words.

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Filed by Jonah Green  |