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January 10, 2013

Reclusive Donor Drops $40-Million Brooklyn Velodrome Plan

Joshua P. Rechnitz, the media-shy philanthropist and cycling enthusiast who pledged $40-million last year to build a velodrome and sports center in a Brooklyn park, has withdrawn the plan and will seek another New York site for the facility, reports The New York Times.

Project planners determined it would be too expensive to design and construct the facility in Brooklyn Bridge Park, even after the building's size was scaled back and Mr. Rechnitz put up another $10-million. "You can’t build a facility of this nature, at this site, at this budget,” said Greg J. Brooks, head of N.Y.C. Fieldhouse, the nonprofit group managing the project.

Mr. Brooks said cost issues arising from the location, rather than opposition to the project from community groups, doomed the proposal. Citing one example, he said Superstorm Sandy raised concerns for planners because the park site is only a foot above the high water mark during the hurricane.