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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Eric Bederman (HPD) 212-863-5176


HPD COMMISSIONER WAMBUA ANNOUNCES NEW MIXED-USE AFFORDABLE HOUSING DEVELOPMENT COMING TO WILLIAMSBURG

HPD Seeks Proposals for Redevelopment of Former Landmarks Preservation Commission Warehouse As Affordable Housing With Commercial Space and Open Space For Future Tenants 

NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua announced the release today of a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the former Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) warehouse in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. The City-owned site located at 337 Berry Street between South 4th Street and South 5th Street will be developed to create approximately 50 units of low-income rental housing along with new ground-floor commercial and/or community space, and open space for use by the future tenants. The LPC’s warehouse served as a repository for fixtures and ornaments reclaimed from buildings across New York as part of that agency’s architectural salvage program. The program was discontinued in 2000, and in 2005 the site was identified in the Greenpoint-Williamsburg Points of Agreement (POA) as a possible location for affordable housing development.   

The LPC warehouse project is being developed under Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan (NHMP). The NHMP is a multi-billion dollar initiative to finance 165,000 units of affordable housing for half a million New Yorkers by the close of Fiscal Year 2014. For every dollar invested by the City, the NHMP has leveraged $3.41 in private funding, amounting to a total commitment to date of more than $19.4 billion to fund the creation or preservation of over 130,700 units of affordable housing across the five boroughs to date. A total of31,357 units have been financed in Brooklyn with 2,966 of those units in Brooklyn Community District 1 where the LPC warehouse project will be developed. 

“This RFP is a prime example of City agencies working together to put our resources to the best usewhile continuing the growth and revitalization ofthis community,” said HPD Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua. “The new apartments that will be created at this site will transform it from a forbidding façade into a resource of affordability for the neighborhood and provide safe, quality housing to hardworking New Yorkers.” 

In keeping with the objectives of the NHMP, the development of the LPC warehouse will help transform this City-owned property into thriving mixed-use property in a comprehensive effort to enrich the character and vibrancy of the neighborhood. Through the addition of affordable housing and creation new commercial and/or community space, this project will act as a catalyst for future growth in both the public and private sectors. 

“The LPC program was meant to encourage New Yorkers to reuse fixtures and ornament from demolished or altered privately and publicly owned buildings throughout the city,” said Landmarks Preservation Commission Chairman Robert B. Tierney. “It ended because of low sales, and budget and staff limitations, but the unsold items that remained in the warehouse until recently were either donated or sold. We are thrilled that this site, through a new use, will continue to give back to the city.”

The LPC warehouse development site sits on three tax lots (Block 2443/Lots 6, 37 and 41) on Berry Street between South 4th and South 5th Streets, and encompasses approximately 15,870-square-feet. Its development will create approximately 50 units of affordable rental housing, approximately 11,000-square-feet of new ground-floor commercial and/or community space. HPD is also seeking to develop approximately 1,150-square-feet of open space for use by the future tenants in keeping with guidelines established in the Greenpoint-Williamsburg POA.The Greenpoint-Williamsburg POA was negotiated in 2005 between the Administration and the City Council at the time of the Greenpoint-Williamsburg rezoning, which identified waterfront and upland areas eligible for the Inclusionary Housing Program. The POA identified a number of City commitments in a variety of areas including affordable housing, parks, industry and environmental work.  

All of the units must be affordable to households earning not more than 80 percent of the Area Median Income (AMI), as adjusted by household size. This is equivalent to an annual income of approximately $46,500 for a single person or $66,440 for a family of four. The RFP provides the applicants with the latitude to propose a range in affordability with multiple tiers appropriate to their overall proposal.  As part of the RFP’s threshold criteria, at least one Principal of the development team must also be a locally-based development company. 

One developer or development team will be selected to redevelop the site. The RFP submission period runs from May 29 through August 31, 2012. For more information and to obtain a copy of the RFP, please visit HPD’s website at:http://www.nyc.gov/html/hpd/html/developers/rfp.shtml 

The LPC started an architectural salvage program at its 337 Berry Street warehouse in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, from 1980 to 2000. The program encouraged New Yorkers to reuse fixtures and ornaments from demolished or altered privately and publicly owned buildings throughout the City. Salvaged items such as doors, windows, fences, and decorative elements, were sold to the public at low rates and used to restore the historic buildings that are the hallmark of our City’s great neighborhoods. The program ended in 2000 due to budgetary constraints, and in the 2005 Greenpoint-Williamsburg Points of Agreement, the City identified this site as a location for future affordable housing development. On November 1, 2011, LPC held an auction to help clear the warehouse of its remaining inventory in preparation for the site’s eventual development. 

Prior to the auction, LPC donated a number of architectural elements from the NY Butcher’s Dressed Meat Company, including two stone steer heads, to the Hudson River Park Trust and to the Clinton Housing Development Corp. Items from the Audubon Ballroom were donated to the Malcolm X and Dr. Betty Shabazz Memorial and Educational Center and the New-York Historical Society. Other objects, including those from the Helen Hayes Theater, were donated to the National Building Museum, the Museum of the City of New York, and the Neustadt Collection at the Queens Museum. 

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 About the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD):

HPD is the nation’s largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Its mission is to promote quality housing and viable neighborhoods for New Yorkers through education, outreach, loan and development programs and enforcement of housing quality standards. It is responsible for implementing Mayor Bloomberg’s New Housing Marketplace Plan to finance the construction or preservation of 165,000 units of affordable housing by 2014. Since the plan’s inception, more than 130,700 affordable homes have been created or preserved. For more information, visit www.nyc.gov/hpd.

About the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC):

The Landmarks Preservation Commission is the mayoral agency responsible for protecting and preserving New York City’s architecturally, historically and culturally significant buildings and sites. Since its creation in 1965, LPC has granted landmark status to more than 29,000 buildings and sites, including 1,302 individual landmarks, 113 interior landmarks, 10 scenic landmarks, 107 historic districts and 16 historic district extensions in all five boroughs. Under the City’s landmarks law, considered among the most powerful in the nation, the Commission must be comprised of at least three architects, a historian, a realtor, a planner or landscape architect, as well as a representative of each borough.

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