A Home for the North Brooklyn Boathouseby on
Questions have arisen (apparently from a building permit that was filed for a new structure on the Newtown Creek) about the status of the Greenpoint Boathouse & Environmental Education Center. The GWAPP and NBBC Boards were waiting for a lease agreement for the facility to be finalized before making a public announcement but in the interest of clarifying what is happening with this exciting project, this is an update:
GWAPP proposed the construction of a boathouse and environmental center on the Newtown Creek as an applicant for funds from the Newtown Creek Environmental Benefit Projects and, through an extensive community process, was selected as the top priority project. Originally, the facility was to be based in the Greenpoint Manufacturing and Design Center but, after almost three years, the parties were unable to come to agreeable terms with GMDC and the project looked for another location. Two years ago, while waiting for the boathouse to be built, the North Brooklyn Boat Club was given temporary access to a strip of land, owned by Broadway Stages, on Ash Street near the Pulaski Bridge. The organization – an all-volunteer, non-profit community group dedicated to offering safe, responsible recreational human-powered boating to the public – quickly (and with the help of the Hudson River Foundation) acquired boats and safety gear and began offering public paddles from the site. When Broadway Stages heard that the NBBC needed a location for this community facility, they offered to include the boathouse and environmental education center in the plans for a commercial building they planned to construct at 51 Ash Street.
We hope to finalize the agreement with Broadway Stages and start construction of the first recreational boathouse in Greenpoint/Williamsburg, operated with safety protocols mandated by NYSDEC by the volunteers from NBBC and accessible to the public. The facility will include boat and safety equipment storage, an environmental education center with facilities for students and scientists studying the ecology and history of the waterways and a boatbuilding and nautical crafts workshop.