Brigham Park Raises More Money, But Still No Progress

The future site of Brigham Street Park

In the 1990’s, city officials made a promise to Sheepshead Bay residents that a park will be built south of Emmons Avenue at Brigham Street on city-owned parkland. Two decades later, that promise is closer to being kept with Councilman Lew Fidler, Mayor Michael Bloomberg, and other public officials securing more than $3 million in new funds for the development of the park project at Brigham Street.

Fidler, who is working with Borough President Markowitz and Assemblyman Alan Maisel, met with officials from the Parks Department and Bloomberg’s staff, eking out an agreement to designate the seven figure amount for the construction of the new park.

With money secured, it’s now time to figure out what will happen with the funds, which clearly won’t be as elaborate as proponents initially planned when they drew up designs in 2008.

“There will be a Parks Department planning and scoping process that will include the local civic groups,” Fidler told Sheepshead Bites. “This allocation will permit the construction of a simple park, nothing too fancy, but will include the infrastructure to expand upon its facilities as more money becomes available.”

The original designs called for a playground, boat launch, gardens and even environmentally friendly bioswales to help filter stormwater runoff from Emmons Avenue before it hit the Bay.

Of course, it’s not the first round of funds for the Brigham Street Park project, though. Maisel gave $50,000 in capital funds in 2008, Markowitz contributed $100,000 and Fidler chipped in $400,00 in capital funds in 2009. Even with the extra funding that was granted to the project more than two years ago, the status of the Brigham Street Park Project seems to be unknown to most involved in the process, though they were intended for use in the design phase and to conduct soil testing.

In previous years, the open space was used as a parking lot for gambling boats, a restaurant, and was a proposed site for parking for Emmons Avenue merchants.