We’ve just received word from State Senator Daniel Squadron’s office that he, Assemblywoman Joan Millman, and City Council Member Steve Levin have together asked the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation to issue a new request for proposals to operate a facility that would allow use of the athletic field on Pier 5 during the colder months. They note that the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) under which the City agreed to fund Park construction includes an appropriation of $750,000 for such a facility, and that the community still wants it. More of their statement follows the jump:
Our discussions with concessionaires have made clear that the terms of the initial RFP had a number of drawbacks that resulted in no responses. Specifically, the unusually short lengths of both the contract (five years) and the operating season (four months) made the RFP unattractive for potential applicants. For context, the 2009 RFP issued by City Parks for the bubble at Mill Pond Park Sports Facility was for a term of 20 years, with a seven-month operating season of October to the end of April. Similarly, the 2011 McCarren Park tennis bubble RFP offered a contract term of 15 years, with the same seven-month operating season.
The $750,000 secured in the August MOU remains on the table. We remain committed to realizing the community’s goals at Pier 5. Therefore, there is an opportunity for the BBPC to reissue an RFP or RFEI for a bubble that meets the needs of the community and is commercially viable. Such an RFP or RFEI would ensure community access and free and low-cost programming in the bubble, as well as a plan to ensure year-round recreation on Pier 5, with an opportunity for equal use by all.
It would also:
1. Extend the concessionaire’s contract from five years to a minimum of 10 years;
2. Extend the operating season from four months to five or six months;
3. Allow flexibility in the orientation and size of the bubble;
4. Allow for a regulation-size playing field;
5. Request a plan for facilities.