The Prospect Park Y in Park Slope is one of just two bidders vying for the chance to operate an enormous rec center inside an old Eighth Avenue armory that the city spent $16 million to rehab, The Brooklyn Paper has learned.
The news that the armory-turned–recreation center could be run by the Y cheered one civic leader who has grown frustrated by years of delays and the city’s inability to keep neighbors informed.
“The YMCA is probably the best fit,” said Tom Miskel, a member of the Park Slope Civic Council’s Armory Committee. “This complex is directed toward sports programs for younger people. The Y fits that [mission] better than anyone else.”
The city had promised to turn the armory, which is between 14th and 15th streets, over to a private operator by 2006. But the Department of Homeless Services, which is administering the bidding process and which will continue to maintain a small women’s shelter in the building, pushed back the process at least twice.
A source closely involved in the rec center project said that the city is gearing up for a big announcement — and that the Y will be the chosen one.
The YMCA has a long-standing presence in Park Slope. It began operating in 1891, and has been at its present site, on Ninth Street between Fifth and Sixth avenues, since 1926.
Councilman Bill DeBlasio (D–Park Slope), who not only organized the funding to rehab the armory, but has been a member of Y for at least 10 years, wouldn’t comment on the bidding process, but called the Y “a core institution in our community.”
DeBlasio said that a formal announcement should be coming soon.
©2008 Community News Group
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