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Mayor de Blasio, Council Member Rafael Espinal, HPD Commissioner Been, DCP Chair Weisbrod Announce RFP For East New York’s Dinsmore-Chestnut Site

December 21, 2016

After significant community engagement, City seeks environmentally-friendly, mixed-use affordable housing development proposals; project to offer as many as 200 homes for extremely low-income families.

NEW YORK––Mayor Bill de Blasio, Council Member Rafael Espinal, Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Vicki Been and Department of City Planning Chair Carl Weisbrod today announced the issuance of a Request for Proposals (RFP) to develop the City-owned Dinsmore-Chestnut site in the East New York neighborhood of Brooklyn. The site is a cornerstone of the East New York Neighborhood Plan and comes with $267 million in investments for the neighborhood. In addition to the thousands of housing units that will be built under the plan, a Workforce1 jobs center has already opened and planning has begun for a state-of-the-art multipurpose community center as well as a new 1,000 seat public school.

“Working together, we have seen significant progress under the East New York plan. As we continue to deliver affordable housing, jobs, parks, roads and schools, we are following up on our promises and fighting every day to make our City fairer and stronger,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“The City-owned lot at Dinsmore-Chestnut has been vacant for decades: a tragic and all-too familiar symbol of previously unfulfilled promises and a lack of investment in East New York,” said Council Member Rafael Espinal. “With the East New York Neighborhood Plan that passed the City Council a mere 8 months ago, and the de Blasio Administration’s commitment to building affordable housing, this site is finally being put to effective use. The issuance of an RFP for this major cornerstone of the ENY Plan, is a crucial step toward the realization of our goals and the sustained growth of our community. I look forward to viewing the creative proposals and taking part in the upcoming process.”

"We have made significant progress towards achieving the goals outlined in the East New York plan, and today marks a major milestone. Using this site for affordable housing and community facilities is part of our larger affordable housing commitment in East New York. Our work is just beginning, and I want to thank Council Member Rafael Espinal and our colleagues in City Planning for their partnership in this important effort. I look forward to the continued revitalization of East New York as we work to achieve the vision the community laid out,” said HPD Commissioner Vicki Been.

City Planning Commission Chair Carl Weisbrod said, “Thanks to Council Member Espinal and the East New York community, we have created a comprehensive plan, including not just zoning, but also essential public investments to improve the quality of life for current and future neighborhood residents, enhance economic opportunities and foster a thriving community. Today’s RFP to transform a vacant major site along Atlantic Avenue should reinforce to the people of East New York and to residents of all neighborhoods that work with us to increase residential capacity and affordable housing, that the City keeps its commitments and will remain alongside them to realize their vision for the future.

The Dinsmore-Chestnut parcel is approximately 28,540 square feet and is located at Brooklyn Block 4142, on part of Lot 32. The development site is bordered by Dinsmore Place, Chestnut Street and Atlantic Avenue. Proposals must include up to 200 affordable housing units that meet the income needs of the neighborhood. The inclusion of quality commercial and community use is encouraged. Proposals should also include open space and environmentally friendly features. Many job opportunities affiliated with the Dinsmore-Chestnut site will be filled through HireNYC, the largest targeted hiring program in the nation, to help New Yorkers access training and jobs through the City’s purchases and investments.

The site is one of the last remaining large plots of vacant City-owned land in the City. Plans for the development of this site were shaped by community input through HPD’s Community Visioning Workshop series in June 2016. Applicants are strongly encouraged to refer to the report summarizing community visions. The site is being developed under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York: A Five-Borough, 10-Year Housing Plan to create and preserve 200,000 units of affordable housing.

Approved by the City Council in April 2016, the East New York Neighborhood Plan is a multi-agency coordinated initiative to promote the creation of affordable housing, foster economic growth, encourage pedestrian-friendly streets and invest in community resources for the enrichment of the neighborhood. The Administration has made significant progress towards the East New York plans goals. In addition to today’s release of the Dinsmore-Chestnut RFP:

  • The New York City School Construction Authority is developing a 1,000-seat public school adjacent to the Dinsmore-Chestnut affordable housing site.
  • Job opportunity assistance is now available to the community through the new East New York Workforce1 Center located at 2619 Atlantic Avenue, opened Mon-Fri 8:30 AM- 5:00 PM. For more information on this center and others across the city, visit the Department of Small Business Services’ (SBS) contact Workforce 1 webpage.
  • The Administration is working with Phipps Houses on the development of 100 percent affordable housing with extensive public space on the former Chloe Foods private site. Demolition of the existing structure is underway to make way for development.
  • In the coming weeks, the East New York Homeowner Help Desk will be launching to help homeowners in the East New York neighborhood. This Help Desk, run by the Center for New York City Neighborhoods in collaboration with the Office of Council Member Rafael Espinal and their partners, will offer a range of services, including advice and assistance with foreclosure prevention, guidance on scam avoidance, advice on home repair and other programs like weatherization loans and assistance with addressing scams.
  • Community Retrofit NYC is also underway in East New York. This is a free program by the City of New York to support small and mid-size building owners in Central Brooklyn and Southern Queens to pursue energy and water upgrades. The team works with owners through every step of a retrofit process, from identifying opportunities for saving, to connecting to incentives, to helping select a contractor for a project. They will also introduce new low-cost City financing to cover the costs of the retrofit. This is a key part of Mayor de Blasio’s OneNYC plan to build a more sustainable, resilient and equitable NYC.


For more information on the overall goals and progress of the East New York Neighborhood plan, visit the New York City Department of City Planning’s (DCP) Plans/Studies page PLACES: East New York Neighborhood Plan.

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