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NYCEDC Issues RFP for Development of Six - Acre Site in East Harlem


Seeks Creation of a Dynamic Retail, Residential, Entertainment and Media Destination.

New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the sale and development of a six-acre site on East 125th Street in East Harlem. The East 125th Street Development is expected to be a dynamic retail, residential, entertainment and media destination. The City worked closely with community leaders and elected officials to establish consensus on the development principles and goals for the project. The site consists of three parcels between Second and Third Avenues and East 125th and East 127th Streets.

“Harlem is undergoing a tremendous renaissance and this development project represents an enormous opportunity to leverage recent growth and create something fantastic for the community and New York City,” said NYCEDC Interim President Joshua J. Sirefman. “A Community Task Force created by Community Board 11 and the City worked closely together for the last year to craft an RFP intended to reflect the needs of both the local community and the City. I want to thank all of the members of the Community Task Force for their role in developing the guiding principles and for their work to help us best take advantage of this unique opportunity.”

The project is expected to include up to 300,000 square feet of national retail space, including 120,000 square feet of specialty retail, restaurants, cinemas, and nightclubs, as well as 50,000 feet of local retail. Up to 1,000 units of mixed-income housing are recommended, along with about 300,000 square feet of media space and up to 30,000 square feet of space for not-for-profit performing, visual, and media arts. There is also potential for a hotel. A minimum of 2,500 and 10,000 square feet of open space must accompany Parcels A and B, respectively.

“This RFP represents community-based planning at its best and is the culmination of a truly collaborative effort between the Community and the Administration that will ultimately best address the needs of the Community,” said Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito. “I look forward to continued cooperation as we work together to shape and refine the future development. This process serves as a model for future projects, and reflects what we should be striving for as a city. I am excited to be a part of it.”

In January 2006, the leadership of Manhattan Community Board 11 created a Community Task Force of representatives of community organizations and elected officials, including Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito and Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer, to address the community’s concerns regarding the development of the project site. The Task Force has met regularly with the Office of the Mayor and other City and State agencies to establish consensus on the development principles and goals for the project, as outlined in the RFP.

“The City's decision to re-issue an RFP for the blocks north of 125th Street is a strong sign that united communities have the power to participate in the planning of their neighborhoods,” said Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer. “We can now be assured that the community will have real input in choosing a proposal that best suits its needs. I commend NYCEDC on its decision and look forward to continuing to work with the Administration, Councilmember Melissa Mark-Viverito, Community Board 11, and other community members to plan appropriately for East Harlem's future.”

Community Board 11 Chair Lino Rios said, “Responsible community focused development can benefit everyone involved. This RFP will utilize the life and energy of the people and culture of East Harlem and serve not only to galvanize economic growth, but also meet the diverse needs and demands of our community’s residents.”

The project site is located at the eastern end of the 125th Street corridor in the Upper Manhattan Empowerment Zone and the East Harlem Empire Zone. The City currently owns about 81 percent of the land that comprises the project site and is seeking to acquire the non-city-owned parcels. Proposals must include an underground replacement facility for the MTA bus storage depot that exists at grade on Parcel A.

Currently, the City’s Department of City Planning is engaged in a study of the neighboring area that will strengthen the 125th Street corridor’s continuity and encourage a diverse mix of businesses, including arts and entertainment, promote local economic development, and generate career opportunities for East Harlem residents.

NYCEDC will use a variety of criteria to evaluate the responses, such as: economic impact on the City; development team’s qualifications; financial feasibility; development plan’s relationship to surrounding community; land use and design, and respondents satisfaction of development guidelines.

There will be an information session on Wednesday, November 15, 2006 at 3 p.m. at NYCEDC Offices, 110 William Street, and 4th Floor. Please RSVP by calling Anifia Binns at (212) 618-5721 or e-mail [email protected], by 4 p.m. November 10, 2006. Interested parties are encouraged to attend the information session. A copy of the RFP can be obtained by calling (212) 618-5721, or may be downloaded from www.nycedc.com/rfp. Responses are due no later than 4 p.m. on January 12, 2007.

About NYCEDC
New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City’s primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC’s mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City’s competitive position. NYCEDC 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.

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