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Wreck center: Park Slope armory is empty after $16M rehab

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This beautifully restored Park Slope armory may look primed and ready to host track and field meets, but don’t lace up your running shoes just yet.

The city has still not selected a private operator to run the athletic facility, even though it has invested $16 million towards rehabbing the building and began soliciting proposals last summer.

On Tuesday, Eric Deutsch, a spokesman for the Department of Homeless Services, which also operates a women’s shelter on site, told The Brooklyn Paper that the city was evaluating the only two proposals it received.

In 2004, the city announced it would rehabilitate the run-down Eighth Avenue building, between 14th and 15th streets, and turn most of it into a privately run athletic center, while still reserving space for the women’s shelter and for area veterans groups.

At the time, the city said the project would be completed by 2006. But that date came and went. Potential operators were supposed to respond to the city’s request for proposals by the end of September, but the city pushed back the deadline at least twice.

The concessionaire selected for the project will have to find a way to make money, while allowing neighborhood schools to use it free of charge.

Meanwhile, community leaders are complaining they’ve been left in the dark.

“The entire project was approached ass-backwards,” said Community Board 6 district manager Craig Hammerman, referring, among other things, to the city’s decision to fund the renovation of the armory and then later ask outside firms to operate it.

“They hijacked the process from us many years ago and left the community in the dark.”

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Reader Feedback

James from Park Slope says:
Sounds about right, this is the NYC Department of Design and Construction at it's best. Typically they are incapable of pretty much anything and even could ruin a wet dream.

They operate with no accountability and are glorified landscape architects who couldn't find work in NYC (hint: more concrete than grass).

Rather than get involved with people (stake holders) that are going to gain or lose from their projects, they prefer to operate in the shadows.

Unfortunately, they give neocons reasons to be heard, as they represent a sort of 'keystone cops' of city management. No one can get fired, their middle managers are incompentent, their field personell are better than their supervisors, but it is political perception game that is all they care about.

How about we dismantle the DDC and start over? maybe the ex-ddc'ers could stay at the homeless shelter in the meantime. BTW, another brilliant idea, putting a homeless shelter with a childrens playground. Not that both don't deserve a fair shake, but really now!

Jan. 28, 2008, 10:47 am
pslope says:
the city should have rehabbed the building into condos given the shortage of housing in the slope and they would have more than made their money back versus the current albatross
Jan. 30, 2008, 8:02 pm
john from park slope says:
when will the rec. open.
Dec. 23, 2008, 12:45 am

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