The design firm that invented “Urban Planning” deemed unsuitable by BPCA

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Update July 23, 2015- The New York Attorney General’s antitrust division is now investigating this. 

Update June 23, 2015- The Broadsheet (BS) finally reported on this today, but they got a crucial fact wrong. They stated that Stantec was chosen to perform the ballfield turf work after Hurricane Sandy. They were actually the firm that “designed and supervised” the installation the first turf which was improperly installed in 2012, by Kelco, per below.

In 2013, after Hurricane Sandy, the BPCA chose NY Mets baseball organization to find a company to remove the old turf, and new construction company, not Kelco, was chosen to install the second attempt at the turf. Stantec was still given a contract in 2013, however, to oversee this process as well. But sources close to the BPCA say that they were far less involved this time due to their poor performance in the 2012 installation.

All of this makes the BPCA’s decision to award Stantec the South End Avenue job, below, more egregious and befuddling, which is why the BS article mistake is important to viewers.

BatteryPark.TV: We inform.

June 9, 2015- By Steven E. Greer

Back in 2013, BatteryPark.TV initiated the process of redesigning West Thames and South End Avenue to make the streets not only safer, but also more modern and hospitable to commerce. Built haphazardly in the 1980’s, with long periods of inactivity due to financial problems, Battery Park City was far from a model community.

With community effort, the City DOT agreed to make safety changes, but the BPCA told the city to cancel the plans. Only stop signs on West Thames were ever installed by the city as the BPCA promised to “study” the matter.

Now, two-years later, and after countless lives have been put at risk due to the unsafe pedestrian crossing on South End Avenue, the BPCA announced at the June 9th board meeting that they have awarded the contract to redesign South End to Stantec Consulting Services: a Canadian firm with offices near Albany. Stantec beat out world renowned Projects for Public Spaces (PPS), despite the PPS bid being $113,000 lower than Stantec.

The person in charge of facilities for the BPCA, Gwen Dawson, was in charge of the RFP process. Chairman Dennis Mehiel asked her why the found the respected PPS to be so inadequate, and she had no coherent answer (see video).

Stantec is the same company that installed the first artificial turf on the BPC ballfields. However, they did a poor job, leaving gaps in the seams and large metal spikes that began to protrude out of the turf, according to people who are closely involved with the ballfields. After Hurricane Sandy destroyed the fields, a new company was selected to instal the current turf.

Once again, the RFP contracting system for the BPCA seems to be a sham. The authority almost never factors in cost to the awarding processes, and then points to the excuse, “You get what you pay for. Sometimes the lowest bid costs more in the end”. However, in this case, the lower bidder was PPS: the organization featured in documentaries for inventing the entire concept of urban planning: the organization has redesigned Los Angeles and other cities around the globe.

It is unknown at this point what, if any, political connection to Governor Cuomo Stantec might have. Stay tuned.

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One Response to The design firm that invented “Urban Planning” deemed unsuitable by BPCA

  1. JD says:

    You’re saying we had the chance to have South End Avenue redesigned by the world-renowned Project for Public Spaces and the BCPA chose a more expensive bidder instead? Jesus Christ.

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