Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Shaun Donovan, New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President Robert C. Lieber, and Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate Levin, announced today the release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for a mixed-use development consisting of cultural, commercial, and residential spaces to be located in the cultural district around the Brooklyn Academy of Music (BAM). Resulting in at least 150 new residential units, half of which will be affordable to low-, moderate-, and middle-income families, the development will house Danspace Project Inc., a nonprofit cultural organization focused on the creation and presentation of contemporary dance, and retail space on the ground-floor.
The RFP is part of a larger effort to enhance the BAM Cultural District’s existing community of renowned arts institutions by redeveloping underutilized land into affordable spaces for nonprofit arts groups and housing. By strengthening the area’s cultural community and increasing the availability of affordable housing, the development will advance Mayor Bloomberg’s initiatives to revitalize Downtown Brooklyn as a 24-hour, mixed-use community. The affordable housing component will be part of the Mayor’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to build or preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing over ten years, the largest municipal affordable housing initiative in the nation’s history.
“The redevelopment of the BAM Cultural District is a direct result of interagency and public-nonprofit collaborations fostered through the Mayor’s ten-year New Housing Marketplace Plan to create affordable housing for 500,000 New Yorkers and enhance diverse, vibrant communities,” said HPD Commissioner Shaun Donovan. “Not only will this development provide a new dynamic cultural resource and necessary affordable housing, it will set a precedent for future developments by integrating sustainable design features with affordability.”
Located at the corner of Fulton Street and Ashland Place, the proposed site will be conveyed to the designated development team for a nominal fee. The development’s residential component must be comprised of a minimum of 150 rental and/or cooperative units located above the cultural and commercial spaces. Twenty percent of the residential units must be affordable to households of four earning up to $56,700 or up to $39,700 for a single household. A further thirty percent of the residential units must be affordable to households of four earning up to $92,170 or up to $64,480 for a single household. The development is one of the first developments to adopt HPD’s New Construction Sustainability Requirements which mandate design practices and materials that ensure healthy indoor air quality, energy efficiency, water conservation and the use of environmentally preferable products.
Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Kate Levin said, “This project marks a major milestone in the City’s efforts to create a thriving cultural district in Fort Greene,” said Commissioner Levin. “By meeting the need for affordable dance rehearsal space within the larger context of affordable housing, the administration is helping to ensure that cultural activity continues to serve as one of the most potent forces in New York City’s urban revitalization.”
“The BAM Cultural District continues to play a critical role in the ongoing revitalization of Downtown Brooklyn as a vibrant hub of activity, and this mixed-use development will help make the area an even better place to live, work and visit,” said EDC President Robert Lieber. “With the addition of affordable housing, new space dedicated for cultural uses and the introduction of much-needed retail amenities, the development will greatly benefit the community while serving as a tremendous boost to the local economy.”
The 39,000 square foot cultural space to be occupied by Danspace’s Dance Center will be the City’s first contemporary choreographic center to serve as an incubator, workspace, and theater for companies and individual artists. The design of the Center’s core and shell must reflect consideration of the community’s neighboring cultural organizations, as well as the Center’s programmatic uses, and image.
“Danspace Project is honored to have this opportunity afforded by the City of New York and Mayor Bloomberg to revitalize the City’s role as a nexus for creativity and innovation in contemporary dance. The Dance Center will provide a home for a diverse range of contemporary creators, allowing them to research, create, polish, and present their work to the country’s finest audiences. The Center aims to address the well-being of the broad spectrum of dance within New York City and will partner with an array of artists and organizations to strengthen the dance field as a whole,” said Danspace Executive Director Laurie Uprichard.
As part of the redevelopment initiatives of the BAM Cultural District, Danspace will be joined by the Theatre for a New Audience (TFANA), a classical Shakespearean theatre company to include rehearsal, theater and office spaces, which will be built as a separate development in the southeast corner of the District. Also planned for the District are several new open spaces, a series of streetscape improvements and an underground parking garage.
“The BAM Cultural District is a critical component of the Downtown Brooklyn Development Plan and this RFP brings us a step closer to its realization,” said Joe Chan, president of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership, the non-profit LDC working with the City on the development of the BAM Cultural District. “As we strive to grow a diverse and vibrant Downtown Brooklyn, the Cultural District will provide some of the necessary elements, such as performance and rehearsal venues, mixed-income housing and user-friendly open space. These are the components of a great downtown which will further enhance the environment for investment in the area.”
“This new venue will provide a much-needed asset in New York City. It will allow dance groups from throughout the five boroughs a place where they can both create and perform,” said Harvey Lichtenstein, Chairman of BAM Cultural District Planning for the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership.
The designated development team will be selected based on an evaluation of innovative architectural design, professional qualifications and experience, including cultural development experience, feasibility of the proposal, affordability of residential units, and quality of design and construction, as well as other factors noted in the RFP. Proposals that incorporate a local development partner in the housing component will be given preference. As innovative architectural design is a primary objective of the BAM Cultural District, the quality of design and construction will be given significant weight in the selection process. A pre-submission conference will be held on February 23, 2007 at 11:30 A.M at HPD and responses to the RFP are due by hand on May 4, 2007 no later than 4 P.M.
Electronic versions of the RFP are available on HPD's website, www.nyc.gov/hpd, and hard copies can be purchased at HPD for a $75 non-refundable fee in the form of a certified check or money order payable to the New York City Department of Finance.
The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development's (HPD) 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.
The Department of Cultural Affairs (DCA) is the largest public funder of the arts in the United States, funding more than 650 non-profit cultural organizations with more than $153 million in annual program support and investing $868 million in capital projects at 195 organizations over the next four years. In addition, through the agency’s Materials for the Arts program, DCA provides important resources to more than 3,000 non-profit organizations and public schools annually. Through the Percent for Art program, the agency provides the opportunity for individual artists to create public artworks that help transform civic structures. DCA is also an advocate for the City’s cultural community, providing technical assistance to individual organizations, developing promotional initiatives to boost participation in the City’s cultural life, and articulating the profound impact of culture on New York City’s quality of life and economic well being.
New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) is the City’s primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. EDC’s mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City’s competitive position. EDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City’s many opportunities.
The Downtown Brooklyn Partnership is a non-profit, local development corporation created to foster the continued growth of the city’s third-largest business district. Its core mission is to enhance the environment for investment in Downtown Brooklyn and bolster the district’s position as a vibrant business center, retail destination and world-class cultural hub. Spearheaded by the area’s key stakeholders – the business community, academic institutions and cultural organizations, in conjunction with city government – the Partnership harnesses the resources of both the public and private sectors. In addition, the organization will work with the City to build public open space, revitalize area streetscapes and coordinate other infrastructure improvements.