Responses Solicited for Mixed-Use, Live/Work Development to Include Substantial Affordable Housing and High-Quality Employment Opportunities
New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today announced the release of aRequest for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) for a mixed-income, live/work development on a City-owned site on Spofford Avenue in the Hunts Point neighborhood of the Bronx. The RFEI represents an exciting opportunity to develop the City’s next creative live/work community in an area that is well served by public transportation and is in walking distance to residential neighborhoods, recreational amenities and cultural institutions. Respondents are encouraged to consider a wide range of residential and non-residential uses for the site, including commercial, cultural, institutional and light manufacturing. NYCEDC strongly encourages respondents to submit proposals that address community priorities for affordable housing and high-quality, career-oriented jobs in the Hunts Point community.
“For years, the Hunts Point community has sought a vibrant, progressive use for the Spofford Campus and we look forward to examining proposals that advance the Mayor’s affordable housing goals and create new live/work opportunities in the Bronx,” said NYCEDC Interim President Kim Vaccari. “By encouraging the co-existence of commercial and light industrial activities with mixed-income residential use, we can better leverage our City’s assets to provide opportunities and strengthen communities throughout the five boroughs.”
“Adaptive reuse of City-owned sites is key to achieving the goals of Housing New York,” said HPD Commissioner Vicki Been. “We look forward to working with EDC to transform this former juvenile detention facility into a mixed income, mixed use development that brings affordable housing, job opportunities, and new life to this area of the Bronx. I look forward to seeing this development take shape and add to the vibrancy of the Hunts Point community.”
“We welcome any Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) that will help in the continued growth of Hunts Point,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. “Creating affordable housing is a great step in the right direction as we continue to invest time and money into the Hunts Point neighborhood, where we will soon add new recreational amenities and cultural institutions in the vicinity while also stimulating job growth in the area. I want to thank the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) for their support as we work together to keep building a stronger and better borough.”
“This innovative development project aims to serve our community’s two main needs at once—access to affordable housing and job opportunities—in a way that takes in consideration local residents’ input and wishes,” said Congressman José Serrano. “This is an important first step in the redevelopment of an underutilized area, and it has the potential to improve the lives of Hunts Point residents. As our borough continues experiencing economic growth, this project will help ensure all residents can take advantage of it.”
“We look forward to finally replacing the remains of Spofford Juvenile Detention Center with a building or buildings that will provide healthy and hopeful opportunities for our children and families,” said State Senator Rubén Diaz. “I look forward to working with all involved in this project, and I will encourage participation from our community so that our voices and suggestions will be heard.”
“I commend the EDC’s Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) announcement for a mixed-income, live-work development on Spofford Avenue in Hunts Point,” said State Assemblymember Marcos Crespo. “What was once a house of incarceration for our youth will now be developed into a space geared to create opportunities for businesses and most importantly for Bronx families. As the Bronx continues on a path to a historic and transformational improvement, the potential for this site offers another great step forward. I encourage those who will take part in this RFEI to be as bold in their design as the Borough of The Bronx embodies and to always keep the interest of the community residents at the forefront of their vision.”
This project was designed to support the vision set forth in Housing New York and contribute to the goal of building or preserving 200,000 affordable housing units over 10 years. Among the key strategies articulated in Housing New York is the development of mixed-use, mixed-income communities anchored by affordable housing. Respondents are therefore encouraged to think creatively and propose innovative, next-generation industrial and/or commercial uses compatible with residential uses, while providing career-oriented, high-quality jobs for the neighborhood and region. Comprised of four parcels totaling nearly five acres—or approximately 207,000 square feet— the size and layout of the site allows for a variety of options for live/work uses at multiple scales, from within individual units to across individual buildings. The RFEI also encourages respondents to integrate the project into the local community, including through sustainable design and energy performance.
The Hunts Point neighborhood has seen significant investment and growth over the past ten years, including a new $150 million investment announced by the Mayor for upgrades at the Hunts Point Food Distribution Center—the leading economic engine in the Bronx— which employs over 3,000 people and generates over $2 billion in revenue annually. Other notable projects are the BXL Business Incubator, the first City-sponsored business incubator for new startup businesses in the Bronx located in the former BankNote Building, as well as the South Bronx Greenway projects, including the Randall’s Island Connector, which is aimed at increasing waterfront access for residents, visitors and workers. The redevelopment of the Spofford Juvenile Detention Facility is an unparalleled opportunity to leverage these surrounding changes in to the type of catalytic project that complements and enhances the surrounding community.
As part of the City’s efforts to expand economic and workforce opportunities, responses to this RFEI must comply with a comprehensive workforce and procurement program that supports communities and helps create job opportunities, especially those that enable low-income New Yorkers to participate in City’s economic growth. This includes the utilization of NYCEDC’s HireNYC program for disadvantaged workers, as well as contracting goals for minority and women-owned business enterprises (M/WBEs), and requirements with respect to living wage and prevailing wage.