Hochul Announces $10 Mil in State Funds for Downtown BK Public Spaces

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Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul makes an announcement at Brooklyn Navy Yard (Image by Sam Raskin/ Bklyner)

DOWNTOWN BROOKLYN — Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul announced Thursday that the Brooklyn Navy Yard area will get $10 million in upgrades to its streetscape and to neighborhood institutions.

The 6-part project is part of a $100 million Downtown Revitalization Initiative that distributes state funds to 10 downtowns across the state. Last October, Downtown Brooklyn was selected as one of the recipients of funds.

The majority of the state funds, $5.6 million, will be put toward creating “pedestrian-friendly streetscapes” on the Tillary, Navy, and Park Corridors along with measures to address the dividing effect of the Brooklyn Queens Expressway, according to Hochul.

“We are going to change that forever and make it accessible,” she said at a press conference at Brooklyn Navy Yard. “If you can’t get here safely, it might as well be in New Jersey. …. If you’re taking your lives in your hands to cross the street, you’re not going to want a job over here.”

Also under the initiative, Ingersoll Community Center will get $200,000 “digital tech center,” which would serve as a place that supports “job readiness and arts programming,” said Hochul.

Hochul said $1.2 million will be invested in Walt Whitman Library renovations in order to “turn it into a modern community hub,” $1.1 million will be put into upgrading Commodore Barry Park, and $600,000 will be used or a grant program for public art, which will be put for loosely defined” purposes, Hochul said.

Potential projects include large-scale art and placemaking installations and ADA capital improvements to public cultural spaces such as assisted listening devices, and accessible ticket counters, doors and ramps,” reads part of a press release outlining the six projects. 

In addition, $856,000 will be used for rebuilding the Cumberland Street Gate to “improve sight-lines, enable multi-model access, and create a safer environment for pedestrians” getting to Brooklyn Navy Yard, Hochul explained. 

Borough President Eric Adams delivers remarks at Thursday morning’s announcement (Image by Sam Raskin/ Bklyner)

“This $10 million is really going to give us a bang for our buck,” Assembly Member Joe Anne Simon, who represents Downtown Brooklyn and surrounding areas, said at the event. “It’s really extraordinary.”

Borough President Eric Adams, who is running for mayor, said the investments would help to enhance the “livability and connectivity of our borough’s downtown core.”

“Our community visioning process has also helped us produce projects that prioritize the arts, accessibility, and workforce development, as well as street safety for local residents crossing from their homes to a job at the Brooklyn Navy Yard,” he continued. “As I’ve said over and over, the popularity of our borough must translate into prosperity for all Brooklynites, and these investments will further that mission.”

No concrete timetable for implementation of the upgrades has yet been set, a Hochul spokesperson said.

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