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De Blasio revives Greenpoint Hospital's conversion into affordable housing

An RFEI to redevelop the site could be released any day now

A long neglected Greenpoint site may finally get a new lease on life in the form of affordable housing. Mayor Bill de Blasio is following through on his promise to redevelop the Greenpoint Hospital complex into affordable housing, the New York Daily News reports.

Any day now, the city’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) will issue a request for expressions of interest (RFEI) to solicit ideas to redevelop the campus. The city is hoping for at least 300 apartments on the site, but according to the Daily News, it could be as many as 600 depending on how the massive site is redeveloped.

The project to redevelop this hospital campus has been in the works for three decades. It was most recently revived by de Blasio in 2015. The city hosted a series of visioning sessions, and was set to issue a RFEI in 2016. It wasn’t until the end of 2016 that a representative for the HPD finally announced that an RFEI would come about in January 2017, but that date too came and went.

This is in large part due to the fact that the hospital site is still partially occupied. One of three buildings that make up the campus is used as a homeless shelter, another is used as a laundry service center for other shelters, and a third is essentially derelict.

A proposal to redevelop the site pushed forth by Mayor Michael Bloomberg fell apart after the developer was arrested on bribery charges.

This time around, there might finally be some hope. The preliminary work of getting neighbors’ opinions and reaching out to local elected officials has been completed, and locals have long wanted this site to be converted into affordable housing. City Council member Antonio Reynoso told the Daily News that he was looking forward to a project, where for once, there would be no negotiation between affordable and market-rate housing.

The city will consider proposals that preserve the buildings on the campus, which date back to 1912, but also those that seek to demolish the existing structures on the site, and build anew. They will however give preference to developers who take historic preservation into account, and have past experience working on such projects. In addition, the selected developer will also be required to create a new home for existing homeless shelter and clinic that are part of the overall 3.4-acre site. Now, we just have to wait to see when this RFEI will come out.