Some of the city’s top developers – including Forest City Ratner, Related Companies and AvalonBay Communities – are expected to bid today on the 1.65 million-square-foot Seward Park site on the Lower East Side, the Wall Street Journal reported.
The project, which was approved by the city last year, is slated to offer 1,000 housing units – 500 of which must be permanently affordable – as well as retail and office space. The project is seen as a major prize, given the current shortage of viable development sites. The somewhat rigid requirements of the site – it restricts the size of retail spaces to keep out big-box retailers and also calls for an expansion of the Essex Market – have spawned unusual partnerships between office, retail and residential developers as well as community nonprofits.
One such alliance is between rental housing developer AvalonBay, affordable housing specialist Jonathan Rose and retail developer Equity One. Another brings together L+M Development Partners and Don Capoccia’s BFC Partners, who developed Schaefer Landing, a 26-story Williamsburg building with a high concentration of Latino and Orthodox Jewish residents. The team also includes nonprofit Grand Street Settlement and Taconic Investment Partners, Which Sold 111 Eighth Avenue to Google for $1.9 billion in December 2010, and could lure technology tenants to the site.
Forest City, the developer behind Brooklyn’s Atlantic Yards megaproject, is linking up with Metropolitan Council on Jewish Poverty, a nonprofit affordable and senior housing developer that has been active for decades on the Lower East Side.
And Related is moving forward with Asian Americans for Equality, a local nonprofit, and two locally-known developers—Eric Anderson of Urban Green Builders and Paul Stallings, developer of the nearby Hotel On Rivington.
The city had previously announced that the site could go to a single development team or be split among several bidders. The decision on the winning bid is expected to be made in the fall. [WSJ] – Hiten Samtani