Art Park RFP delayed, awaits council vote

February 8, 2013
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The City has pushed back issuing the request for proposals (RFP) for redeveloping the Art Park site, which is City-owned land between Parker and Terrace Streets.

The City originally intended to issue the RFP by now, but has pushed it back until the end of this month, according to John Feuerbach of the Department of Neighborhood Development (DND).

Sheila Dillon, director of DND, said the delay is because the City has been unable get the City Council’s approval to sell 4 of the 11 City-owned parcels at the site because the council has been too busy. She expects to be able to get the matter in front of the council this month.

DND currently controls those parcels, but can’t sell them without the City Council’s approval.

“As soon as we have the approval, the RFP is ready to go,” said Dillon.

The site currently contains community gardens and the Art Park. The Art Park is an area with murals, mosaic footpath tiles and colorful furniture. The park would be dismantled.

The redeveloped site would have a larger gardening area and housing and might contain art elements. There have been many critics of the plan, especially against any housing along Parker Street.

The Boston Redevelopment Authority (BRA) and the DND are working together to find a developer for the site, which will be a “green building” project. The City has a similar “green building” project in the works on Highland Avenue in Roxbury. Urbanica, Inc. has been picked to develop that project.

The Art Park on Parker Street. (Gazette Photo by Peter Shanley)