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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

Press Release # 14-08
Thursday, October 2, 2008

Miriam Solis (212) 863-8481


Residential and Commercial Development to Include Affordable Housing and an Administration of Children’s Service Childcare Facility

On Friday, September 5, Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Shaun Donovan announced the release of a Request for Proposals (RFP) to develop three sites in the northern portion of the Melrose Commons Urban Renewal Area (URA) in the Bronx.  The RFP initiates the process of developing affordable housing and ground-floor retail space on some of the last remaining large, City-owned, developable sites in the South Bronx.  The mixed-use, mixed-income developments will sit on five and a half acres of land and one development will include an Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) childcare facility. 

The developments in Melrose Commons are a component of the South Bronx Initiative, Mayor Bloomberg’s comprehensive plan to sustain and strengthen the ongoing revitalization of the area.  Progress has been achieved through coordinated efforts between City agencies and Borough President Adolfo Carrión, Congressman Jose Serrano, New York City Council members Helen Foster and Maria del Carmen Arroyo and community representatives to continue to establish Melrose Commons as a mixed-income and balanced retail community.  The RFP, a product of their shared vision, advances the goals of generating mixed-income housing, attractive retail districts and public spaces for South Bronx residents. 

“The issuance of the RFP advances the groundwork that has been laid for the extraordinary transformation underway in the South Bronx,” said Commissioner Donovan.  “The fruit of ongoing collaborations between City agencies, elected officials and community residents, the projects will be built on the last remaining large City-owned, underutilized sites in the area.  We look forward to receiving proposals of the highest caliber to build a sustainable, thriving neighborhood with a healthy stock of affordable and mixed-income housing and vibrant commercial districts.”

The Melrose Commons North RFP moves the City closer toward fulfilling the commitments laid out in PlaNYC, Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to shape a healthy, sustainable New York.  PlaNYC includes the Mayor’s $7.5 billion New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP) to build and preserve 165,000 units of affordable housing, the largest municipal affordable housing initiative in the nation.  As of July 2008, 81,540 units had already been created or preserved under the plan.  In accordance with the NHMP, the Melrose Commons North development projects leverage rezonings to transform underutilized land into sustainable, energy-efficient neighborhoods that residents, local business and community groups can call home.

At least 50 percent of all residential units will be affordable to households at or below 60 percent of Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Income Limits, as adjusted by household size ($46,100 for a family of four or $32,300 for an individual).  For the remaining units, preference will be given for proposed affordability tiers above 60 percent of HUD Income Limits.  Preference will also be given to proposals that minimize the use of tax-exempt bond financing.  Rental units must be affordable for at least 50 years and preference will be given for longer affordability terms. 

“This RFP represents one of the last pieces in the revitalization of Melrose Commons.  The success of this neighborhood shows that community-based planning partnerships can create viable and safe urban communities,” said Borough President Carrión.  “Developing mixed-use, mixed-income and sustainable projects are key to creating communities that maintain stability and vibrancy.”

The three development sites—Sites A, B, and C—are located in the northern section of Melrose Commons.  Development Site A, located between East 162 and East 163 Streets between Courtlandt and Melrose Avenues, will include an ACS facility and provides the opportunity to build commercial space.  Development Site B is located on the eastern portion of the block bounded by East 162 and East 163 Streets, and Melrose and Elton Avenues.  It will contain commercial space along Elton Avenue, with the potential to create additional commercial space along East 163 Street.  Development Site C is located on the eastern portion of the block bounded by East 161 and East 162 Streets, and Melrose and Elton Avenues.  Site C will include a commercial corridor along East 161st Street and Elton Avenue. 

Proposed projects must complement the ongoing development within the Melrose Commons URA and be consistent with the goals of the South Bronx Initiative.  If financially feasible, HPD will ask the selected developers to follow the green building principles established by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority’s (NYSERDA) Mutlifamily Performance Program (MPP) and Enterprise Green Communities programs.  The programs promote design practices and materials that ensure healthy indoor air quality, energy efficiency, water conservation and the use of environmentally preferable products. 

The designated development team will be selected based on an evaluation of the financial feasibility of the proposal, affordability of residential units, quality of architectural design, development and management experience and capacity—including green development experience—as well as other factors noted in the RFP.  Electronic versions of the RFP are available on HPD's website,  A pre-submission conference will be held on Wednesday, September 24, 2008 at 10:00 A.M. at HPD, 100 Gold Street, Room 1R, New York, NY 10038.  Responses to the RFP are due by hand on Friday, December 12, 2008 no later than 4:00 P.M.

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. As part of Mayor Bloomberg’s PlaNYC, HPD is working to create homes for almost a million more New Yorkers by 2030 while making housing more affordable and sustainable.  HPD also encourages the preservation of affordable housing through education, outreach, loan programs and enforcement of housing quality standards.

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