Floating Pool finally home: In Brooklyn

7/2/2007 Update:

Tomorrow will be the grand opening of the Floating Pool that was supposed to land in Hoboken. We should have done above-ground pools like Globo Surf.

Here’s the press release:

Attraction heralds new chapter for Brooklyn waterfront

The highly-anticipated floating pool at Brooklyn Bridge Park Beach will make its debut in grand fashion as state and local officials join area kids in commemorating the first jump into the pool.

Area children (but not likely from Hoboken)
NYC Department of Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe
Co-founder of The Neptune Foundation and pool creator Ann Buttenwieser
Empire State Development Co-Chairman Pat Foye
Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy President Marianna Koval
Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz
City Council Speaker Christine Quinn
Council Member David Yassky
U.S. Representative Nydia Velazquez

Tuesday, July 3rd
11:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (Media arrival at 10:45 a.m.)

Brooklyn Bridge Park Beach
334 Furman Street (between Pier 4 and Pier 5)
Brooklyn, NY

The Floating Pool at Brooklyn Bridge Park Beach will mark the first time in more than 200 years that the public has had access to the piers area of the waterfront. The Floating Pool is a former 80-by-260-foot cargo barge converted to a seven lane, 25 meter swimming pool, which includes a raised terrace with men’s and women’s locker rooms, showers, and a children’s spray pool. The 40,000-square-foot beach will offer sand soccer, beach volleyball and sunbathing with a backdrop of the breathtaking waterfront harbor, offering New Yorkers a welcome respite from the summer heat. A free shuttle bus will carry swimmers from surrounding neighborhoods.

Admission is free and open to the public, seven days a week, from July 4 through Labor Day. Pool hours are 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. Beach hours are 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Here’s an interesting follow up to the long-forgotten Hoboken Fantasy Tale that was told nearly six years ago.

Back in 2000, former Mayor Anthony Russo had announced that Hoboken was going to receive a $2 million dollar half oylmpic-sized floating pool as a donation from the Neptune Foundation of New York. It was supposed to be the crown jewel of the proposed Pier C Park, which still hasn’t happened.

Current Mayor David Roberts dragged his feet and put the plan on hold, citing maintenance cost issues as well as environmental concerns. The absence of committment from Hoboken led the pool developers to donate it to the next available suitor.

Regardless of what happened, the pool arrived last week in Brooklyn. It’s slated to open Summer of 2007. Perhaps the Mayor was right for scrapping the plans because $300,000 per year maintenance may have been too costly, or that the pool would only attract undesirables to the waterfront location and be a turn-off to developers. But to some, it was considered a quality of life improvement, and only added to the value of living in Hoboken. Opinions differed.

Here’s a link from the New York Times regarding the arrival of the pool.

See the video behind the making of this great project, and the “story that never came true for Hoboken”. PS: The woman in this video has a horrible lisp, and it makes you wonder why they ever included the “S” in the word “Lisp”.

Seemed like a fantastic project that many people were passionate about!

Read the Hoboken Reporter article from two and a half years ago below:

Some typical Hoboken items to quote from this 3/7/2004 article:

– “We’re still two years away from finishing Pier C”
(hey, it’s been 2.5 years, and we haven’t even STARTED Pier C yet! Read more about our PARK GRIPES HERE)

– “above-ground swimming pools for this summer “might be a temporary option.””
(a temporary statement at least)

– “This has happened over and over again,” said Councilman Michael Russo. “We get excited about a new project, but are too often disappointed by the lack of follow-through.”
(I have to agree with him here!)

Read the entire 3/7/2004 Reporter article below. Brings back memories, doesn’t it?

Our pool has floated to Brooklyn


Pols point fingers as free pool possibility passes
Tom Jennemann
Reporter staff writer

The on-again, off-again concept of bringing a permanent floating swimming pool to Pier C Park appears to be off again, as the charity foundation that was donating the pool has reached an agreement with Greenpoint, Brooklyn instead.

The announcement came as a surprise because only three weeks ago, Mayor David Roberts announced plans to re-add a municipal swimming pool in a hollowed-out barge to the proposed Pier C Park at Sinatra Drive and Fourth Street.

“At the present time, we do not have a swimming pool,” city director of Community Development Fred Bado informed the City Council Wednesday night.

The idea of the floating pool has been talked about for the past four years. In December of 2000, former Mayor Anthony Russo held a press conference to announce that an Olympic-sized municipal swimming pool, to be donated by the Neptune Foundation of New York, would be the “crown jewel” of the new plans for Pier C Park. The pool value was worth approximately $2 million.

When the Roberts administration came into office, the plans for the pool were put on hold. According to city officials, there were concerns that the pool would be too large for Pier C, and that getting Department of Environmental Protection permits could be challenging. Also, the cost of maintenance became and issue. According to city officials, yearly maintenance would run around $300,000. This year, the entire budget for all of the city parks is only $500,000.

During a pubic meeting last March, planners presented the preliminary plans without the pool included. But then, just a couple of weeks ago, the Roberts administration announced that the pool had been re-added, and posted pictures of it on the city’s web site.

Spin city

The announcement that Greenpoint has reached an agreement for the pool has sent local politicians into spin mode.

The critics of the administration are on the attack, saying that the Roberts administration has dragged its feet and let a nearly $2 million donation float away.

The administration, on the other hand, said that Pier C is still nearly two years away from being finished and that having a pool at the park is still not out of the question.

“Our pool has floated to Brooklyn,” complained administration critic Councilman Tony Soares at Wednesday’s council meeting. The councilman asked Bado when he’d found out that the Neptune Foundation had reached an agreement with Greenpoint.

“I found out a couple of weeks ago,” said Bado.

Soares then asked when the last time was that he has been in contact with the Neptune Foundation.

“About nine months ago,” said Bado.

Soares responded that the administration had not followed up and had cost the city this pool.

“If they don’t hear from us, of course they are going to give the pool to someone else,” said Soares.

Bado added that he was not the point person for this project. He said that Cassandra Wilday, the city’s current open space planner and the former director of environmental services, was the contact person for the Pier C pool project.

Wilday said Thursday that she has submitted multiple memos to the mayor and other city employees that informed them of what the Neptune Foundation needed.

According to Wilday, she told the mayor that it would cost $300,000 per year to maintain the pool. Before an agreement with the Neptune Foundation could be reached, she said, the city had to formalize that the pool would be maintained in the future.

She added that she does not have to authority to make such a commitment and that only the mayor via the City Council could make such a large monetary commitment.

But wait

Wilday said that the Roberts administration really shouldn’t be blamed for Greenpoint agreeing to take the pool.

“We’re still two years away from finishing Pier C,” she said.

She added that the since the 1980s, the Neptune Foundation has been looking for a location for the pool, and when Greenpoint said they were ready, the foundation “jumped at the opportunity.”

She also said that while this is the only floating pool that exists now, it doesn’t mean that this is the last.

She said that the Neptune Foundation had always intended to place several pools in the New York metropolitan area and that another one could be available in two years, when the park is complete and Hoboken is actually ready to take advantage of the pool.

Councilman Michael Russo, whose father originally was going to bring the pool to Hoboken, said that while there has been some degree of internal finger pointing, in the end, the blame should fall on Roberts’ shoulders.

“This has happened over and over again,” said Russo. “We get excited about a new project, but are too often disappointed by the lack of follow-through.”

It’s not that bad

Roberts said Thursday that it is “regrettable” that the Neptune Foundation will be donating the pool to Greenpoint, but said that $300,000 per year maintenance expense might have been too high a price.

Roberts said that the city will continue to investigate the possibility of a floating pool for Pier C, but will also look into other options.

He said in the short-term, above-ground swimming pools for this summer “might be a temporary option.”

According to Environmental Services Director Joseph Peluso, Peluso has been in contact with companies from whom the city could purchase a 30-by-30 foot pool for around $15,000. One or more pools could be installed at different locations throughout the city, he said.

Roberts added that he would get the City Council’s approval before appropriating any money toward a temporary pool.

“I think this might work out very well in the short term,” said Roberts. “Then we can work with our planners and look for a permanent location for a swimming pool that can open in 2005 or 2006.”

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Tuesday, July 3, 2007 4:16 pm

[quote comment=”33072″]It sure beats living in a van down by the river![/quote]

Don’t bet on it. http://www.frogwosh.com/images/orcas_van.jpg

Tuesday, July 3, 2007 9:00 am

It sure beats living in a van down by the river!

Tuesday, July 3, 2007 8:12 am

[quote comment=”5535″]i think they could have made it a bit more luxurious for this area and would have pitched better. [/quote]
WILLOW: Inform me please as to the true depth of your ignorance. Luxurious for this area? You’re joking, right? Or haven’t you been allowed to take your mommy’s Lexus to Brooklyn lately?

Monday, July 2, 2007 10:21 pm

[quote comment=”5535″]sounds pretty cool. but i think they could have made it a bit more luxurious for this area and would have pitched better. It kind of looks like tenament issue like they described in the video.[/quote]

willow–with respect–you must be either joking or not have seen the pool. and luxurious for THIS area? every been to the heights in brooklyn? methinks not–bklyn heights real estate prices make hoboken look like a third world bargain.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006 2:45 pm

hoboken do something for its residents….nahhhhhhhh

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