LOWER EAST SIDE — The city on Friday kicked off the process of transforming the derelict Allen Street Mall bathhouse into a snack stand, issuing a Request for Proposals (RFP) which calls for interested vendors to pitch their ideas for the space.
The city’s Parks Department is now accepting proposals for the decrepit structure — which has been vacant for more than 60 years — officially slated to become a “food service facility” with public restrooms after being heavily renovated.
The RFP lists a litany of much-needed repairs to the building just north of Delancey Street, which has been vacant since the 1950s, including either repairing or replacing the roof, floor, walls, windows and doors, and installing new gas lines. The city has already completed the asbestos and lead abatement in preparation for the repairs.
The city’s Economic Development Corporation fielded questions from Community Board 3’s parks committee in February. At the time, District Manager Susan Stetzer questioned the decision to use the space as a concession stand — a decision she said was made without community input — and pointed out that other uses may better serve the neighborhood, which is already saturated with restaurants.
Stetzer told DNAinfo New York she still wishes the city had considered other community uses before establishing the RFP criteria.
“There was no input from the community or the community board on what they would like to see there to even be considered before the criteria of the RFP was finalized,” said Stetzer.
A Parks Department spokeswoman said the RFP was developed in response to years of community visioning sessions, and that the department had met with the community board three times prior to the board voting to approve the plan in March.
In response to suggestions from board members that the facility include features to serve cyclists, the department will favor applicants willing to do so, according to the spokeswoman.
The facility may serve alcoholic beverages if a liquor license is granted, and may have an outdoor seating area, according to the RFP.
The deadline for submission is Sept. 15, and interested parties will have an opportunity to survey the space and bounce ideas off city reps beforehand. Parks will host a meeting and site tour at the bathhouse on Aug. 5 at 11 a.m. for vendors considering pitching the department.
The city will likely take at least six months to select an operator, according to a Parks spokeswoman, and construction should commence a few months later.
The RFP can be downloaded via the Parks website here.