De Bla­sio Pushes to Con­vert Green­point Hospi­tal to Af­ford­able Hous­ing

The Jewish Voice - - NEW YORK - By Mark Sny­der

Mayor Bill de Bla­sio is fi­nally fol­low­ing through on his prom­ise to re­vive the for­mer Green­point Hospi­tal and re­de­velop it into an af­ford­able hous­ing com­plex, a much needed com­mod­ity in this quickly grow­ing area.

It is ex­pected that a re­quest for ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est (RFEI) will soon be is­sued by the city’s De­part­ment of Hous­ing Preser­va­tion and De­vel­op­ment (HPD) to get pro­posal for the re­de­vel­op­ment of the com­plex. Ac­cord­ing to the Daily News, the city would like to cre­ate on the site a min­i­mum of 300 apart­ments, but de­pend­ing on how big the site is once com­pleted there could be as many as 600 units.

In a state­ment, de Bla­sio said, "The need for af­ford­able hous­ing in Green­point and Wil­liams­burg is too high to leave even one stone un­turned. We look for­ward to de­liv­er­ing a project neigh­bor­hood res­i­dents have sought for decades, one that meets their needs and brings hun­dreds of new homes they can af­ford."

It’s been 30 years since the project to re­vive the for­mer hospi­tal cam­pus be­gan. In 2015, the most re­cent at­tempt at re­vival of the site was stirred by de Bla­sio. In 2016, the city was ready to is­sue a RFEI as it hosted a series of vi­sion­ing ses­sions. A rep­re­sen­ta­tive for the De­part­ment of Hous­ing Preser­va­tion and De­vel­op­ment fi­nally an­nounced at the end of 2016 that in Jan­uary 2017 there would be a re­quest for ex­pres­sions of in­ter­est. How­ever, that date has come and gone.

Curbed re­ports, “This is in large part due to the fact that the hospi­tal site is still par­tially oc­cu­pied. One of three build­ings that make up the cam­pus is used as a home­less shel­ter, an­other is used as a laun­dry ser­vice cen­ter for other shel­ters, and a third is es­sen­tially derelict. A pro­posal to re­de­velop the site pushed forth by Mayor Michael Bloomberg fell apart af­ter the de­vel­oper was ar­rested on bribery charges.”

Some­thing may ac­tu­ally come to fruition this time. The gath­er­ing of opin­ions for lo­cal res­i­dents and con­tact­ing the lo­cal elected of­fi­cials is the pre­lim­i­nary work that has al­ready been done. The Coun­cil­man who rep­re­sents the Green­point area, An­to­nio Reynoso, told the Daily News that he is look­ing for­ward to the project and he

"The need for af­ford­able hous­ing in Green­point and Wil­liams­burg is too high to leave even one stone un­turned.”

said, “I’m tired of deal­ing with projects hav­ing to ne­go­ti­ate for what I con­sider crumbs in the sit­u­a­tion. For this one, we’re get­ting the whole pie.”

The city is look­ing for pro­pos­als that would pre­serve the build­ings on the 3.4-acre site that where built in the early 20th cen­tury. They also want to take down many of the ex­ist­ing struc­tures and build new ones. How­ever, pref­er­ence will be given to de­vel­op­ers with ex­pe­ri­ence on these types of projects and pro­pos­als that take into ac­count his­toric preser­va­tion. In ad­di­tion, the de­vel­oper that is cho­sen will also be re­quired to cre­ate new struc­tures for the home­less shel­ter and clinic that cur­rently ex­ist on the site.

The for­mer Green­point Hospi­tal will soon be con­verted into af­ford­able hous­ing. (Photo Credit: Wiki­me­dia Com­mons)

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