Most of the conversation about Brooklyn Bridge Park has been centered around the residential Pierhouse and the controversy surrounding its height, but right next door, an entirely different part of the urban development is taking shape. The Wall Street Journal reports that construction on the eight-acre $28 million marina between Piers 4 and 5 has commenced, with an opening planned for next spring. Officially called One° 15 Brooklyn Marina, its sailing club already has 145 pre-registered members.
In addition to the fact that it will bring 140 slips to Brooklyn Heights, the project is most notable for its unconventional construction. Normally to build a marina, dock builders drill piles into the waterbed to support the docks, but at this site the R subway line is directly below. “The solution was to sink 160 giant concrete blocks, weighing 10 tons each, to the bottom of the East River,” says the Journal. Then, “a large, elastic bungee cord-like mooring system called Seaflex will be used to connect the dock on the water’s surface to the concrete block below.”
The development is significant because New York is actually quite lacking in its marina construction, with fewer than 1,600 slips throughout the harbor. By contrast, Chicago has 6,000. Another issue that had to be overcome was the fact that the city’s ferries cause a lot of waves. To keep the marina calm and block the waves, the designers brought in a concrete breakwater pontoon system from Finland. They’re also using an “eco-friendly, translucent decking material to lessen the amount of shade underneath the docks so predator fish wouldn’t permanently reside there.”
Though the marina is a private enterprise, owned by Edgewater Resources LLC and Singapore’s SUTL Enterprise Ltd., one of its four docks will be reserved for public programs, including sailing lessons, kayaking tours, and environmental education classes. Two percent of revenue will go towards keeping these programs free and low-cost, and the rest will offset operating costs of Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Renderings via Edgewater Resources
Neighborhoods : Brooklyn Heights