If there was any doubt that the MTA is intent on reactivating the abandoned trolley terminal below Delancey Street, this video will put an end to that. Posted on YouTube about a week ago and by 2nd Ave. Sagas yesterday, the video is basically an advertisement for the 60,000 square foot subterranean “development opportunity.”
In September, James Ramsey and Daniel Barasch went public with their proposal to turn the old terminal into a dramatic underground park. Their contact at the MTA, Peter Hine, was obviously more than a little intrigued by the idea. Ramsey and Barasch were always well aware they would likely be competing against other potential developers when the MTA gets around to issuing a “Request for Proposals.” In the New York Times last week, Hine said he’d love to see “500 ideas.”
Listen carefully to Hine, as he walks through the trolly station. There’s no doubt the cash-strapped MTA’s main priority is extracting as much money as possible from the unused space. He even mentions creating a night club in part of the terminal. Even at this very preliminary stage, it’s clear the transit agency and the community board might not necessarily see eye to eye on how the space should be developed.
Ramsey and Barasch envision some revenue producing elements as part of their “Delancey Underground” project (possibly retail). But their idea primarily centers around reclaiming the abandoned space for public use.