by Brooklyn Bridge Park on May 13, 2014
Brooklyn Bridge Park (BBP) today released a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the long-term lease, development, and operation of two vacant parcels at the southern entrance to the Park adjacent to Pier 6. The residential development, to include apartments affordable to middle- and moderate-income New Yorkers, will ensure that the community better reflects the diversity of Brooklyn and provide vital park funding to guarantee the ongoing maintenance of the waterfront Park for generations to come. This development is critical to the park’s long-term sustainability, and will ultimately provide 60% of the funding necessary to maintain the Park’s piers and prevent their deterioration.
The residential development parcel—incorporated in the 2002 agreement that allowed the Park to be constructed and approved in the 2006 Modified General Project Plan (MGPP)—is located at the southern entrance to the Park at Atlantic Avenue and Furman Street, immediately south of the One Brooklyn Bridge Park condominium. The sites are each approximately 9,900 square feet.
This development project presents a unique opportunity to secure park funding and provide much-needed workforce housing – which is defined as housing for households with incomes between 80%–165% of citywide AMI (area median income). Providing for affordable housing within the approved building envelope will help address the acute shortage of affordable homes in the nearby community, consistent with Mayor de Blasio’s ambitious goal of building and preserving 200,000 units of affordable housing over the coming decade.
“We want neighborhoods that reflect the diversity of this borough and meet the needs of its working people. This is a unique opportunity to see this world-class park built and sustained for decades to come, while at the same time providing opportunities for middle-income workers who increasingly cannot afford to live in Brooklyn. It’s a win-win for the community and the borough,” said Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen.
As fully approved in the MGPP, Site A allows for a maximum height of 315 feet with up to 290 residential units, while Site B is approved for a maximum height of 155 feet, up to 140 residential units, and ground floor retail. A maximum of 72 parking spaces is allowed across both sites. Further, the RFP will require that the development provide approximately 130,000 square feet of permanently affordable housing for moderate and/or middle income households.
While the Park is the beneficiary of significant capital investments from the City and the State for park construction, 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 community activism. The Pier 6 sites are the final development sites in the MGPP, including the 435-unit One Brooklyn Bridge Park condominium, the Pier 1 residential and hotel development awarded to a joint venture of Toll Brothers and Starwood Capital, the adaptive reuse of Empire Stores for retail and commercial uses by Midtown Equities, and the John Street residential development being undertaken by Alloy Development and Monadnock Development.
“This is great for Brooklyn on so many levels,” said Regina Myer, President of Brooklyn Bridge Park. “Not only will the Pier 6 development implement Brooklyn Bridge Park’s financial model and guarantee our ability to operate and maintain the Park far into the future, but it provides affordable housing for NYC. We are proud to work with Mayor de Blasio’s team and the community on this milestone in the completion of the Park and deliver the housing and jobs this city needs.”
“Since opening Pier 1 in 2010, BBP has steadily added parkland and opened up the waterfront to thousands upon thousands – providing a venue for the diverse cultural and educational programming and events that the BBP Conservancy provides,” said Nancy Webster, Executive Director of Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy. “As it is essential to the ongoing upkeep of the Park and therefore the continued success of this programming, the BBP Conservancy supports the development at Pier 6.”
“Brooklyn Bridge Park has quickly become a destination for millions of Brooklynites and visitors from all over,” said Carlo A. Scissura, President and CEO of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. “The financial model is working effectively and the housing is critical to the continued financial stability of the park. The inclusion of affordable housing in the RFP is a great step for inclusiveness and will set an example for future projects.”
“The transformation of the Brooklyn waterfront of Brooklyn Bridge Park has energized our neighborhoods and drawn millions to what is one of the most vibrant public spaces in the world,” said Alexandria Sica, Executive Director of the DUMBO Improvement District. “The Pier 6 development is necessary to this success, and the ability to include affordable housing in the plan is a real step forward for Brooklyn.”
“In a remarkably brief time, Brooklyn Bridge Park has expanded, enlivened and enriched Brooklyn and beyond – outstripping all expectations and supporting open space and economic development throughout the area,” said Tucker Reed, President of the Downtown Brooklyn Partnership. “That the BBP project is able to accommodate affordable housing at Pier 6 as well as meet its required funding obligations is a testament to the success of this model.”
By proceeding with the Pier 6 site, not only will BBP ensure ongoing financial stability, but it will be able to take advantage of a strong residential market and generate enough revenue to undertake preventative maintenance of the Park’s maritime infrastructure – which will save millions of dollars in expenses. In addition, the project developer will be asked to make strong commitments to hiring Minority and Women-Owned Business Enterprises.
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, LEED certification 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 resiliency measures into the design. Respondents must demonstrate the creation of a high quality and visually appealing residential development that enlivens the southern entrance to the Park.
The responses to the RFP are due on July 21, 2014. There will be a site visit and information session for potential respondents on June 2, 2014.
The Request for Proposals can be found on the official Park website at: https://www.brooklynbridgepark.org/pages/pier-6-rfp