Release date: 8/23/2017
Submission deadline: 12/18/2017
Designation date: 7/26/2018
HPD announced the designation of the development teams identified through the Brownsville Request for Proposals (RFP), for over 880 units to be built on three City-owned sites. Each site focused on one specific theme that addresses the key priorities and goals identified by the community during the Brownsville Planning process and published in the Brownsville Plan in June 2017.
Site A: The Brownsville Arts Center and Apartments (BACA)
Located along Rockaway Avenue and Chester Street, between East New York Avenue and Pitkin Avenue, this project will be led by a development team that includes Blue Sea Development Company, Gilbane Development Company and Artspace Projects. The development will contain approximately 230 units of affordable housing that will serve a range of incomes including extremely low-income and formerly homeless households. The building will feature 24,000 square feet of arts and culture space that will be the home of a dance and performing arts school run by Purelements, a music school run by Brooklyn Music School,and a media lab and arts center run by BRIC. The building will also feature a collaborative black box theater that will accommodate a range of uses, including theater, dance, music and film. The theater will provide continuous cultural programming and will be accessible to the community and general public for events. The community identified the need for cultural space that will increase access and opportunities for neighborhood residents and nurture Brownsville’s artistic community. HPD partnered with the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs to review proposals for this site.
Site B: Glenmore Manor Apartments
Located at the intersection of Christopher Avenue and Glenmore Avenue, his project will be led by a development team that includes the African American Planning Commission, Inc. (AAPC), Brisa Builders, and Lemle & Wolff. The development will include approximately 230 affordable homes serving a range of incomes and populations, including extremely low-income households, formerly homeless households and low-income seniors. It will feature 20,000 square feet of new commercial and community space that will be home to the Brooklyn Cooperative Federal Credit Union, as well as a sit-down restaurant, and salon run by a locally-owned beauty products company. The site will also feature space for the Central Brooklyn Economic Development Corporation (CBEDC), and other partners who will expand their programming for young entrepreneurs and provide services for small businesses and nonprofits.
Site C: Livonia 4
This project will be developed by a team that includes Radson Development, Community Solutions and Catholic Charities. Livonia 4 is a multi-site development along Livonia Avenue that will include over 420 units of affordable housing serving a range of incomes and populations, including extremely low-income households, formerly homeless households and low-income seniors. The largest site will include a new supermarket, café and a rooftop greenhouse that will serve as a new local source of fresh produce for distribution to building residents and the community through the supermarket and café. The remaining three sites will feature additional community gardens, social services, a new senior center and a youth and family recreation facility.
The Brownsville Plan is leading to the creation of over 2,500 new affordable homes, representing more than $1 billion of investment. Over 500 affordable apartments and for sale affordable homes are currently under construction. In addition to new development of vacant City-owned land, including the RFP sites, the plan also coordinates over $150 million in critical neighborhood investments, many of which are under way now or already complete.
HPD released the RFP in August 2017. The development area offers a combined total of 173,000 square feet across three distinct sites, together offering the potential for approximately 750 units of affordable housing. The Rockaway-Chester site, known as ‘Site A’, is located along Rockaway Avenue and Chester Street, between East New York Avenue and Pitkin Avenue. The Christopher-Glenmore site, known as ‘Site B’ is located at the intersection of Christopher Avenue and Glenmore Avenue. And finally, the Livonia Avenue site, known as ‘Site C’, is comprised of a series of parcels along Livonia Avenue between Powell Street and Mother Gaston Boulevard with an additional parcel at the intersection of Livonia Avenue and Amboy Street. Each site focuses on one specific theme that addresses the community goals and strategies outlined in the Brownsville Plan. These priorities include the need for performance venues, rehearsal and visual arts studios, or exhibition space in the community; opportunities for small businesses and entrepreneurship training; and investment in healthy lifestyles. Proposals submitted to each of the three development sites must meet the thematic goals outlined for each specific site while creating high-quality, sustainable, mixed-income, affordable housing. This RFP also includes significant reforms to HPD’s RFP selection process, which now places greater emphasis on proposals with plans for neighborhood investment, among other changes to meet the needs of communities.
Rockaway-Chester: Arts and Culture
Brownsville has a thriving community of artists, entrepreneurs, and creative residents who contribute to the life and culture of the neighborhood and the city as a whole. The community identified the need for cultural space that will increase access and opportunities for neighborhood residents, and nurture Brownsville’s artistic community. Proposals to develop affordable housing on this 57,000 square foot lot must include a cultural community facility that promotes and supports arts and cultural activity in Brownsville. HPD is partnering with the NYC Department of Cultural Affairs to review proposals for this site.
Christopher-Glenmore: Innovation and Entrepreneurship
HPD recognizes that in order to achieve more equitable and sustainable outcomes for residents, there must be established strategies for investment in the economic power of the community. Brownsville has a growing entrepreneurial and innovative spirit. Residents have expressed a desire for more resources to advance workforce and entrepreneurship opportunities in emerging fields, especially for young people. Proposals to develop affordable housing on this 40,000 square foot lot must include community facilities and/or commercial spaces that reflect the economic development theme through workforce development, education, business incubation, STEM/STEAM training, or other technology and innovation-related strategies. Affordability levels for this site will be consistent with determinations from the East New York neighborhood planning process.
Livonia Avenue: Healthy Living and Food Systems
During the community engagement process for the Brownsville Plan, neighborhood residents stressed the need to create opportunities to achieve healthy lifestyles, including healthy food options, opportunities to be physically active, and spaces for social gathering. Proposals to develop affordable housing on the four sites along Livonia Avenue, totaling 76,075 square feet, must include uses that promote healthy and active lifestyles for neighborhood residents. Proposals must also include commercial uses that create an active, pedestrian-friendly environment along the Livonia Avenue corridor.
HPD held a Pre-Submission Conference on Thursday, September 7th at 10 AM, at 125 Worth Street, in the second floor auditorium. Below is an Addendum that responds to questions we received during the Brownsville RFP Pre-Submission Conference and through the RFP email address:
HPD held an informational and networking session for the Brownsville RFP on Tuesday, September 19th, from 4 to 6 PM at 444 Thomas S. Boyland Street in Brownsville. Click the following link to download the List of Attendees from this event:
Inquiries should be directed to BrownsvilleRFP@hpd.nyc.gov