By Dennis Holt
The ink had barely dried on a new operational revenue plan when the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation swung into action with a request for proposals (RFP) to create a combination hotel-housing complex on two sites upland of Pier 1.
In an unusual step, the corporation is leaving it up to the responder to suggest how many hotel rooms and housing units there should be, and on which sites or a combination thereof.
There must also be up to 17,500 square feet put aside for a restaurant, 300 spaces for parking, some form of landscape barrier on the river-facing sides of the buildings, and auto entry and exit paths to both sites.
Specific instructions require that the maximum limit for the sites be a combination of 225 hotel rooms and 150 residential units or 170 hotel rooms and 180 residential units.
The two sites are where the Cold Storage Warehouse used to be. Site A to the north has a footprint of about 64,830 square feet, and approximately 553 feet of frontage on Furman Street, 528 feet on the park, and is 120 feet wide. Site B, south of site A, is also 120 feet wide. with a footprint of 35,220 square feet. It has frontages of about 294 feet on both the park and Furman Street.
The maximum development site is about 514,000 square feet. Developers are warned that part of site B is above the A and C subway lines and any building plans must be coordinated with the Transit Department.
The maximum building height of site A is 100 feet, with 55 feet for site B. The southern part of the building on site A must be reduced to 34 feet to protect the views of the East River from Squibb Playground, which until recently had no views at all.
There are other development guidelines. Respondents should build a 120-foot-wide by 75-foot paved courtyard that would surround the two buildings. It is noted that the Squibb Playground bridge will go above the courtyard between the two buildings.
The parking can be put within either building or split between the two. Parking can be accessed from either the north, east or south facade of site A and from the north or east facade of site B.
Although where the hotel goes is up to the developer to propose, there are indications the park leadership wants it to be in the building on northern site A. For one thing, the restaurant must be in building A at the northwest corner with a small plaza for outdoor dining.
It makes sense for a restaurant to be joined to the hotel.
Also, there must also be public restrooms for park visitors and these should be located in building A.
Whatever is built on this important site will contribute to the revenue stream for park operations. Also, as this is a premier site for park visitors, architects will be challenged to produce both practical and visually appealing structures.
The bids must be submitted by October 24, 2011. There will be two site visits for developers.