BY LUIS GRONDA
A city and state agency is looking for a company that will build several new amenities to Jamaica Bay and the Rockaway Peninsula.
The City Dept. of Parks and Recreation and National Parks Service announced a joint request of three Requests for Proposals to install, operate and maintain kayak, canoe and bike rental stations and food concession stands on Jamaica Bay and around the peninsula.
The idea of this plan is to bring more awareness and outdoor activity to the bay and the surrounding area. According to a release announcing the three RFPs, both Mayor Mike Bloomberg and Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar signed an agreement in 2012 to figure out how to manage and bring more visitation and programs to the 10,000 acres of land owned by the Parks Dept. and NPS.
“We are excited about this opportunity to partner with the City to expand visitor services at our beaches through the wonderful food found in New York City’s mobile food trucks,” said Linda Canzanelli, Superintendent of Gateway National Recreation Area. “Expanded opportunities for biking, canoeing and kayaking are great ways to help everyone experience America’s great outdoors and the wonders to be found around Jamaica Bay.”
The two agencies are looking for a concessionaire that will sign a one year agreement to provide all of the proposed amenities, with the option of renewing the contract for three more one year terms. The contract renewal would be mutually agreed upon by Parks and the concessionaire.
“We are hoping to offer opportunities for New Yorkers to bike, eat and paddle, and are looking to receive proposals from companies or individuals with strong backgrounds in delivering these amenities to the public,” said Parks Commissioner Veronica White.
Dan Mundy, head of the civic group, The Jamaica Bay Ecowatchers, said that while he supports bringing the canoeing and kayaking stations to the bay because it would bring more attention and resources to the wetland, he is concerned about the food concession stands because it is unknown how that would be taken care of and what would be done about the potential garbage that the food stands would bring.
“Most people that I talk to do not go there (Jamaica Bay) for food,” he said.
A Parks Dept. spokesperson said that the specifics of that plan, including the food concession stand, will not be known until they find a concessionaire for the project.
Jamaica Bay is 18,000 acres in total and is surrounded by the Rockaway Peninsula, Queens and Brooklyn.
The deadline to submit a proposal is Monday, April 8.
For information on how to apply, please visit www.nyc.gov/parks/businessopportunities and click the “Concessions Opportunities at Parks” link.
Reach Reporter Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127 or at firstname.lastname@example.org.