NYC Economic Development Corporation Narrows Field For Development Of 5-Acre Site In Flushing
New York City, March 22, 2005 – New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) President Andrew M. Alper today announced the selection of three proposals as finalists for development of Municipal Lot 1 in Downtown Flushing. EDC issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the five-acre site in February 2004. The three finalists have been asked to further refine their proposals. Final revisions are due later this month, and EDC expects to select the developer this spring.
We received 13 highly competitive and impressive proposals from a group of very qualified national and international developers and architects,” said EDC President Alper. “Redevelopment of this site is a key component of the Development Framework for Downtown Flushing, a result of an extensive collaboration among City and State agencies, local elected officials, advocacy groups, community members and local business leaders. From the quality of the proposals we received, it is clear that we will achieve our objective to raise the standard for private investment in Downtown Flushing. The City is also committed to investing in strategic capital projects identified in the Framework, including pedestrian walkways, streetscape and traffic improvements.”
EDC used the Framework’s guidelines to craft the RFP and evaluate proposals. EDC also met with local elected officials and members of Community Board 7 to solicit feedback on elements of all 13 proposals, including design and proposed uses. The three remaining proposals contain a number of common elements, including a one-acre landscaped public open space for community activities and social interaction. Surrounding the open space will be a vibrant street-level retail district including uses such as cafes, restaurants, a bookstore, a multi-screen cinema, and other local and national retailers to expand shopping opportunities for Flushing residents.
Each of the three finalists have proposed hundreds of housing units, a business-class hotel that will create hundreds of new jobs and attract spending from outside the local community, and significant space for community uses, including active youth recreation and cultural tenants. The proposed community uses are examples of the City’s commitment to provide additional quality of life amenities.
“This truly exciting project will instantaneously raise standards of quality here in Flushing,” said Council Member John C. Liu. “What we will have is a win-win-win-win scenario. The City as a whole will win from additional economic activity and revenues to fund vital services. Flushing merchants will win with new complementary business to increase the overall consumer base and more public parking at below-market rates. Everyone in the community will win big-time, with more shopping and dining choices and the return of a bookstore and a movie theatre to Flushing, after a 20-year absence. And the youth and families here will win hands down with the creation of a full-service, state-of-the-art youth center. On behalf of the Flushing community, I thank EDC for its Herculean effort in bringing our dreams closer to reality, and I thank the Bloomberg Administration for putting Flushing at the top of the agenda.”
The three finalists proposed to replace the approximately 1,100 parking spaces currently on the site, as well as to provide additional spaces to accommodate the new development. Parking rates proposed by the finalists are below-market, and EDC is currently working to determine a mechanism to ensure low-cost parking will continue on Municipal Lot 1.
The three development teams have also incorporated extensive “green” building techniques that would bring an unprecedented level of environmental sustainability and design quality to Flushing.
In addition to the development of Municipal Lot 1, the City is working with the Macedonia African Methodist Episcopal Church, located on the Eastern edge of the site, to develop affordable housing on a half-acre parcel north of the Church. The City is also constructing a $40 million public parks facility on College Point Boulevard that will include indoor and outdoor sports and recreation fields and facilities, as well as space to accommodate a computer room, day care and after school programs.
New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City’s primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. EDC’s mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City’s competitive position. EDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City’s many opportunities.