FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, June 17, 2016
CONTACT: Melissa Grace (HPD), firstname.lastname@example.org
MAYOR DE BLASIO AND BROOKLYN ELECTED OFFICIALS ANNOUNCE COMMUNITY VISIONING WORKSHOPS FOR EAST NEW YORK RESIDENTS TO OFFER INPUT INTO THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE DINSMORE-CHESTNUT SITE
This is the first City-owned site to be developed under the East New York Community Plan adopted by the New York City Council this spring; housing affordable for families making as little as $24,500, retail and community space to be built on the 18,000-square-foot site near City Line Park
Workshops Saturday, June 18th and Thursday, June 23rd
New York, NY – Mayor Bill de Blasio, City Council Member Rafael Espinal, Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams, State Senator Martin M. Dilan, Assembly member Erik M. Dilan, Brooklyn Community Board 5, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), and the Department of City Planning (DCP), are hosting community visioning workshops Saturday, June 18 and Thursday June 23, at Blessed Sacrament School for the community to offer input into the future development of the Dinsmore-Chestnut site. An informational flyer is available here.
“New Yorkers know their communities and have strong opinions about how they’d like to see them improved. We enthusiastically welcome this input -- which will help us shape this important property and the future of East New York,” Mayor de Blasio said. “These workshops are valuable opportunities for local residents to have their voices heard as we collectively work toward building a more affordable, vibrant and dynamic city.”
“Community input was critical in shaping the final East New York Community Plan, and it is just as important now as we work to determine what resources will be available on this site. I’m excited to hear from my neighbors about their vision for the future and excited to see this site finally live up it its potential,” Council Member Rafael L. Espinal, Jr. said.
“Nobody knows East New York better than the families who have lived there for generations, whose perspectives on the revitalization of the neighborhood are critical to the process of creating affordable housing and critical infrastructure,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “We need to listen to their voices and incorporate the needs and concerns of the community into the final project at the Dinsmore-Chestnut site. I encourage community residents to attend these workshops to share their ideas and help shape a brighter and more prosperous future for the East New York we love.”
“There are no greater stakeholders in the shaping of a community than its residents. Mayor de Blasio and Council Member Espinal are providing a unique opportunity for East New York. I urge everyone to attend the Community Visioning Workshops to voice their opinions and share their vision for the future of East New York,” said State Senator Martin Malavé Dilan.
“It’s important that people play a part in the transformation of East New York. These workshops essentially hand over the pen to residents to reshape their community as they see fit. I commend Mayor de Blasio and Council Member Espinal for providing this incredible opportunity and I urge everyone to make the most of it,” said Assembly member Erik Dilan.
The Dinsmore-Chestnut workshops are designed for the community to explore on-site building design and uses, including affordable housing and other amenities for the 80,000 square-foot City-owned site. Opportunities to promote walkability, connections to the surrounding neighborhood, and pedestrian safety will also be discussed.
Bound by Atlantic Ave, Dinsmore Place, and Chestnut Street, the City-owned property will be developed as 100% affordable housing, including homes for a family of three earning as little as $24,500, with ground-floor retail and community space. The site, near City Line Park, is within the East New York rezoning area approved by the City Council in April. The site will also be home to a new, 1,000 seat kindergarten through 8th grade school. The City has committed to finance the development of the site and the new school on the site.
The events will be held at the Blessed Sacrament School, at 108 Pine Street in Brooklyn, on Saturday from 1:00-3:00 p.m., and Thursday from 6:30-8:30 p.m.
Opening remarks will be made by elected officials, including Councilmember Espinal. Spanish-language tables will be offered at both sessions, and services for Bengali speaking participants will be offered at the Saturday session in collaboration with Bangladeshi American Community Development and Youth Services. Light refreshments will be served.
Other City agencies participating in the events and planning at the site are the Department of Transportation, Department of Small Business Services, Economic Development Corporation, Department of Parks and Recreation, Department of Cultural Affairs, and Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
The group activities are meant to facilitate dialogue between community members and government agencies about resident priorities for the development, including types of housing, retail, and community facilities that residents hope to see, as well as ideas on urban design, safety, walkability, connectivity, and other public space improvements on and around the site. There will also be a Kids’ Table for children to learn more about urban planning using building blocks and street grids, and to talk and think about the essential ingredients needed to make a happy and healthy community.
Community feedback and input from the visioning workshops will inform the future development of the site and will be published in a report. Community visioning workshops are an integral part of HPD’s planning process. Existing reports for the development of the E. 111th Street site in Harlem and the Greenpoint Hospital site in Brooklyn can be found here and here. The Dinsmore-Chestnut report will also be made available to the public through HPD’s website when it is complete. Community members who are unable to attend the workshops but who would like to offer input, you can do so here for English speakers, and here for Spanish speakers. More detailed information about the Dinsmore-Chestnut site is available here.
HPD Commissioner Vicki Been said, “Community input is critically important to the success of any development project in New York City, and we need residents to let us know what is on their minds, what their housing needs are, what community facilities and other infrastructure they’d like to see in their neighborhoods. Community visioning workshops are aimed at getting residents to envision what they want to see built – so please join us.”
City Planning Commission Chairman Carl Weisbrod said, “The approval of the East New York Community Plan was not the end of our community engagement process – in many ways it is the beginning. New zoning provides a framework for the type of development that residents told us they want to see in their neighborhood – new affordable housing, stores, a school and other community facilities. The City is providing the public investment promised to support growth. This workshop is a continuation of our engagement with the community to make these visions a reality.”
Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl said, “As the residents of East New York chart the future of their neighborhood, it is important to integrate the voice of its vibrant cultural community as new local investments are considered. Alongside our partner agencies, we look forward to working with community residents to help ensure that art and culture will continue to be an essential part of the neighborhood’s fabric for generations to come.”
NYCEDC President Maria Torres-Springer said, “The City is seeking input from residents because they are the chief stakeholders in this project; their thoughts, concerns and insights are invaluable to the process. We’re proud to be moving forward with our partners in government and the community to bring jobs, affordable housing and an enhanced quality of life to East New York.”
“SBS is proud to participate on a team of City agencies that is looking holistically at neighborhoods,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the Department of Small Business Services. “Visioning workshops like this one allow us to effectively leverage the full host of City services that support a neighborhood - while protecting the people, places, and local businesses that form the fabric of our communities.”
“Partnering with residents of East New York is critical to shaping a vibrant and healthy community,” said Health Commissioner Dr. Mary T. Bassett. “As the City renews its focus on neighborhoods, these community vision workshops will ensure that each neighborhood is built to support the health and wellbeing of residents and reflect the unique needs of each community.”
In addition to prioritizing the development of the vacant Dinsmore-Chestnut site, the City has committed to large funding commitments in the rezoning area. The total commitment is more than $267 million in East New York, not including resources that HPD and HDC will use to support the construction and preservation of affordable housing, including at the Dinsmore-Chestnut site. These investments in the neighborhood will address current and projected community needs, including a new school; a multi-purpose NYPD community center with a variety of recreational, academic and supportive programs for young people; a new child care center; and funds to strengthen and grow the East New York Industrial Business zone (IBZ). More information can be found on http://nyc.gov/eastnewyork.
About the New York City 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 diverse, thriving neighborhoods for New Yorkers through loan and development programs for new affordable housing, preservation of the affordability of the existing housing stock, enforcement of housing quality standards, and educational programs for tenants and building owners. HPD is tasked with fulfilling Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York: A Five-Borough Ten-Year Plan to create and preserve 200,000 affordable units for New Yorkers at the very lowest incomes to those in the middle class. For more information visit www.nyc.gov/hpd and for regular updates on HPD news and services, connect with us via www.facebook.com/nychousing and @nychousing.