Friends of CB6, a nonprofit that provides support for Community Board 6, received a Brownfields Opportunity Area (BOA) grant from the state in 2006 and is now looking for a partnership to move forward with the allotted money.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Brownfields are properties which the re-use or development of are hindered by the presence or potential presence of hazardous materials.
A letter issued by Friends of CB6 stated that the BOA grant will fund community-based planning to redevelop and reuse Brownfields along the canal for mixed-use purposes.
“We're basically going to be digging deeper,” said Community Board 6 District Manager Craig Hammerman, “planning wise, into the Gowanus area to see where there are development opportunities.”
The Brooklyn Downtown Star reported in Febrary 2011 that the EPA determined the Gowanus Canal was one of the most polluted waterways in the nation. It is designated as a federal Superfund site.
Groups across the city are getting together to form plans to improve the area around the canal while the government cleans up the waterway.
Among the priorities listed by Friends of CB6 in the RFP are attracting construction material manufacturers; using environmentally friendly technologies, including green roofs and solar panels; and providing waterfront-access and environmental education opportunities for visitors.
As for its respondents, Friends of CB6 “seek an innovative and progressive consulting
team that will acknowledge the canal’s significance in a broader local and regional context,” the RFP states. It also specifies that the consulting team must work with community groups and government agencies to create an appropriate plan for the neighborhood.
“We're just really excited to have gotten to this point,” Hammerman said.
The BOA grant runs through 2014, but Hammerman said he hopes to have a plan in place within a year.
“We have to work out a timetable for this,” he said.
Responses to the RFP are due Monday, November 21, and Friends of CB6 said in a statement that they will consider proposals valued between $220,000 and $240,000.