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NYC Department of Housing Preservation & Development

Thursday, July 18, 2013

HPD – Eric Bederman 212-863-5176



Four Finalists Selected Out of 117 Submissions from More Than 20 Countries to Explore Resilient and Sustainable Development in the Rockaways 

July 18, 2013, New York – The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), L+M Development Partners, The Bluestone Organization, Triangle Equities, American Institute of Architects New York Chapter (AIA New York) and Enterprise Community Partners, Inc. (Enterprise) today announced the four finalists chosen from Phase I of the two-phase “For a Resilient Rockaway” (FAR ROC) design competition at the Center for Architecture in New York City. The FAR ROC jury selected the four proposals from a pool of 117 submissions that came from designers in more than 20 countries. Launched in April, the FAR ROC competition sought ideas for developing an 80+ acre site called Arverne East into a new mixed-use, mixed-income, sustainable and storm-resilient community that will meet the new physical and regulatory challenges of waterfront development while maintaining the balance between innovation and affordability. 

Visit to view the full submissions from the finalists. The four finalist teams are: 

  • Ennead Architects, a New York-based firm that designs buildings that authentically express the progressive missions of their cultural, educational, scientific and governmental institutions and are responsive to their specific environmental conditions. Known for The Standard High Line, Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, and Common Ground Community, among others, the firm is partnering with Elmwood Park, NJ-based Langan Engineering; the New York offices of LERA, Atelier 10, and Hargreaves; and the Glen Ridge, NJ office of BioHabitats on FAR ROC.
  • Lateral Office, a Toronto, Canada-based experimental design practice that operates at the intersection of architecture, landscape, and urbanism. Known for re-envisioning runways in Reykjavik, Iceland and developing public space along the Mississippi River in Memphis, Tennessee, the firm is partnering with New York-based firms WXY Studio, Buro Happold, EDesign Dynamics, Sam Schwartz Engineering, and HR&A Advisors.
  • Seeding Office, a London-based architectural practice deeply focused in exploring, studying, investigating and discussing everything that concerns the way people live in their built environment. Known for the Museum of Architecture in London, England, the New National Library in Cairo, Egypt, and the Arena Centar Shopping Mall in Zagreb, Croatia, the firm is partnering with New York-based firms Biber Architects and Robert Silman Associates.
  • White Arkitekter, a firm based in Goteborg, Sweden, is the largest architectural practice in Scandinavia and combines leadership in sustainability with high quality architecture and urban design. Known for the redevelopment of Western Harbour in Malmö, Sweden, the Kristianstad Wetlands Visitor Centre in Kristianstad, Denmark, and the Tele2 Arena in Stockholm, Sweden, the firm is partnering with the New York offices of ARUP and Gensler. 

FAR ROC is jointly sponsored by HPD, the team of L+M Development Partners, the Bluestone Group, and Triangle Equities, along with Enterprise Community Partners and the Committee on the Environment of the AIANY.  L+M, Bluestone and Triangle Equities were designated by HPD through a competitive Request for Proposals (RFP) to develop the 80-acre Arverne East site. A Steering Committee consisting of officers from these organizations worked to create the competition, its guidelines and parameters. The Committee also selected a panel of independent jurors made up of community leaders and stakeholders, industry experts and others to evaluate the finalists’ submissions and select the winning entry. 

“Hurricane Sandy did not back us away from the waterfront and its development, but the intensity of the storm and the terrible damage we all saw the day after reminded us that intelligent shorefront design is essential to our future,” said HPD Commissioner Mathew M. Wambua. “The FAR ROC competition tapped into the international community of architecture and design practitioners, which responded with nearly 200 creative and imaginative waterfront development strategies for Arverne East. This is a great starting point and I look forward to the next iteration of the finalists’ concepts. These ideas have the potential to not only guide development and protect property, but most important of all, they could save lives.” 

“We have an opportunity with FAR ROC to learn from the impact of Super Storm Sandy and reimagine the way we plan, design, and construct affordable, sustainable, and resilient communities in our city,” said Ron Moelis, Chairman and CEO of L+M Development Partners. “The inspiring designs submitted by the finalists signal not only the exciting future that awaits the Rockaways, but also innovative changes in New York City development.” 

“The far reaching response to this competition indicates a global acknowledgement of both the challenges and potential solutions we all face relating to the documented rise in ocean levels and the increasing frequency of major storm events,” stated Steve Bluestone,  a partner of The Bluestone Organization and sponsor of FAR ROC. “The wealth of creative approaches we have seen to date is serving to inspire us to work ever more closely with the local community to create a new showcase resilient community that will benefit the entire Rockaways peninsula.” 

“Triangle is thrilled to be part of an opportunity to bring about a real change for the Rockaways and for New York City,” said Lester Petracca, President of Triangle Equities. “The response to this competition has been tremendous and the result will be groundbreaking, providing an innovative approach to address the challenges of developing our premier waterfronts.  The results will change how we build our future. We look forward to the next steps and working with this talented and creative group of designers.” 

“The response to FAR ROC has been overwhelming, with 117 extraordinary submissions advancing the conversation about what the future holds for sustainability and waterfront development,” noted Shola Olatoye, vice president and New York market leader of Enterprise Community Partners, a sponsor of FAR ROC. “These finalists are a promising group with unique perspectives to re-imagining the Rockaways, and regardless of which design is finally selected, their ingenuity and vision will inspire others in our collective quest to make New York more resilient.” 

“Although the jurors had to choose four teams, I wish we could have picked them all,” said Rick Bell, FAIA, AIA New York’s Executive Director. “Every team presented innovative concepts that would no-doubt make Arverne East the most resilient new development in the country. It is clear that there is a very high level of design thinking in New York and around the world, and I congratulate the four winning teams and their visions for this important project.” 

The devastating impact of Hurricane Sandy on low-lying communities in the greater New York area emphasized the need for thoughtful and critical consideration of how cities should approach the future development of their flood-prone areas. FAR ROC asked applicants to use the 80+ acre Arverne East site as a laboratory to identify and explore best practices in waterfront development for the 21st century and beyond. The teams were also asked to propose innovative building solutions that not only respond to New York City’s housing needs, but also bring critical economic development to the Rockaways. The goal is for the winning design concepts to serve as a guide for long-term planning and development strategies in New York City and other densely populated seaside communities. 

The four finalists from Phase I will receive $30,000 each to further develop their proposed design solutions. In addition, they will participate in an orientation, a tour of the Arverne East site in the Rockaways, and a community engagement workshop, funded by the Surdna Foundation, which seeks to foster just and sustainable communities in the United States. In Phase I of the competition, project teams were asked to submit a proposed site plan, along with specific resilient development strategies, smart infrastructure strategies, and proposed uses for any facilities on the site. Innovative submissions from individuals, students and non-licensed firms were welcomed during Phase I; however, finalist project teams proceeding to Phase II of the design competition must include at least one licensed architect and one licensed engineer.  

Phase II submissions are due from each team at the offices of AIANY by Monday, October 7, 2013. The winning project team will be announced on October 24, and will receive an additional prize of $30,000 and the opportunity to engage with the City, L+M Development Partners, the Bluestone Organization and Triangle Equities to discuss the possible production, design, and construction documents for the development of the project. 

In addition to the four finalists, six submissions received honorable mention:

  • Michael Cowdy from McGregor Coxall, a Sydney-based firm;
  • John Ellis from Mithun, a Seattle- and San Francisco-based firm;
  • Iljoong Kim from ijKim Architect, a New York-based firm;
  • Giuseppe Lignano from Lot-EK, a Naples- and New York-based firm;
  • Pablo Oriol from FRPO Rodriguez & Oriol, a Madrid-based firm; and
  • Zhang Quian Christopher from eLandScript, a Los Angeles- and Hong Kong-based firm. 

Visit to vote on your favorite design, and tweet @FarROCdesign to give us your feedback #FarROC. 


 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 the close of the 2014 fiscal year. Since the plan’s inception, more than 144,781 affordable homes have been financed. For more information, visit

 About AIA New York

AIA New York is the largest and oldest chapter of the American Institute of Architects, with nearly 5,000 architect and affiliate members. AIANY is dedicated to three goals: design excellence, public outreach, and professional development. Towards these aims, it operates the Center for Architecture – a storefront exhibition and event space in Greenwich Village – sponsors public programs, and publishes Oculus magazine. AIANY was an integral partner of two previous housing initiatives. The first, initiated in 2004, is the New Housing New York Legacy Project, which was New York City’s first juried design competition for affordable and sustainable housing that led to Via Verde in the South Bronx. The second, launched in 2012, is the adAPT NYC Competition to develop model micro-unit apartments.

 About The Bluestone Organization

The Bluestone Organization is a Queens-based third generation family-owned developer of over 5,000 units of housing in the New York City metropolitan area over the past 85 years, including work force rental and homeownership units in conjunction with the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, NYC Housing Development Corporation and NYC Housing Partnership, and the NY State Housing Finance Agency, Affordable Housing Corporation and Homes and Community Renewal.  The firm has a proven track record of quality in design and construction, winning many local, state and national awards including most recently, the 2010 New York Housing Conference Private Developer of the Year Award, and The Andrew, recently completed in Rego Park Queens, was designated as “best performing building in a multifamily new construction four stories or greater” in New York State.

About Enterprise Community Partners

Enterprise is a leading provider of the development capital and expertise it takes to create decent, affordable homes and rebuild communities. For 30 years, Enterprise has introduced neighborhood solutions through public-private partnerships with financial institutions, governments, community organizations and others that share our vision. Enterprise has raised and invested more than $13.9 billion in equity, grants and loans to help build or preserve nearly 300,000 affordable rental and for-sale homes to create vital communities. Visit and to learn more about Enterprise's efforts to build communities and opportunity. 

Since opening a New York office in 1987, Enterprise has created or preserved more than 41,000 affordable homes for 116,000 New Yorkers, and has committed over $2.4 billion in equity, grants, and loans to community development projects across the city. 

About L+M Development Partners                                                                                  

Since 1984, L+M Development Partners has been an innovator in developing quality affordable, mixed-income and market rate housing, while improving the neighborhoods in which it works.  A full-service firm, L+M works from conception to completion, handling development, investment, construction and management with creativity that leads the industry.  L+M is responsible for more than $2.5 billion in development, investment and construction and has created more than 15,000 high-quality units in the tri-state area alone. The firm is also expanding its geographic footprint to the Gulf region and West coast.  Community leaders, government officials and investment organizations turn to L+M because of its consistent track record of excellence. 

L+M is a double bottom line company, where its success is measured not only in financial returns but also by the positive impact it makes. L+M  takes pride in its  long-standing dedication to the communities it serves, demonstrated through an annual scholarship fund, job training programs and substantial support for local nonprofits. L+M brings a superior level of commitment to its investments in developments, and equally important, to its investment in people. Additional information can be found at

 About Triangle Equities

Triangle Equities is a diversified, full service real estate company. Triangle and its related entities develop, own, and manage commercial, residential, and mixed use properties in the New York Metropolitan area. 

Triangle Equities focuses on “value-added” developments and specializes on city projects. We are efficient at obtaining all necessary approvals and working with municipal agencies to bring a project to fruition that utilizes a property to its full potential and realizes the best outcome and future potential for its tenants and community members. 

Triangle’s success and continued strength is evidence by its ability to develop relationships and gather support from local community groups and elected officials. Our principals work hand in hand with the community, through a long and complex process; until both the community and elected officials are satisfied—thus ensuring the project reaches an economical and sociological conclusion. 

About the Surdna Foundation

The Surdna Foundation seeks to foster sustainable communities in the United States―communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures.

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