Jan. 23, 2017 By Hannah Wulkan
The city is looking to develop a mixed-use building over a rail yard in Long Island City and put out a request for developer proposals this morning.
According to the request, the city’s Economic Development Corporation and the MTA are looking for a third-party developer to build a combined retail, housing, and community facility at the more than 58,000 square foot lot at 11-24 Jackson Avenue.
The site, bordered by 21st Street, Jackson Avenue and 49th Avenue, is currently owned by the city and used as storage space for the LIRR, and the building would need to be constructed over the existing rail yard.
A competitive proposal for the space would create housing for a variety of incomes, add commercial retail space on at least the first floor of the building, and publicly accessible space for the community, according to the RFP.
The City also owns the air rights over the site, which would likely be included in the deal.
The RFP explains that the developer would need to obtain special city approval to build over the rail yard. It also explains that the developer will likely need to apply for zoning variances, because the site is zoned to stand 125 feet tall and has a floor area ratio of 5, meaning the total square footage of the building could only be 5 times the square footage of the site.
The site is near 7 and G train stations, and is about three blocks from MoMA PS1, putting it in an artist-heavy area. In order to not change the character of the neighborhood, the RFP encourages developers to request funding from an initiative through the Department of Cultural Affairs that is aiming to build affordable artist workspace throughout the city.
The plan also requires that developers lay out plans to use the HireNYC program which gives low-income residents training and jobs on construction sites during the project, and also tries to place participants in permanent positions.
The City is holding an informational meeting for developers interested in developing the property on February 13 at 10 a.m. at 110 William Street in Manhattan. It will also hold a site visit at 10 a.m. on February 17, and proposals are due to the EDC by April 21 at 4 p.m.
All proposals will be evaluated by members of the EDC and MTA.