Rendering Courtesy of NYCEDC
Willets Point The 12.7-acre phase-one plan of the Willets Point project is expected to create 1,800 permanent jobs and 4,600 construction jobs.
Rendering Courtesy of MDSzerbaty Associates Architecture
PS 340 The school will occupy the lower six floors of the 14-story building. Construction is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2012.

NYCEDC Issues RFPs for Willets Point Project

Phase one of the long-delayed 62-acre Willets Point redevelopment project in Queens, N.Y., took a step forward with the New York City Economic Development Corp.'s May 9 call for proposal requests.

NYCEDC sent RFPs to a group of 29 developers that answered the agency's request for qualifications in 2009. NYCEDC asked the group to form teams, create a development proposal and submit it by Aug. 12, 2011.

The 12.7-acre phase-one plan includes up to 68,000 sq ft of retail space, up to 400 housing units—35% of which will be qualified as affordable—a hotel, two acres of open space and a parking area.

NYCEDC created the plan in a joint effort with community and local elected officials and is expected to create 1,800 permanent jobs and 4,600 construction jobs.

Progress on the redevelopment project has been at a standstill and no infrastructure developer has been selected. An RFP to find one is currently in progress.

“This project has been delayed for too long and we must move forward,” said Council Member Julissa Ferreras in a statement.

New Jersey

N.J. To Receive More Than $160M For Water Projects

New Jersey will receive $161.5 million in federal funding during 2011 for beach replenishment, flood mitigation and harbor maintenance projects. The appropriations were included in the fiscal year 2011 budget continuing resolution, which Congress passed in April. The Army Corps of Engineers will administer the funding.

For beach replenishment, $7.5 million will go to Monmouth Beach; $7.6 million will go to Long Beach Island; $11.9 million will go to Atlantic City and Ventnor; $10.3 million will go to Cape May and Lower Township; and $300,000 will go to the Long-Term Beach Nourishment Study to evaluate methods to manage New Jersey's coastal projects on a regional basis in order to increase the benefits from federal investments.

An additional $73 million will go toward continued deepening of the New York and New Jersey Harbor in order to ensure that large cargo ships will be able to pass through the port.

For flood mitigation and water infrastructure projects, $566,000 will go to operating a flood monitoring and flood response system in the Passaic River Basin; $129,000 will go to planning flood damage initiatives; $1 million will go to begin flood mitigation construction at the Raritan River Basin and the Green Brook Sub-Basin in Middlesex Borough; $250,000 will go to preparing for flood mitigation construction at the Raritan River Basin; and $350,000 will go toward creating a flood reduction plan at Rahway River Basin.

An additional $1 million will go to the Hudson-Raritan Estuary project, which will help develop a comprehensive ecosystem restoration and management plan for the New York and New Jersey Harbor.

“This federal funding will boost New Jersey's economy, help prevent flooding in our communities and protect our beaches,” said U.S. Sen. Frank R. Lautenberg (D) in a statement.

Lautenberg fought proposed budget cuts for the Army Corps of Engineers; he worked in the Senate to provide $84 million more than was original proposed for these projects.

New York

N.Y. Foundling Hospital Converts to Public School

The New York School Construction Authority plans to convert the lower six floors and cellar of the 95,000-sq-ft, 14-story New York Foundling Hospital's Manhattan building, built in 1988, into a new public school. Upon scheduled completion in September 2014, Public School 340, located at the corner of the Avenue of the Americas and 17th Street, will serve 518 students in levels pre-K through fifth grade.

The project is in the design stages with MDSzerbaty Associates Architecture, New York, serving as lead architect. The school will include 21 new classrooms along 17th Street; specialized instructional areas for art, music, science, a library and a multi-purpose room that will look over 6th Avenue from the upper floors; a cafeteria and dance studio on the main floor; a rooftop play area on the second floor; a lecture hall/auditorium on the lower level; and a community room above the main lobby on the second floor, which will also include administrative areas.

The new PS 340 aims to be a green school, following SCA guidelines. The project challenged designers to conceive of ways to create a bright open school in a building that will be occupied by existing multi-tenants. The solution: a new glass-enclosed staircase will be inserted between the second and sixth floors and a new window wall at the stairway's core will provide light to the school's corridors.

“Converting a functioning hospital built in 1988 into a modern and welcoming primary school is just the kind of challenge we like,” said Michael D. Szerbaty, principal of MDSzerbaty Associates in a statement. “One that required us to think 'inside the box' so to speak.”

The PS 340 project is nearing completion of the design stage and construction is scheduled to begin in the summer of 2012. The SCA has not yet selected a construction manager. A bid date has not been set.


FDNY Plans New Greenpoint EMS Station

The Fire DePt. of New York started construction on a two-story, 12,400-sq-ft Emergency Medical Service Station located on Metropolitan Avenue near Bedford Street in Brooklyn's Greenpoint section.

The new station, designed by Michielli + Wyetzner, New York, is part of the New York City Department of Design and Construction's design excellence program, which helps the FDNY improve response time to medical emergencies throughout the city.

The new station will be divided into four parts, with the first floor designed to store four emergency vehicles, a vehicle support zone and personal protective equipment storage area, a lieutenant's office and other administrative spaces. The second floor will house the locker rooms and bathrooms for the 54 women and 97 men that will maintain the station's three work shifts. And on the west side of the second floor will be a training room and a 700-sq-ft combined kitchen and lounge area.

One of the key features of the new EMS station will be a 90-ft long, second-story translucent glass wall that will have a honeycomb pattern set into the glass and will appear to float above the facility's ground floor. The station will be lit up in the evenings to create a distinct presence in the Williamsburg/Greenpoint community.

The new EMS station is slated to open in June 2012.