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Nobody wants to do business on the Canarsie Pier.
The National Parks Service has decided to shelve its plans to bring a new restaurant to the wharf after just three people responded to a search for a concessionaire for an abandoned building on the pier with suggestions on how to spruce up the entire jetty.
In a report released on Sept. 27, the National Parks Service explained they were hoping to find a new tenant for the long-vacant Abbracciamento on the Pier restaurant, but only received three “expressions of interest” that didn’t have anything to do with the dilapidated restaurant, which has been closed since 2002.
“The National Parks Service received suggestions from three sources, but [none of them] fully met the submission guidelines or expressed an interest in occupying the building,” the report stated. “The three suggestions were from local residents and provided input about the type of activities they would like us to develop or allow at the pier.”
The stunning lack of interest came as a surprise to the National Parks Service, which showed 30 potential tenants the shuttered restaurant in May.
“The questions asked at the site tours indicate, however, that the uncertainties and challenges surrounding the site may have discouraged people from putting effort into a response,” the report noted.
The uncertainties apparently surrounded the poor condition of the 5,477 square-foot stucco building, which dates back to the 1930s.
From the outset, the National Park Service said a new concessionaire would have to put in $2.5 million to operate a non-food service and $3.9 million for a restaurant. But even more money may be needed, officials admitted, adding these estimates were made in 2006.
But the restaurant isn’t the only problem. The pier itself will probably have to undergo a massive rehabilitation before the concessionaire could see his or her dream realized.
Since the “pier’s condition has not yet been fully assessed” the National Parks Service set aside their plans for a new tenant, opting instead to bulk up their “seasonal mobile food and beverage vendors to serve the park visitors at Canarsie Pier,” according to the report.
“The National Park Service will encourage vendors to continue providing these visitor services and will look into options for expanding such services,” the report indicated, adding that the Abbracciamento Restaurant will most likely remain vacant until a full condition assessment of the pier is conducted and all repairs are made.
©2010 Community Newspaper Group
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