City Seeks Proposals to Convert Allen Mall Bathhouse into Food Stand

Posted on: July 22nd, 2016 at 5:09 am by

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Rendering showing potential use

Now’s your chance to convert an old Lower East Side shithouse into a food stand.

That’s right; the city officially began its Request for Proposals (“RFP”) process last week in order to redevelop the relic bathhouse situated in the Allen Street Mall. The decades-old structure – constructed in the 1930s as a bathroom for riders of the Second Avenue El – had been undergoing asbestos abatement these last couple months in preparation for this moment. Work just wrapped.

Sixty years of vacancy will soon yield a new food stand. That’s what the city wants.

Community Board 3 backed the city’s RFP pitch back in March, but District Manager Susan Stetzer wasn’t thrilled with the idea of a concession stand in a saturated area. Especially given the possibility of another liquor license here.

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At the time, they made several recommendations:

  • That the food vendor be “accessible” to the community.
  • The addition of a bicycle servicing station.
  • Widening of the median concrete and landscaping to resemble the Mall south of Delancey (potential to affect the protected bike lanes).
  • Outdoor seating in warmer months on the northern exposure of the bathhouse.
  • Preference that the building remain preserved.
  • Assurance that the public bathroom on the south side is properly maintained by the vendor partners.

Deadline for RFP submission is September 15. Potential vendors interested will have an opportunity to survey the space during a Parks-organized meeting and site tour at the bathhouse on August 5 at 11am. Once all proposals are collected, the city will probably spend at least six months to select an operator, with construction following shortly thereafter.

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