Southern Brooklyn's boondoggle

Work on embattled field house resumes

Brooklyn Daily
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Construction will resume on the long-delayed Marine Park Field House this week after Comptroller John Liu broke down and allowed the Parks Department to work with a contractor he claimed it illegally hired.

Work on Brooklyn most expensive green latrine stopped more than six months ago when Liu claimed Parks didn’t conduct a citywide search for a qualified crew to install the building’s highly technical heating and air conditioning system.

But after a six month delay, Liu nevertheless approved the Parks Department’s decision to hire T Moriarty and Sons — a crew already doing work on the field house, an agency spokesman said.

Yet the field house’s contract snafus and continual delays has outraged community residents like Republican District Leader Anthony Testaverde, who demanded to know what local elected officials were doing to fix the “fiasco” at a recent Marine Park Civic Association meeting.

Even Councilman Lew Fidler (D–Marine Park) has given up trying to give the public answers, telling Testaverde to blame Mayor Bloomberg.

“I fight to get the money so we can have this in our neighborhood and not in the Bronx, or in Central Park, or in some hoity-toity park in Brooklyn Bridge Park,” Fidler told Testaverde. “If the city doesn’t do it right, you should talk to the mayor about that.”

The Marine Park Field House has become Southern Brooklyn’s biggest boondoggle: the price of the community center, which is essentially one meeting room, two bathrooms and closets for storage, has ballooned from $6.5 to $16 million and has suffered countless delays.

The project is currently costing taxpayers $5,000 a square foot — more than the 104-story Freedom Tower in Manhattan, which is $1,456 per square foot.

The Freedom Tower is expected to be completed next year, beating the Marine Park Field House by several months. Both projects began in ernest in 2008.

Yet there are those who are happy to see something happening at the site.

“There are trucks coming out of there,” said Greg Barusso, President of the Marine Park Civic Association.

“I don’t think work is being done yet, but it seems like they’re preparing for something.”

Updated 5:10 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reader feedback

Carolyn from Marine park says:
I feel there should be a dog park placed somewhere in the park there is none close by and would be a great addition to the park... Some of us work nights and are unable to wake up before 9:00 for the unleash law..there is enough room in the park. Also on Sunday I was at the park and I saw the guys playing cricket and there was cups scattered all around them right by the track went back the next day and the cups were still there. People should be accountable for there own garbage. I pick up my dogs poop and they should pick up there cups or not be allowed to play there.
May 30, 2012, 10:07 am
Shaun Toner from Marine Park says:
How dare that useless Fidler deflect blame for his complete lack of representation ob the Mayor! Your vote gave that piece of garbage mayor another term! Lew, explain to the residents of Marine Park how Bergan Beach and Gerritsen Beach have excellent parks and we don't even have a field house for our residents to use the facilities in? It is because you are and have been more interested in finding more ways to stay in office then do ANYTHING for this community. I bet you even have the audicty to show up at the opening of the field house when it is finished in 10 to 15 years bragging about yourself. You are garbage Lew and the failures in this community sit on your lap.
May 30, 2012, 10:43 am
Mike from West Village says:
$5,000 per square foot?! That's absolutely absurd. High end residential construction is routinely built in Brooklyn for less than $500 per square foot (i.e. less than $0.10 on the dollar of this project?!). What an embarrassment and perfect example of how this city continually wastes its resources on BS projects that are so terribly run its pathetic.
May 31, 2012, 8:36 am
Charlie from Marine Park says:
Now I better understand how my enormous payment of NYC income taxes is being wasted. Thanks a lot.
June 1, 2012, 3:39 pm

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