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Press Release

City Announces Request For Proposals to Study Feasibility of Sunnyside Yards Development

Feb 20 2015

QUEENS, NY—New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today announced a Request for Proposals for a feasibility study on development at Sunnyside Yard. Future development, if found feasible, could yield opportunities for new affordable homes, schools, open space and community facilities for the surrounding neighborhood and improve public transportation and infrastructure, while preserving the vital operations of rail facilities in the yards.

NYCEDC, on behalf of the City of New York and in collaboration with Amtrak, New York City Department of City Planning and other agencies, is seeking a consultant to conduct a year-long comprehensive assessment of the viability of building at Sunnyside Yards, and to provide recommendations as to whether the implementation of such a project is feasible.

First announced in Mayor de Blasio’s State of the City address, the Feasibility Study is envisioned as a comprehensive and detailed assessment that considers all of the relevant aspects needed to establish the feasibility of developing any potential program at Sunnyside Yards, including technical, environmental, market, rail operations, and financial factors. Responses to the RFP are due by March 20, 2015.

“This is the first step in understanding whether development of the Sunnyside Yards is possible, and what it could contribute to the city and surrounding communities. This is a tremendous opportunity to deliver on our vision of a more affordable city, and smart development that responds to the needs of surrounding neighborhoods. We are excited to be working with partners like Amtrak and local stakeholders on a thoughtful and thorough review that gives us facts we can build on,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio.

“Sunnyside Yards presents an incredible opportunity to create affordable housing, quality jobs and community amenities in the heart of Queens,” said NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball. “This feasibility study represents the first step in the process, helping us determine how best to move forward as we work with the community and our partners in government to make our City more affordable and accessible to everyone.”

The Feasibility Study will include a comprehensive evaluation of specific factors such as the existing and planned configuration of the rail yards, ongoing requirements to maintain all and accommodate future rail operations, geotechnical conditions, requirements and limitations of proposed deck structures, infrastructure and utility conditions both on- and off-site, and financial feasibility. In addition to creating land for housing and parks, the project could potentially result in the development of commercial and community facilities like new schools, as well as services and amenities that respond to the needs of the diverse communities surrounding Sunnyside Yards, encouraging active street life, thriving retail, improved surface transit and mobility in the area. The project will seek to closely integrate any future development into the local context. The project could also provide enhanced rail operations and safer working conditions at the Sunnyside Yards rail facilities.

The approximately 200-acre open rail yard supports active rail use by Amtrak, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority/Long Island Railroad and New Jersey Transit. Developable air rights are owned by Amtrak, the City of New York, the MTA and private holders. The yards are bordered by Long Island City to the north, Hunter's Point to the west, the Sunnyside Industrial Business Zone to the south, and Sunnyside Gardens to the east. Built in 1910, and the subject of numerous visions and plans since the 1960s, the site holds great potential for housing, parks and commercial development integrated into the surrounding communities.

An optional RFP info session will be held on Tuesday, March 3, 2015 at 2pm at NYCEDC’s office at 110 William Street, New York, NY 10038. Additional information, including detailed submission guidelines and requirements are outlined in the RFP, available at edc.nyc/rfps.

About NYCEDC
New York City Economic Development Corporation creates shared prosperity across New York City’s five boroughs by strengthening neighborhoods and creating good jobs. NYCEDC works with and for communities to provide them with the resources they need to thrive, and we invest in projects that increase sustainability, support job growth, develop talent, and spark innovation to strengthen the City’s competitive advantage. To learn more about our work and initiatives, please visit us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.