“Delancey Underground’s” 2012 Goal: “Submit a Winning Bid” to the MTA
There’s been a lot of talk this year about “The Delancey Underground,” the subterranean park James Ramsey and Dan Barasch want to build in the old trolley station below Delancey Street. Recently, Barasch joined the founders of The High Line (a project that, in part, inspired their idea) on CUNY-TV.
Not a lot we haven’t heard before. But a couple of points Barasch made are worth highlighting. First, the Delancey Underground team fully expects the MTA (which manages the abandoned terminal) to issue a “request for proposals” sometime soon. Barasch said, “our goal in 2012 is to submit the winning bid.”
Second, he said a big emphasis right now is demonstrating that “economic value” can be derived from a public space. There’s no doubt the MTA (and the city) will be tempted to choose among the most lucrative proposals, which presumably would involve commercial real estate development in the 60,000 sq. ft. space. The High Line has, of course, triggered a real estate boom on the West Side (something not everyone welcomes). Barasch made it clear he and Ramsey hope to have Community Board 3 and the community-at-large on their side — demonstrating to the MTA that there’s broad support on the Lower East Side for a park rather than, say a subterranean Wal-Mart.