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JAMAICA, QUEENS-New York City Economic Development Corp. issued a Request for Proposals for the sale and redevelopment of an approximately 45,000-sf site in Downtown Jamaica, Queens. Nycedc is seeking development consisting of retail space, market-rate and affordable housing and required accessory parking facilities.

The site is located on the northeast corner of 93rd Avenue and 168th Street, bounded by Jamaica Avenue to the north, 169th Street to the east, 93rd Street to the south, and 168th Street to the west. Rezoning and disposition of the site were included in the City’s recent approval of the Jamaica Plan; therefore, development will not be subject to the City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure.

“Approval of the Jamaica Plan rezoning was a tremendous move forward in helping Jamaica realize its potential to become one of New York’s premier business and residential districts,” says Nycedc Robert C. Lieber in a prepared statement. “This RFP is the first step in implementing that plan and seeks to create a dynamic retail and high-quality, mixed-income housing development complex that will be the model and catalyst for future growth in the area.”

The project will include 35,000 to 70,000 sf of retail space. The residential component must include mixed-income units, with preference given to proposals attaining significant levels of affordability in terms of quality of units provided and depth of affordability achieved. Twenty percent of the units must be rental and permanently affordable. There is currently a two-story, 84,500-sf parking garage on the site that the developer will be responsible for demolishing. Off-street accessory parking must be provided to meet minimum zoning requirements.

“The responses to this RFP are extremely important and we look forward to the selection of a comprehensive proposal that will capitalize on the area’s ongoing revival and bring much needed housing, parking and retail space to one of our borough’s transportation hubs,” says Queens Borough president Helen Marshall in a release. “I am also delighted that this redevelopment project will provide jobs in the local community through the City’s Economic Development Corp.’s Workforce Development Program. I look forward to working with the City and the Economic Development Corporation in a combined effort to secure the future of downtown Jamaica.”

The RFP seeks a project that features high-quality, sustainable design, and provides a source of quality construction jobs and sets Minority and Women-owned Business Enterprise hiring targets. The ideal project will also maximize permanent employment opportunities for the City’s local and disadvantaged residents through participation in the Targeted Hiring and Workforce Development Program.

The Site is located in Downtown Jamaica, one of New York City’s regional retail, employment and transportation hubs. The Long Island Railroad has its headquarters at Jamaica Station and provides a 20-minute connection to Midtown Manhattan and Downtown Brooklyn.

“I am looking forward to the development of the 168th Street parking garage which will include two floors of retail space,” notes Councilmember Leroy Comrie. “I am hopeful that this project will contribute to the economic renaissance of Downtown Jamaica and result in jobs for residents of Southeast Queens, as well as begin to help address the parking crisis in this community.”

Nycedc will use a number of criteria to evaluate and analyze the proposals, including economic impact on the City’s economy; the development team’s qualifications; financial feasibility of the project; its relationship to the surrounding community; and architectural and urban design. Nycedc also supports green, sustainable design. The selected developer will be required to seek a Silver LEED rating for the project.

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