In our coverage of the Seward Park redevelopment process last week, we mentioned that some community activists were less than thrilled that the city hired an architectural firm without consulting them. The firm, Beyer Binder Belle, began working with CB3 this month. CB3 member Harvey Epstein asked for a copy of the RFP (request for proposals) that led to the hiring of the company.
We’ve now had a look at the five page document, which was made public late last week. There aren’t a lot of big surprises, but the RFP does offer a fairly comprehensive explanation of how the city is approaching the SPURA planning process.
A lot of community activists are sure to seize on a section of the RFP concerning the Essex Street Market. The Economic Development Corp., the lead city agency on the project, wanted the successful applicant to:
Provide more specific site planning and 1-2 simple renderings for the layout of a new Essex Street Market, likely to be located on Essex Street between Delancey Street and Broome Street.
Community Board 3’s guidelines, approved last month, call on the city to leave the market in its current location, north of Delancey Street. The EDC’s planning consultant, John Shapiro, argued that the current market building was inadequate and he recommended building a new, more expansive public market in a “superior location.”
The RFP indicates the firm would be hired for approximately 9 months to work with the city and the community board on preliminary design issues. Responsibilities were to include: evaluating current zoning restrictions, analyzing traffic flow/parking issues and coordinating three public presentations. The city was willing to pay up to $75,000.