Friday, October 22, 2010

Willoughby Square Garage Development Opportunity RFP

Want to build a parking lot on the site of an Underground Railroad station? Now's your chance! Here's the Request for Proposals by the NYC Economic Development Corporation at Willoughby Square:
New York City Economic Development Corporation (“NYCEDC”) is seeking proposals for the development and operation of an underground parking garage (“the Garage”) and the construction of an approximately 1.15-acre street-level public space on top (“Willoughby Square”). Through this RFP, NYCEDC expects to select a developer to successfully develop and operate a below-grade garage under a long-term ground lease with the City. Respondents can submit garage proposals that accommodate up to a maximum of 694 spaces.

NYCEDC is currently developing schematic designs for Willoughby Square. The selected developer is expected to complete this design process at its sole cost and expense. The selected developer will also be responsible for the construction of Willoughby Square on behalf the City, for which the City expects to make funds available.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Observer on Willoughby Sq: Mayor's Latest Libertarian Park

Remember that the Bloomberg administration wanted to confiscate 227 Duffield to build a micro-park and parking lot? 227 was saved, but the Observer rips into other aspects of the plan.

Here are some highlights from "Brooklyn's Willoughby Square: Mayor's Latest Libertarian Park" by Matt Chaban:
[New NYC parks] are being built by the public sector but maintained through private development on or near the parks—in the case of the former, through multi-use piers; the latter, residential development, though the Brooklyn Bridge Park plan has drawn considerable scorn and is currently under reconsideration.

Never mind that there may not even be enough money coming in through said development to keep the parks going.

With Willoughby Square, and the much larger Governors Island just across the harbor, the city has taken its plan a step further toward the Libertarian ideal of private-public space, which is what concerns so many critics: that eventually such spaces will cease to be public at all, more admission-only amusement parks than public amenities. (This is already common practice at many National Parks.)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Hotels coming slowly, but stores are changing

One of the hotels being built on Duffield Street has new delays. Hotel reports in Brooklyn Won't Get Aloft Until January :
Opening a hotel in New York City is a treacherous business--there are always delays. Which is what Starwood is finding as it tries to get the city's first two Aloft Hotels up and running.

Aloft Harlem has had a busy dance card of opening dates, with the latest not too far off on October 21. That was also meant to be the big day for Aloft Brooklyn, but HC reader AboutGirl was right when she said that she'd heard this opening had been pushed back as well. According to its website, Aloft Brooklyn is now scheduled to open on January 20, 2011.
Aloft's delays haven't prevented existing businesses from being pushed out. NBC New York, as well as the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, seem to think that certain shoppers are invisible. Fulton Street is bustling... unless you are blind to certain demographics, like the writer of Filene's Basement/Syms to Open in Brooklyn:
It seemed like only a matter of time before chain stores set their sights on the somewhat desolate strip of real estate at Brooklyn's Fulton Mall. Joining Aeropostale and H&M—both of which should be opening soon—Filene's Basement/Syms announced it will open its first Brooklyn store at the Fulton Mall in early 2012.