Squadron, Millman, Levin Statement on Pier 5 'Bubble'

Daniel L. Squadron

December 29, 2011

BROOKLYN -- Today, State Senator Daniel Squadron, Assembly Member Joan Millman, and Council Member Stephen Levin released the following statement regarding an indoor recreational facility on Pier 5 in Brooklyn Bridge Park:

In August, Senator Squadron and Assembly Member Millman, with the support of Council Member Levin, reached an agreement with the City to complete Brooklyn Bridge Park, including a number of amenities for the community.

According to the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), the City will provide a facility on Pier 5 allowing for indoor recreation during the winter season. The MOU secured $750,000 for this ‘bubble,’ which would provide park-goers with free and low-cost programming and access to fields, playgrounds and other amenities during the colder months. However, the RFP issued by the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation in August resulted in no submissions of proposals.

The community continues to support indoor recreation in Brooklyn Bridge Park during the winter months. 

Our discussions with concessionaires have made clear that the terms of the initial RFP had a number of drawbacks that resulted in no responses. Specifically, the unusually short lengths of both the contract (five years) and the operating season (four months) made the RFP unattractive for potential applicants. For context, the 2009 RFP issued by City Parks for the bubble at Mill Pond Park Sports Facility was for a term of 20 years, with a seven-month operating season of October to the end of April. Similarly, the 2011 McCarren Park tennis bubble RFP offered a contract term of 15 years, with the same seven-month operating season.

The $750,000 secured in the August MOU remains on the table. We remain committed to realizing the community's goals at Pier 5. Therefore, there is an opportunity for the BBPC to reissue an RFP or RFEI for a bubble that meets the needs of the community and is commercially viable. Such an RFP or RFEI would ensure community access and free and low-cost programming in the bubble, as well as a plan to ensure year-round recreation on Pier 5, with an opportunity for equal use by all.

It would also:

  1. Extend the concessionaire’s contract from five years to a minimum of 10 years;
  2. Extend the operating season from four months to five or six months;
  3. Allow flexibility in the orientation and size of the bubble;
  4. Allow for a regulation-size playing field;
  5. Request a plan for facilities.