City issues first affordable housing RFP requiring modular construction

Idea is to speed up construction, cut costs

TRD NEW YORK /
May.May 24, 2018 10:00 AM

Credit: Google

The city’s requests for proposals often come with affordable housing requirements, but this one has a rare proviso: The vision for an L-shaped lot will need to be a modular one.

The Department of Housing Preservation and Development is issuing an RFP on Thursday for a mixed-use modular building in East New York. The city-owned site — which spans 49,397 square feet — sits on Eldert Lane between Pitkin and Glenmore avenues. The RFP calls for a project that is “100 percent affordable.”

According to HPD, this is the first time in history that the city is issuing an RFP for affordable housing that explicitly requires modular construction.

The RFP follows the city’s pledge late last year to explore modular construction as a means to build affordable housing more swiftly and cost-effectively. In March, HPD issued requests for information and interest in building modular housing for low-income tenants and seniors. At the time, Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen said the goal was to master mid-rise, modular multifamily development to help meet the city’s increase affordable housing goals (the creation or preservation of 300,000 residential units by 2026). The city received 38 responses to the request for information, according to HPD.

“Innovations in building and design technology can help us move faster and smarter,” Glen said in a statement. “The Grant Avenue RFP will be key to developing our understanding of how modular housing can work for the New York market.”

This construction method can be especially tricky in New York. The pre-fabricated parts of the building — modules — are made offsite. Storing these materials can prove problematic when dealing with the city’s often-cramped construction sites. There’s also a dearth of modular manufacturers in the city.

Still, modular construction has gained traction in the last few years with a few private developers and construction companies. The method was eventually used in the city’s Build it Back program to build single-family homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy, mostly in Queens, Brooklyn and Staten Island.

At the East New York site, the city will give preference to bidders who set aside “a significant proportion of units that serve very low- and low-income households,” according to HPD. The project is expected to include space for commercial or community use. Bids are due by Sept. 10.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
US Steel’s sprawling South Works site is about the size of Downtown Chicago. At left, Common, who wants to partner with developers on a mixed-use entertainment district there, and Dan McCaffery, whose vision for a 13,000-home community fizzled out. (Credit: Common by Paras Griffin/Getty Images; McCaffery via McCaffery Interests; aerial by Cushman & Wakefield)

South Works, the 415-acre “magnificent property,” is Chicago’s biggest development opportunity

Miki Naftali, Steven Witkoff and Ryan Freedman

TRD Talks: How developers are contending with coronavirus

Mayor Bill de Blasio halted ULURP, stalling projects like 960 Franklin Avenue, Rikers Island and Industry City 

These projects could be held up by New York’s rezoning freeze

Morris Moinian and 1150 6th Avenue (Credit: Noam Galai/Getty Images, Google Maps)

Morris Moinian to sell site of stalled hotel project

The New York Department of State will hold a hearing on a cease-and-desist bid for the neighborhood on March 5 (Credit: Getty Images)

No house flippers allowed: East NY residents push for ban

An aerial of Flushing's waterfront and New York City Council member Peter Koo (Credit: Google Maps)

Massive Flushing waterfront development stirs opposition

133-25 37th Avenue in Flushing

Developer Gary Tsan buys Flushing property for $60M

South Carolina town puts moratorium on development (Credit: iStock)

The high cost of low taxes: South Carolina town bans all development for 16 months

arrow_forward_ios
Loading...