City Invites Proposals for Brooklyn Bridge Plaza Sports Center in Dumbo

Courtesy Jason Smith for NYC Sports Network / distributed by NYC Newswire

New York City is embarking on an ambitious plan to rejuvenate and reopen a substantial expanse of public space, nearly 100,000 square feet, at the Brooklyn Bridge. This initiative marks the first time in 15 years that these spaces will be accessible to the public. Originally reported by Streetsblog, the NYC Parks Department recently issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to find contractors willing to manage a seasonal outdoor activity center at Anchorage Plaza. This area spans two lots on Old Fulton Street and Washington Street and includes a connecting ramp known as Ash Alley, situated beneath the iconic bridge.

The RFP outlines the city’s vision for transforming the plaza into a hub of “parks appropriate” activities. Potential offerings include paddle ball courts, spaces for public art installations and performances, a dog-friendly area, and various food and beverage vendors, aiming to create a vibrant community space.

Since 2009, the Department of Transportation (DOT) has used these lots for vehicle storage and as a base for construction and maintenance operations. The RFP divides the space into three distinct areas: the Old Fulton Street Yard, the Washington Street Yard, and Ash Alley. Each of these sections has its unique characteristics and potential for community engagement and leisure activities.

In April of the previous year, NYC Parks officials announced plans to transform these areas, previously utilized for storage by the DOT, into lively public spaces. Initial proposals included amenities such as pickleball courts, a cafĂ©, an art gallery, and spaces for flea and farmers markets, as well as parking and rental services for micro-mobility vehicles. These ideas were presented to Brooklyn Community Board 2, reflecting the city’s commitment to repurposing the space for community benefit.

Although a specific opening date has not been set, Parks Department representatives expressed their anticipation for the plaza’s transformation into a dynamic public space. Chris Clark, a spokesperson for Parks, highlighted the department’s enthusiasm for innovative proposals that would activate this section of Downtown Brooklyn, signifying a significant step towards enhancing the area’s cultural and recreational offerings.

Anchorage Plaza has a rich history, serving as a public parking lot until 2009 and hosting the annual “Art in the Anchorage” show from 1983 to 2001. The event was discontinued following national security concerns, but the site’s potential for community engagement and cultural activities has remained evident.

In February 2023, DOT officials shared their proposals for the space as part of a broader strategy to reconfigure the adjacent Brooklyn-Queens Expressway. This plan underscores the city’s commitment to revitalizing urban spaces and fostering vibrant, community-focused environments.

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