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City Seeks 'Creative Responses' For Proposed Lowline Space

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Photo by Max Touhey for Curbed

Just months after the team behind the Lowline debuted a lab that's meant to replicate the environment in the proposed underground park, the project has gotten what could be a boost: The Lo-Down reports that NYC Economic Development Corporation will release a Request For Expressions of Interest (RFEI) for the proposed Lowline space next week, seeking "creative responses to activate the space," according to a spokesperson.

The Lowline's creators want to build the subterranean park in a disused trolley station below Delancey Street, but currently, that space is owned by the city, and is leased by the MTA. In a recent Wall Street Journal article, a NYCEDC spokesperson said that in order for the Lowline to gain access to the space, it "would require a formal bidding process, which is needed to determine a myriad of factors—from establishing construction costs to identifying operational needs and capacity—all of which determine whether a project is appropriate and feasible." Although the Lowline creators have been gunning for that space for several years now, the RFEI is intended to gauge interest in and seek proposals for the space from any interested parties. The request will be released on Monday and will shed further light on what, exactly, the EDC is looking for.

For their part, Lowline creators James Ramsey and Dan Barasch have estimated that the total cost of the project would be around $70 million. In that same WSJ piece, an MTA spokesperson said that the organization wouldn't object to the project, "as long as the city and other stakeholders support the project and it does not impose a financial burden on the MTA." In a statement, Barasch said, "We are encouraged that the City is interested in a new future for the historic former trolley terminal, and we are looking forward to seeing the RFEI and preparing our response."
· Breaking: City Will Release Request For "Expressions of Interest" in Lowline Site Next Week [The Lo Down]
· A Trial Run for the Lowline [WSJ]
· Lowline Lab Offers a Glimpse of NYC's First Underground Park [Curbed]