Information about this lot
David and I just had a great call with Mark McIntyre at the Mayor's Office of Environmental Remediation regarding this opportunity:
The NYC Mayor's Office of Environmental Remediation awards grants of $25,000 to community-based organizations for planning the development of vacant or underutilized sites. The grant can cover any pre-development costs including creating a concept plan, preliminary design, a market analysis, a zoning analysis, or a pro-forma financial analysis as well as producing area and property studies, including a study of existing conditions, a vacancy analysis, or a community reuse plan. More eligibility information here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/oer/html/brownfield-incentive-grants/big-required-grant-documentation.shtml. Here is a list of past projects funded: https://a002-epic.nyc.gov/community/areas/. To get an application and apply, contact Mark McEntyre at (212) 788-3015 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark said this project would fit their goals really well, and be eligible for this funding. However, before they can give it, we need to organize with the city agencies, nonprofits, and electeds that would be involved to get some clearer commitments as to how the site would logically come back into use. Which agency will have jurisdiction (maybe: DCLA)? Is DCAS committed to transferring jurisdiction to them? Who will actually run the facilities and do maintenance (i.e. a nonprofit with an agreement with DCLA? which one?). With a bit more certainty about it being a good use of their funds, supporting this project fits their goals!
In addition to this grant, Mark suggested other resources for this project:
- Reso. A funding, via NYC Council, for capital improvements to this site - https://shnny.org/fundingguide/city-council-and-borough-president-member-items/
- His office (OER) could potentially fund a Phase 1 Environmental Assessment - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phase_I_environmental_site_assessment
David is working towards a planning meeting soon. Onwards!
We will be tabling outside this closed public building to connect with neighbors who might want to join the campaign for its reopening next Saturday, May 5 from 2pm to 4pm !
David emailed today:
I spoke on the phone with Kyle Daniels this afternoon, he reported that there are NO plans for the site at all and said [a public community hub] could be possible and that it'll be fine with DCAS.
I know it's VERY early in the process, but a possibility for a name came to mind the other day, The Bay Ridge Insitute of Culture (BRIC), and the building is made from bricks so it seems fitting.
I've been checking DOB's records on the building. Their site shows a violation for a lower pressure boiler and failure to file annual inspection reports all being DISMISSED, but not much else.
with tremendous gratitude,
Wow, Mara! That's interesting. The NYC Real Estate Investment Cooperative,
I'll look into that more. Would you be able to discuss possibilities with
me on Sunday?
David: it appears this building got on our map when the NYC Real Estate Investment Cooperative was checking out what vacant public BUILDINGS are sitting unused in our neighborhoods that could be potential community spaces.
If you came up with a great plan, you might be able to transform the vacant city-owned BUILDING here into a community hub. I know you were thinking of a garden, so it's not quite what you imagined. But, just a thought... ;)
After seeking professional advice from a DCAS representative, this lot doesn't appear to be suitable for a community garden. There will be another update coming soon.
The City Planning Commission, adopted resolution C 130266 PPK to allow the city to dispose of this property. October 9, 2013.
"...located on the northwest corner of 86th Street and the Gowanus Expressway Service Road (Block 6037, Lot 102) in Bay Ridge. It is a 4,694 square-foot lot developed with a 6,400 square-foot, two-story building formerly occupied by a NYC Department of Sanitation (DOS) section station. The City acquired the property in 1935. The section station had offices, employee lockers and bathrooms used by DOS, and also had ground floor office space that was used by Community Board 10. The building was vacated in 2010 and DOS surrendered the property to DCAS. "
There were six speakers testifying at the hearing, three in favor and three opposed to a sale of the building
Two speakers in favor of the disposition of the building at 621 86th Street (Block 6037, Lot 102), represented long-standing community theater groups in the community. They stated their support for the use of the building as cultural space and spoke about the importance of theater to the community and their need for affordable and accessible space for rehearsal and storage. They also acknowledged that, not having seen the inside of the building, they could not knowledgably comment on the suitability of the space for their specific needs, but believed they could adapt to the building. They also acknowledged that, currently, they would be unable to fund the renovation of the building without assistance.
A representative from the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) spoke in support of the unrestricted disposition of the two City-owned properties. He testified that the building at 621 86th Street was jointly inspected on August 16, 2013 by the Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) and by the Department of Design and Construction (DDC) and that the non-ADA compliant building had serious structural and water damage, and would need new mechanical systems, roof and windows.
A representative of the Councilmember for the 43rd district spoke in opposition to the application, stating that the Councilmember believed that the building at 621 86th Street could house some of the arts, theatre and dance groups in the community that currently lack permanent physical facilities. He mentioned that several cultural groups appeared at the Community Board and Borough President hearings to state that vacant space is at a premium in Bay Ridge and that they would like an opportunity to use the existing building. The councilmember’s representative mentioned that DCAS will be conducting a tour of the building shortly for the arts groups to assess the building.
The other two speakers in opposition represented performing arts groups. They reiterated the lack of affordable rehearsal, storage space and classroom space and the need for more permanent space. They stated that the lack of vacant and affordable properties increases their dependence on religious institutions and schools which are not always open or available. They also acknowledged that they were unable to fund repairs or maintenance of the building and stated that they would be dependent on other groups to provide financial assistance.