BY Michelle Cohen

The city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) on Thursday issued a request for proposals to develop two city-owned East Harlem sites. The new developments are to include 350 units of affordable housing as well as retail and cultural and community space. The RFPs are part of the East Harlem Housing Plan, which was created with community input received through the East Harlem Neighborhood Planning Process.

One of the sites is the East Harlem Multi-Service Center site at 413 East 120th Street, where a former school is currently serving as a hub for 12 non-profit community-based organizations. Development proposals should include 100 percent affordable housing with a minimum of 30 percent serving formerly homeless households as well as new community/office space.

Respondents to the RFP will be required to submit a relocation plan for the existing community organizations, and evaluation criteria for their proposals will include how well they meet the organizations’ needs.

The other site is the 75-space New York Police Department 25th precinct parking lot on the east side of Park Avenue between East 118th and East 119th Streets, currently being used by the NYPD for emergency response and school safety vehicles.

Development proposals for this site are expected to include 100 percent affordable housing and a new parking garage for the NYPD vehicles. Preference will be given to proposals that enhance the emerging commercial corridor along this section of Park Avenue.

According to Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer, the RFPs are a new step in implementing the East Harlem Neighborhood Plan and increasing the neighborhood’s supply of much-needed affordable housing. The deadline for submission is November 26, 2019.

“Through Housing New York 2.0, we are pushing to create new affordable housing opportunities across our neighborhoods in developments that also add to the fabric of communities,” HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll said in a press release. “Now we are requesting proposals that will completely transform two City-owned sites through the creation of new affordable housing paired with community and cultural space.”

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