Community Center Working Group Proposal

7 June 2018

updated 28 March 2019

Among the various "benefits" a number of people who have been active in thinking and talking about development in Union Square have been considering is that of "indoor civic space" in the form of a community center, to be located on either the D1 or D2 parcel. The Built Environment Committee ("BEC") of the USNC has decided to establish a group where ideas for such a facility could be considered in whatever degree of detail might be required to produce something like a specification for what can be brought before the USNC board for incorporation into the list of benefits to be negotiated with the master developer, which we expect will acquire control of those parcels. [At the joint USNC/US2 meeting on March 27, 2019, a statement was made by a member of the USNC board that it is now unclear whether the indoor civic space matter will become part of the CBA negotiations that are now underway. The coversation among members of the proposed community center working group / committee may be able to inform or even influence that decision, however.]

Among the topics of conversation among those taking part in this process of formulating a set of recommendations for what we want to have in the facility are:

Were we to decide to seek approval of the USNC board of directors to form as a working group, we could expect to be required to produce at least a preliminary report by some certain date, so as to integrate with the activities of the CBA negotiating group. Our report could be expected to contain at least a rough idea of what we would want to recommend asking for from the developer with regard to allocation of space in buildings that are approved, so as to ensure that any special requirements of these components are properly accommodated. However, even if we have a less formal sort of organization and relationship with the USNC, we would still have to be mindful of the timing of the CBA negotiations to be able to have an effect on the thinking and positions of the negotiators.

In either case, we might want this task force to have an ongoing existence, since some topics may require more time and expenditure of energy to research and think about, and to be able to deal nimbly with whatever additional questions might arise as we proceed.