Brooklyn Bridge Park wants to make sure New Yorkers get a summer with plenty of sunshine and some well-deserved splashing.
In conjunction with the city’s Department of Parks and Recreation, BBP announced plans Friday to build a permanent public pool in city-owned Squibb Park, an underutilized park that serves as an access point to the park from Brooklyn Heights, through a pedestrian bridge improved in 2017.
The waterfront park, with sweeping views of New York Harbor, has been host to a pop-up pool since 2012. The summer attraction, which park officials said was a huge hit, will be taken apart in the fall to start development of the Pier 2 Uplands project, according to BBP.
“The temporary pop-up pool has been a much-loved summer attraction and now we are thrilled to announce plans to bring a permanent pool to Brooklyn Bridge Park,” Eric Landau, Brooklyn Bridge Park president, said in a statement.
Squibb Park, located adjacent to BBP, used to house a wading pool in the 1940s, according to Sarah Krauss, spokeswoman for BBP. It later turned into several basketball courts, which eventually disappeared, she added.
Owned by the city and cooperated by BBP, the concrete park’s transformation will be a $10 million-$15 million project, partly financed by BBP and the remainder fundraised in partnership with the Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy, according to a statement by BBP. Midtown Equities and Alloy Development with Monadnock Construction, and DLJ Real Estate Capital Partners have also dedicated funds toward the project.
The city will enter into an agreement with BBP to operate and maintain the outdoor pool, which, per State Senator Brian Kavanagh, should open “as soon as possible and no later than the summer of 2020.” A specific timeline for the project will be announced after community planning sessions, set to begin this fall.
“Our community spoke loud and clear on their passion for preserving a permanent pool in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Plans to construct that pool at Squibb Park represent a clear victory for children and families across our borough,” Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams said, referencing a community effort by the neighborhood’s parents to keep a pool in the area.
Love Our Pool, a community organization that managed to extend the pop-up pool for two extra summers via an online petition that gathered several hundred signatures, also celebrated the latest announcement.
“We look forward to continuing our work alongside the Park as we further the focus on the community’s needs over the course of this summer’s planning sessions,” Love Our Pool’s Lee Levine said in a statement.