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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

Press Release # 08-06
Monday, June 12, 2006

Amanda Pitman (212) 863-6166


Mixed-Income, Mixed-Use Development in South Bronx to Include Innovative Green Design

(New York, NY) – June 12, 2006 – New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Shaun Donovan and Mark Ginsberg, FAIA, former President of New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIANY), today announced the first-ever juried architect-developer design competition for affordable and sustainable housing in New York City. The project, which is known as the New Housing New York (NHNY) Legacy Project competition, emerges from a collaboration between the NHNY Steering Committee, HPD, the AIANY, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA). The NHNY Legacy Project seeks to encourage new forms of design in developing a mixed-use, mixed-income project on a 40,000 square foot site located at the southeast corner of East 156th Street and Brook Avenue in the Bronxchester Urban Renewal Area in the South Bronx. The City-owned property is steeply sloped and bounded at one end by an abandoned single-track railroad and retaining wall, making it an exciting design challenge for participants. The site includes approximately 20,000 square feet of air rights located above the privately owned track.

The site is currently valued at more than $4 million and will be sold by the City to the awarded architect-developer team for a nominal fee. In exchange for the fee, the winning team will be required to ensure the resulting development includes housing for low-, middle-, and moderate-income families desiring homeownership in the form of condominium or cooperative apartments, or affordable rental housing. The winning architect-developer team will be responsible for obtaining permanent financing that is consistent with the proposal. While subsidies may be used, proposals will be evaluated based on the efficiency of the financing plan.

The winning team will be selected based on a two-step RFP process judged by a jury consisting of prestigious architects, housing experts, community officials, and others including architect Billie Tsien. Judges will consider specific criteria when reviewing the proposals, including innovative design quality, economic and long-term environmental sustainability, and replicable financing that leverages private and public subsidies, and other important development and design components.

"For decades the South Bronx was plagued with abandoned and neglected properties, but today, thanks to investment by the City as well as private and non-profit developers, the community is experiencing a dramatic revival,” said Commissioner Shaun Donovan. “The Department of Housing Preservation and Development is committed to further expanding the affordable housing opportunities in the South Bronx, and across the city, through Mayor Bloomberg's New Housing Marketplace Plan to build 165,000 units of affordable housing over ten years. The New Housing/New York competition will demonstrate that design excellence and environmental sustainability can easily be integrated into affordable housing development. We hope to encourage and cultivate new design-development teams that will develop an innovative mixed-income housing model for other developers and future generations."

In the architectural profession, the design competition is utilized to generate the most original ideas,” Mark Ginsberg said. “We’re excited about launching this model with the Department of Housing Preservation and Development in the development of an affordable and sustainable project. Design matters at all levels and especially in an affordable housing project like this one.  We’re hopeful that this unique partnership will create a new standard in housing and will attract a large and diverse group of architects and developers.  We also hope to establish an important principle – design excellence, including sustainability, need not be cost prohibitive. If handled properly, and competitively, we can create first-class housing cost effectively.”

"New York State is a national leader in energy-efficient, green building design due in large part to the commitment of Governor Pataki," said NYSERDA President and CEO Peter R. Smith.  "Through our New York Energy Smart Program, NYSERDA supported the Bronx through new construction projects and energy-efficient improvements in low- and moderate-income buildings.  The results of this collaboration will be lower energy bills, as well as providing residents with healthier and safer housing."

The solicitation is organized as a two-step Request for Proposals process: Step 1, where Respondent Teams submit qualifications; and Step 2, where short-listed Finalist Teams from Step 1 submit full development proposals. The short-listed team members will then have three months to prepare their designs.  The designs will be reviewed by the jury in January 2007 and available for public review at the Center for Architecture at 536 LaGuardia Place in Greenwich Village. The Request for Proposals issued today for Step 1 is due back on July 24, 2006. Stipends for design-development teams will be funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)

Department of Housing Preservation and Development

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers. The department is the nation’s largest municipal housing development agency and is implementing Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to build and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing over ten years. The New Housing Marketplace Plan is the largest municipal affordable housing effort in the nation’s history. HPD also encourages the preservation of affordable housing through education, outreach, loan programs and enforcement of housing quality standards.

About the Center for Architecture

The Center for Architecture is New York City’s premier public space for exhibitions, discussion and professional exchange on architecture and design. With a storefront resource center, multiple galleries, a lecture hall, library and conference rooms, the Center serves as the place where the public and design professionals meet. Established in October 2003 by the American Institute of Architects New York Chapter and its charitable affiliate, the Center for Architecture Foundation, the Center is also home to the New York Chapter of the American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA), Illuminating Engineering Society New York Section (IESNY), and the Structural Engineers Association of New York (SEAoNY).  The Center for Architecture (536 LaGuardia Place) is open 9 am to 8 pm, Monday - Friday, and 11 am to 5 pm, Saturdays. Admission is free. For information, contact the AIA New York Chapter at 212-683-0023 or

For more information on the Request for Proposals process, please visit

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