EDC asks for affordable housing proposals in Jamaica

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The city Economic Development Corp. issued a request for proposals for a mixed use, mixed-income development with a focus on affordable housing to be built at a city-owned property on 168th Street in Jamaica.

The 59,500-square-foot site, located on the northeast corner of 93rd Avenue and 168th Street, has the potential for development with affordable housing units, ground-floor retail and other commercial uses.

“The 168th Street Garage site holds powerful potential to serve the Jamaica neighborhood with affordable housing and other amenities, while building upon the area’s strengths as a commercial, cultural and transit hub,”EDC President Kyle Kimball said last Friday.

The request for proposals is part of the Housing New York initiative to build or preserve 200,000 affordable housing units over the next 10 years. A key strategy of the initiative is to look at underused city-owned sites. The future development could create 400 construction jobs and 80 permanent jobs, EDC said.

“Anyone walking the streets of Jamaica today can feel the energy here. There’s real momentum happening at the grassroots, and it’s something we can spur on by putting city sites to work to bring more affordable housing, stores and jobs to this neighborho­od.,” said Alicia Glen, deputy mayor for Housing and Economic Development.

The property is currently occupied by a two-story garage used by the NYPD. Any redevelopment will require demolition of the existing structure and the accommodation of NYPD vehicles.

Proposals will be evaluated on their potential to create a mixed-use, mixed-income development, maximize affordable housing units, foster quality commercial uses; use physical design to encourage active street life and promote hiring at acceptable wages, according to EDC.

“The mandate that all submissions include proposals for affordable housing consistent with the demographics and characteristics of the surrounding neighborhoods is equally important,” said U.S. Rep. Gregory Meeks (D-Jamaica).

The proposed project must also include retail space, proposed tenants and plans to meet the needs of the downtown Jamaica economy, which will be factors in the selection process. Proposals that include a community facility in addition to commercial use are encouraged.

“We must be vigilant to ensure our neighborhood grows while remaining affordable for both those who live and work in it,” state Sen. Leroy Comrie (D-Hollis) said.

As part of the city’s efforts to expand economic and workforce opportunities, the responses must include a workforce and procurement program and have additional opportunities for low-income New Yorkers. This includes the utilization of EDC’s Hire NYC program for disadvantaged workers, as well as additional contracting goals for minority and women-owned business enterprises.

The deadline for all submissions is April 30 at 4 p.m.

Reach Reporter Sadef Ali Kully by e-mail at or by phone at (718) 260–4546.

Posted 12:00 am, February 19, 2015
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Reader feedback

Joe Moretti from Jamaica says:
How about a damn proposal to clean up the damn area. Jamaica is a mess, a big garbage dump, especially the downtown area or are the powers to be going for low-class third world ghetto chic.
Feb. 19, 2015, 3:22 pm

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