FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 30, 2016
NYCHA AND NYC PARKS INVITE HOLMES TOWERS RESIDENTS TO SHAPE THE DESIGN OF NEW PLAYGROUND
Workshops seek input from families and children on the look and feel of new and improved playground coming to Holmes Towers
NEW YORK–– The New York City Housing Authority (NYCHA) today announced it will partner with NYC Parks for a first-of-its-kind series of family-friendly workshops to guide the design of the new playground coming to NYCHA’s Holmes Towers. Workshops, which will include the expertise of the NYC Parks’ planning department, will give families at Holmes Towers an opportunity to share their input and preferences, using imagination and creativity, on the design of the new modern playspace planned for the development.
The new and improved playground will replace the current play area on 92nd Street, which is being moved as part of the NextGeneration (NextGen) Neighborhoods initiative. The NextGen Neighborhoods program is bringing new housing to the site—half affordable and half market-rate—which will generate revenue for much-needed upgrades to Holmes and across NYCHA developments.
“Engaging residents and the community is at the core of NYCHA’s mission to protect and preserve public housing for the next generation,” said NYCHA Chair and CEO Shola Olatoye. “These playground workshops will bring the whole family to the table, giving young residents the chance to explore their imaginations for ideas and see those ideas come to life in a community-based vision for the new playspace at Holmes Towers.”
“Great public spaces make great communities, and the best public spaces are created in partnership with the people who use them. That’s why NYCHA and NYC Parks are teaming up and asking kids themselves what they want to see in the new Holmes Playground,” said NYC Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver, FAICP.
The workshop announcement comes on the deadline (September 30, 2016) for developers to submit their proposals for mixed-income housing on the site. In June, NYCHA and the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) released a Request for Proposals (RFP) seeking partners to create new mixed-income housing on NYCHA land on the Upper East Side in Manhattan (Holmes Towers) and in Boerum Hill, Brooklyn (Wyckoff Gardens). The RFP built-in resident feedback, including the Holmes Towers Community Principles developed by residents and community stakeholders, which outline recommendations on the location and height of the buildings, and the character of the mix of programs and uses at the sites.
Families participating in the playground workshops will be able to share feedback on the site of the new playground and the type and placement of engaging play equipment, from swings to slides. The newly-constructed playground will be integrated into the community prior to the construction of new mixed-income housing. The schedule for the family playground workshops will be announced in Spring 2017, following the selection of a developer team.