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Sandro Rosell
FC Barcelona President
Monday, September 25, 2017

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 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.

By Mark Snyder