Asphalt Green’s B.P.C. delay

[media-credit name=”Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer” align=”aligncenter” width=”600″][/media-credit]

The interior of Asphalt Green Battery Park City as seen through a window at the front of the facility at 212 North End Ave.

BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER  |  The opening of Asphalt Green Battery Park City, originally announced for November, then for early January and most recently, for Feb. 1, has now again been delayed. No opening date has been set. Winter classes, scheduled to start on Feb. 3, have been cancelled.

Construction of the center on North End Avenue is under the direction of the Battery Park City Authority, which selected Asphalt Green to manage the facility. A sign on the entrance indicates that it is a hard-hat area. Dangling wires and unfinished walls are visible through the community center’s ground floor window. A request to the B.P.C.A. to photograph the interior of the Asphalt Green facility was denied.

Anne Fenton, a spokesperson for the B.P.C.A. confirmed, “No one is allowed in the facility without authorization, because it is an active construction site and safety is a top priority.”

“Construction completion is now likely to go past the last projected opening date of Feb. 1 because essential approvals and permits from City regulatory agencies are still pending,” said Matthew Monahan, another spokesman for the B.P.C.A.

Monahan said that even after the approvals are received, some construction work will still need to be done. Then, he said, there will be a “gap” between the time that construction is finished and the time that Asphalt Green is able to move in and begin operation.

On Nov. 9, when the B.P.C.A. let go 19 employees, both members of the construction department were laid off, as were both members of the architectural team. However, according to Fenton, Gwen Dawson, senior vice president of asset management for the Authority, will oversee the remaining construction at the Asphalt Green site. Dawson previously was the Director of Strategic Planning for the B.P.C.A.

One of those dismissed on Nov. 9 said the center would have opened in November with a “soft” opening.

“The center could have been used, but there would have been a punch list and some touch-ups occurring at the same time,” said the employee, who requested anonymity.

Regarding permits that are needed to complete the construction of the facility and that have still not been obtained, he said that there was no guarantee that he and his colleagues would have been more successful than the current B.P.C.A. management in obtaining those permits, but he did note that after many years at the Authority, they had good relationships with Department of Buildings and Fire Department personnel and were often able to expedite the permitting process because of those relationships.

For information on the facility, programs and fees, visit the membership sales office, open daily, at 211 North End Ave.

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