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Visioning for the Site

From Public Place to Gowanus Green

In the winter of 2007, the City of New York Department of Housing, Preservation, and Development (HPD), in conjunction with Brooklyn Community Board 6, hosted a series of community visioning sessions in order to identify collective priorities for the redevelopment of the Public Place Site. The sessions were very successful, capitalizing on the talents and energies of many stakeholders to create and support a feasible redevelopment plan. The sessions resulted in a set of planning principles, including a mix of land uses and urban design goals for the site. Community members called for affordable and market-rate housing, senior housing, local retail/commercial space, community facility space, open space, and parking.

HPD’s RFP Process

In July of 2007, HPD issued a “Request for Proposals” (RFP) to redevelop the Public Place site according to the visioning principles decided upon by the local community. The RFP was issued in accordance with the Mayor’s New Housing Marketplace plan, which responds to the changing housing needs of New York’s communities by committing to the new construction or rehabilitation of more than 165,000 housing units by 2013. The RFP called for project proposals to include:

  • a mix of housing types (homeownership, rental, and senior housing),
  • ground-floor neighborhood retail and commercial space,
  • community facility space,
  • waterfront open space.

Additionally, the proposals were asked to further the City’s goals of incorporating the latest sustainable building technologies and promoting design excellence.

All of the proposals were reviewed by HPD staff, assisted by the Public Place Task Force – a committee that includes local community leaders, members of Community Board 6, and the local elected officials that represent the site. In April of 2008, HPD announced that Gowanus Green Partners had submitted the winning proposal and had been designated to redevelop the Public Place site. The City and Gowanus Green Partners will work together to jointly seek approvals for the site’s redevelopment.


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