Thursday, August 16, 2007

City announces RFP to destroy Duffield Abolitionist homes

The Brooklyn Daily Eagle today published "City Seeks Developer for Downtown Park, Garage", which starts:
The city officially began seeking a developer for the “Willoughby Square” park and underground garage on Monday, the same day Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced a $2 million project to commemorate abolitionist activity in Downtown Brooklyn.
The Abolitionist homes and the potential Underground Railroad sites would be destroyed in order to create a parking lot and grassy knoll. The project would also require the use of eminent domain to confiscate the properties, since the owners do not want to sell. The owners want to create an Abolitionist museum on the site. The article notes that HPD's decision on the Duffield homes is due next week and it continues:
The requests for proposals notes that the process of acquiring the site may increase “by approximately one year” before construction can proceed if condemnation proceedings are necessary.

When completed, city officials have said, the project would be a key component of the city’s effort to revitalize downtown, providing much-needed parking and open space to the thousands of new residents, office workers and shoppers expected to pour in as dozens of planned projects surrounding the site take shape.