City seeks proposals for sports center at Brooklyn Bridge plaza in Dumbo
Photo courtesy of NYC Parks
New York City is looking to reopen nearly 100,000 square feet of open space at the Brooklyn Bridge for the first time in 15 years. As first reported by Streetsblog, NYC Parks this week released a request for proposals (RFP) seeking contractors to operate a seasonal outdoor activity center for up to six years at the two-lot Anchorage Plaza, located on Old Fulton Street and Washington Street and connected by a ramp known as “Ash Alley” underneath the bridge. According to the RFP, the Parks Department seeks proposals for “parks appropriate” activities, including paddle ball, public art or performances, a dog run, and food and drink vendors.
The city’s Department of Transportation has utilized the space since 2009 to store vehicles and construction and maintenance equipment.
The space is composed of three areas according to the RFP:
- The Old Fulton Street Yard, located between Old Fulton and Prospect Streets, the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway, and the Brooklyn Bridge,
- The Washington Street Yard, located between York, Prospect, and Washington Streets, the BQE, and the Brooklyn Bridge, and
- Ash Alley, which is the alleyway below the Brooklyn Bridge that connects the Old Fulton and Washington Street Yards.
Last April, NYC Parks officials said that the agency was looking to transform the storage space once DOT was done using the premises. Initial proposals showed pickle ball courts, a cafe, an art gallery, flea markets, farmers markets, and micro-mobility vehicle parking and rentals, according to a presentation given to Brooklyn Community Board 2 last June. DOT will still be able to access a 50-foot buzzer zone to conduct any necessary work on the bridge in the future.
At the time of the presentation, a Parks representative told the Community Board that they hoped to have the space open in 2024. But officials told Streetsblog it was too early to set a definite date.
“We’re excited to see Anchorage Plaza reach its full potential as a vibrant public space, and we look forward to reviewing proposals to bring creative activations to this slice of Downtown Brooklyn,” Parks spokesperson Chris Clark told Streetsblog in a statement.
The space served as a public parking lot until 2009 on the Old Fulton Street side, and before that, it hosted an annual art show called “Art in the Anchorage” from 1983 to 2001, when it was canceled due to national security concerns.
In February 2023, DOT officials revealed their own proposals for the space as part of the city’s plan to reconfigure the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway which runs next to the lot.
This past spring, the city reopened public space under the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge. “The Arches,” a one-acre public space with basketball, pickleball, shuffleboard, and seating under the Manhattan side of the Brooklyn Bridge, opened after over a decade. The Arches is just one section of the larger Brooklyn Banks, an important area for the city’s skateboarding and BMX community from the 1980s through the 2000s.