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Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation
RFP Press Release

BBP Releases Request for Proposals for Residential Development at John Street Site in DUMBO

by Brooklyn Bridge Park on Dec 17, 2012

Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP) today released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the long-term lease, development and operation of a vacant parcel at the northern end of the park for a premier residential development. Revenue generated by the development of the site – as set forth in the 2002 agreement that allowed the park project to move forward – will help fund the ongoing maintenance and operations of the Park.

“Brooklyn Bridge Park has become an iconic destination for people from around the five boroughs and around the world,” said Robert K. Steel, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development and Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation Chairman. “The development of the John Street site will attract private investment that will create jobs and draw new visitors to DUMBO while ensuring a stable financial footing for the Park for generations to come.”

“The addition of the residential development at the John Street site represents a critical element of our park maintenance plan,” said Regina Myer, President of Brooklyn Bridge Park. “This development will not only benefit the DUMBO community, it will further activate the northern end of the park.”

Located in the future John Street section of the park in DUMBO, the site, consisting of approximately 9,600 square feet, is located within a vacant 147,460 square foot lot just east of the Manhattan Bridge. It allows for up to 130 residential units comprising up to 101,000 square feet with a maximum height of 130 feet, up to 110 parking spaces and ground floor retail.

The future John Street section of the park is approximately 1.5 acres and will serve as the Park’s northern entrance. The build-out of this section is fully-funded and will include an innovative waterfront design, pedestrian bridges over tidal salt marsh, tree-lined pathways, and a 13,000 square foot gathering lawn. The site, currently owned by Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. (Con Edison), will be acquired by Brooklyn Bridge Park Development Corp (BBPDC), who will then transfer control of the site to BBP. BBP expects to commence construction on this section of the park immediately upon acquiring the John Street lot and complete the build-out within one year.

The development of the John Street site is part of a larger effort to transform underutilized buildings and piers on 1.3 miles of Brooklyn’s East River Waterfront into an iconic park. The 85-acre Brooklyn Bridge Park project is the most significant park development in Brooklyn in over a century. The park is already firmly established, attracting almost 90,000 visitors during an average weekend including 20,000 a month to Jane’s Carousel, located in the northern section of the park.

While the park is the beneficiary of significant capital investments from the City and the State, it receives no public funds for park maintenance or operations. The 2002 agreement catalyzed the transformation of the site from vacant piers to world-class park after decades of inaction. Development of the John Street site for residential uses was approved in the original 2005 Brooklyn Bridge Park General Project Plan. The John Street site is one of five development sites included in the General Project Plan, including the 435-unit One Brooklyn Bridge Park condominium, the Pier One development site recently awarded to a joint venture of Toll Brothers and Starwood Capital, adaptive reuse of Empire Stores and the Pier Six development sites.

Brooklyn Bridge Park has been a resounding success since the opening of its first section in March 2010. With over 25 acres open to date, the park has attracted tens of thousands of visitors in its inaugural year and became an even more popular destination with additional parkland sections and the new Jane’s Carousel attraction opened in the summer of 2011. Travel + Leisure Magazine recently named Brooklyn Bridge Park one of the 2011 World’s Coolest New Tourist Attractions and the park has been honored with numerous design awards for its sophisticated masterplan which mixes passive and active recreation amid an extraordinary landscape.

The RFP requires respondents to submit conceptual plans that demonstrate responsiveness to the site design guidelines and a level of design that is on par with the investment made on the part of the public sector. The proposals must be responsive to criteria including financial feasibility, green building components and the project’s responsiveness to the surrounding community. Because the site is located within the 100-year flood plain, proposals should also incorporate flood protection measures into the design. Respondents must demonstrate the creation of a high quality and visually appealing residential development that enlivens the northern entrance to the Park.

The responses to the RFP are due on March 11, 2013. There will be a site visit and information session on January 23, 2013.

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