Battery Park City Authority seeks proposals for new restaurant in redesigned Wagner Park

April 30, 2024

All images courtesy of Battery Park City Authority

The Battery Park City Authority has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a new restaurant in Wagner Park, a 3.5-acre green space currently being rebuilt and redesigned as part of a major resiliency project. The new restaurant would take up one wing of the newly constructed Wagner Park Pavilion and offer high-quality, healthy food and drink options year-round, according to the RFP. The authority wants the new eatery to open at the same time as the park’s reopening, scheduled for spring 2025.

The Pavilion is a new building with two separate wings and a public rooftop. The north wing will feature community space and provide storage and maintenance needs for the BPCA Parks. The restaurant will operate in the south wing and include 5,000 square feet of kitchen and dining space.

According to the RFP, the restaurant’s main floor measures about 2,790 square feet, with an indoor dining space for 80 customers, a food preparation space, two unisex restrooms, and a seasonal outdoor dining area. The kitchen and staff space will be on the ground floor.

The BPCA wants an “experienced operator” with a “compelling” restaurant concept offering a variety of food and beverage options, with a focus on high-quality and healthy choices at affordable price points. Proposals should also aim to enhance environmental sustainability, with choice of materials, waste management, energy management, and water use.

The new pavilion replaces the existing one, where the Italian restaurant Gigino at Wagner Park operated since 1999.

Proposals must be received by the authority no later than 3 p.m. on June 24, 2024.

The Wagner Park Pavilion is being constructed as part of the BPCA’s South Battery Park City Resiliency Project to protect the area from flooding, storm surge, and rising sea levels. The project includes an integrated flood barrier system from the Battery Park City Esplanade along the waterside edge of the Museum of Jewish Heritage, through Wagner Park and Pier A Plaza, and extending to the northern edge of The Battery.

The existing park was demolished and is now being rebuilt 10 feet higher, roughly 20 feet above sea level. New planters, stepped benches, winding pathways, and native planting areas conceal the seawall in the landscape. The raised lawn will offer unobstructed views of the New York Harbor and Statue of Liberty.

According to the BPCA, the park and pavilion will be “substantially complete” in the first quarter of 2025.

The plans to raze and rebuild Wagner Park faced criticism from local residents, who went to court to stop the construction of the park. While work was temporarily halted at the end of 2022, a judge ruled in February 2023 that the project was a critical flood risk reduction project and should not be further delayed, as The City reported at the time.

The South Battery Park City Resiliency Project is one of several resiliency projects under the broader Lower Manhattan Coastal Resiliency Project (LMCR), including the North/West Battery Park City Resiliency, The Battery Coastal Resilience, East Side Coastal Resiliency, and the Brooklyn Bridge-Montgomery Coastal Resilience.


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