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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Press Release # 06-06
Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Neill McG. Coleman , HPD (212) 863-8076
Janel Patterson, EDC (212) 312-3523


CITY ANNOUNCES COMPETITION FOR AFFORDABLE HOUSING AND COMMUNITY CENTER ON CITY OWNED LAND IN CONEY ISLAND

Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Shaun Donovan and  New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President Andrew Alper announced today that the City is releasing a request for proposals  (RFP)  for a significant parcel of vacant City-owned land in Coney Island, Brooklyn.  The development will include a community center on the ground floor and more than 150 units of affordable housing above.  The site is located within the boundaries of the Coney Island I Urban Renewal Area and comprises approximately 65,000 square feet.  The site is bounded by Surf Avenue and privately owned land to the south, West 29th Street to the east, P.S. 329 (Surfside School) to the north, and West 30th Street to the west. . Development proposals that are most responsive to the community's expressed goals for the community center and that provide the greatest affordability using the least amount of subsidy will be given preference.

This RFP is part of the City's Strategic Plan for Coney Island, which will transform the area into a year-round entertainment destination with seaside attractions and a stronger, more vibrant residential community.  In September 2003, the Mayor, City Council, and Brooklyn Borough President formed the Coney Island Development Corporation (CIDC) to spearhead and implement the Plan, and to create a coordinated strategy for the area.  Crafted in collaboration with community residents and businesses, the Strategic Plan, announced in September 2005, provides a roadmap for the CIDC and its partners.  A new community center, as well as additional residential development, has been a key goal for the community.

"This is one of the first steps in making the Coney Island Strategic Plan a reality," said Joshua J. Sirefman, Chair, Coney Island Development Corporation. "Ensuring that this neighborhood has needed community facilities and affordable places to live is key to bringing new year-round economic activity to this wonderfully unique community."

This RFP is also part of Mayor Bloomberg's New Housing Marketplace Plan to build and preserve 165,000 units of housing over ten years.  The New Housing Marketplace Plan is the largest municipal affordable housing plan in the nation and at a cost of $7.5 billion will provide homes for 500,000 New Yorkers. The proposed Coney Island development serves the Plan's goal of making City-owned land available for private residential development that maximizes affordability, and, in turn, enhancing the City's community revitalization efforts.

HPD Commissioner Shaun Donovan said, "New York City's success in reducing crime, reforming our schools, and building our economy is creating a major new challenge: providing affordable housing for all those who want to share in that success. To meet the affordable housing challenge, the Mayor has launched the largest affordable housing initiative ever undertaken by any city in the nation. Not only will these planned community center and apartments contribute to the continued revitalization of Coney Island, they will also provide much-needed affordable housing for hard working New Yorkers."

The development envisioned for the site will include a 40,000 square foot community center on the ground floor and will maximize the amount of residential space above within the existing zoning.  The community center will be  managed by a not-for-profit operator.  City agencies, elected officials, representatives from the CIDC, community residents, and local organizations helped to formulate the development program for the community center and will continue to be involved in refining the program once a development team is designated.   

The Site will be conveyed to the selected developer for a nominal fee of $1.00.  In addition, the City will contribute up to $5 million of capital funds to help finance the community center.    A minimum of 20% of residential units must be affordable to households earning a maximum of 80% of the Area Median Income ("AMI"), as adjusted for household size.  Development proposals that provide the greatest affordability using the least amount of subsidy will be given preference. Construction is expected to begin in late 2007.

The development team will be selected based on an evaluation of criteria such as the applicant's experience and qualifications, feasibility of the proposal, ability to finance, residential affordability, quality of the community center program, quality of the proposed design, sustainable design elements and other factors as noted in the RFP.  The RFP seeks both an operator for the community center and a developer for the site.

Electronic versions of the RFP are available on HPD's website (www.nyc.gov/hpd) and hard copies can be purchased, at HPD, for $75 non-refundable fee in the form of a certified check or money order payable to the New York City Department of Finance. The executive summary of the Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (ESA) will be included in the RFP.  The entire ESA will be available on HPD's website.  A hard copy can be purchased for an additional $100 non-refundable fee. A pre-submission conference will be held at HPD (Room 1R) on May 31, 2006 at 2:00 p.m.  All proposals are due by hand no later than 4:00 p.m. on July 12, 2006.




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