FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASECOMMUNITY MEMBERS, PUBLIC OFFICIALS, INTERNATIONAL EXPERTS CONVENE TO CREATE NEW MIXED-USE PLANS FOR BUSHWICK
October 18, 2000
Press Contacts: Carol Abrams (212) 863-5176
Kim Brown (212) 863-8076
Commissioner Jerilyn Perine of the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) today welcomed members of the Bushwick community, planners and architects from New York City, and international experts on the redevelopment of former industrial sites, known as "brownfields," to a three-day design workshop in Bushwick entitled Transforming the Landscape. The goal of the workshop is the formulation of a new design plan for a City-owned 6.7 acre industrial site in West Bushwick.
"This collaborative workshop is a milestone for New York City brownfield redevelopment," proclaimed Commissioner Perine. "We hope to construct a sound and successful brownfield strategy for Bushwick by soliciting input from experts and community residents alike."
Following the opening session of the workshop, participants will form four work groups, each consisting of representatives from the community, HPD, other City agencies, and the International Brownfields Exchange (IBE). Each group will be asked to prepare a design for the site, and on the final day of the workshop elements of the four designs will be combined into a uniform plan for the site. The site will be redeveloped for mixed uses that will include affordable housing for homeownership, neighborhood retail, and other uses such as assisted living, multifamily housing, and open space.
Transforming the Landscape is part of a larger HPD effort to advance the redevelopment of former industrial sites within New York City. The potential for brownfield redevelopment is particularly important in the City because of the lack of available open land on which to build. Often located in formerly prosperous neighborhoods, the redevelopment of brownfields represents an opportunity to meet the current housing and retail needs of City residents.
"Deutsche Bank is committed to advancing the exchange of best practices for the redevelopment of brownfields," said Gary Hattem, managing director of the Community Development Group at Deutsche Bank. "We are extremely proud to be part of this pace-setting international event, which brings together people and ideas from around the world to improve the Bushwick neighborhood."
West Bushwick, once the center of New York City's brewing industry, experienced significant disinvestment when breweries began to close in the middle of the twentieth century. The area was heavily looted during the 1978 blackout, leaving storefronts and apartment buildings burned out and abandoned.
Since that time, HPD and the New York City Housing Partnership, in cooperation with community sponsors, have built over 700 new affordable housing units in Bushwick, with an additional 320 units in development or construction. In addition, approximately 250 affordable housing units have been rehabilitated through other HPD programs. Transforming the Landscape will build upon these revitalization efforts by combining community contributions and feedback with the expertise of international brownfields designers.
"I am very proud to be part of an overall planning strategy to develop a substantial brownfields site in the Bushwick community," said Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez. "The resulting affordable housing units and retail development will play a critical role in the revitalization of Bushwick."
The workshop is hosted by the Ridgewood Bushwick Senior Citizens Council, Assemblyman Vito J. Lopez, the International Brownfield Exchange, (sponsored by the Waterfront Regeneration Trust), the New York City Housing Partnership, and HPD. Transforming the Landscape is sponsored by Deutsche Bank, The German Marshall Fund of the United States, and the Urban Investment Group of Goldman Sachs & Co.
HPD is the nation's largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. A major responsibility of the agency is to encourage preservation of affordable housing through education, outreach, loan programs, and enforcement of housing quality standards.