Community and Neighborhood Development
The Brooklyn Navy Yard is a center of urban manufacturing and innovation. A one-of-a-kind ecosystem with a legacy dating back to the early 1800s, the Yard has played a pivotal role in shaping American history, from its origins as a naval shipyard to its transformation into a dynamic, mission-driven industrial park. The Yard is a nationally acclaimed model of the viability and positive impact of modern, urban industrial development, employing more than 11,000 people and generating over $2.5 billion per year in economic impact for the city. Building on the Yard’s history as the economic heart of Brooklyn, the 300-acre waterfront asset houses more than 500 business and offers a critical pathway to the middle class for many New Yorkers.
The waterfront in the long-established Greenpoint neighborhood has been a functioning lumberyard and industrial center for over 100 years. In the past 20 years, it has been transformed into an extension of the Greenpoint neighborhood. Park Tower Group is developing the master plan for Greenpoint Landing which, when complete, will include about 5,500 apartments (both market-rate and permanently affordable units), a sprawling waterfront park designed by James Corner Field Operations, and numerous local retail opportunities. Along with Brookfield Properties, Park Tower Group completed a 745-unit luxury residential complex, Eagle + West, in 2022. Designed by world-renowned architecture firm OMA, the pair of towers and low-rise building feature a 42,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art amenities package and contribute more than 30,000-square-feet of new public space to the city. Eagle + West is the latest set of buildings to open in the 22-acre, Greenpoint Landing master-planned development. The firms opened the One Blue Slip site in 2018, Two Blue Slip in 2020, and The Bellslip in May 2022.
NYC 2100: Resiliency, Housing, and Equity for the Metropolitan Region with Six Feet of Sea-Level Rise
In 1968, Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation purchased the derelict Sheffield Farms Milk Bottling Plant on Fulton Street in the heart of Bed-Stuy, then home to the nation’s largest African American community. Through a rehabilitation completed in 1972, the site became Restoration Plaza, a 300,000-square-foot commercial plaza that is home to Restoration’s headquarters, the historic Billie Holiday Theatre (BHT), the Skylight Gallery, and scores of local businesses, nonprofits, and government agencies, including a post office; local branches of JP Morgan Chase, Carver Federal Savings Bank, and Citibank; Super Foodtown; a school; and stores. Each year, hundreds of thousands of residents pass through the plaza, known as the unofficial town hall of Brooklyn, whether on their way to visit Restoration’s Center for Personal Financial Health, view a play at the BHT, or attend a community event hosted in the amphitheater.
At its inception, Restoration Plaza was a landmark example of community development and adaptive reuse. Now, more than 50 years later, Restoration is once again advancing a bold new vision: reimaging the plaza as the Restoration Innovation Campus. The new campus will be a dramatically expanded, modern, multipurpose site that enables Restoration to meet the needs of the community today. It will include new public space, an expanded cultural center, and two commercial buildings for partners committed to disrupting the racial wealth gap.
The plaza stands as a testament to the history and vibrancy of Central Brooklyn. This tour will showcase Restoration’s impact on the community, serving as a landlord, developer, service provider, cultural center, and community anchor for over five decades. It will also point to how the existing space is set to be reinvented for a new era.
Vertical Placemaking within a Historic Urban Fabric: Partnering with Legacy Institutions to Leverage Inherited Context in Morningside Heights
Beginning in the 19th century, New York’s Morningside Heights attracted important institutions that have since grown into large campuses, dominating the character of the neighborhood. These institutions are constrained by space with no obvious land for development. In response, many of these institutions have uncovered new opportunities by partnering with for-profit development teams to simultaneously revitalize the historic urban fabric and respond to the city’s ever-growing demand for housing. This has been achieved by introducing a new, denser building typology—tall, modern apartment towers—into the neighborhood. This tour will examine how a range of development groups and their design teams have leveraged the historic urban underpinnings of Morningside Heights to create new projects that demonstrate the value of vertical placemaking within the neighborhood.
Until recently, the new Hudson Yards district was simply an open swath of space peering down upon the open Amtrak and New Jersey Transit railways below. Over the course of 30-plus years, a plan was devised to build over the rail yards and create a new Manhattan neighborhood, like the creation of the Park Avenue corridor in the late 1900s. What has grown out of multiple rezoning plans and creative development teams in tandem with city and state support is an incredibly vibrant new mixed-use neighborhood dominated by developments led by the Related Group (Hudson Yards) and Brookfield Properties (Manhattan West). Located adjacent to Pennsylvania Station and the newly redeveloped Moynihan Train Hall, these developments are easily accessible and set to become the newest hub for commerce and live/work/play. The final piece of the puzzle, connecting the sites to the elevated High Line public park, was completed earlier this year. This tour will explore the history of the Hudson Yards as a whole, the engineering and development challenges of building over the railways, and the overall thesis for its success.
Long Island City (LIC) is New York City’s fastest growing neighborhood. The city is engaged in multiple efforts to support the neighborhood’s long-term transformation into a mixed-use district. The Hunter’s Point South project is transforming the Long Island City waterfront with improved infrastructure, an 11-acre waterfront park, and 5,000 total residential units, including 3,000 affordable housing units. In 2018, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) completed the waterfront park, featuring a green stormwater infrastructure, bicycle and pedestrian pathways, adult fitness equipment, a playground, and an art installation. In fall 2023, the city kicked off the One LIC neighborhood planning study, focusing on LIC’s northern Waterfront and the industrial business zone (IBZ) located between the Waterfront and Court Square. This project seeks to leverage city-owned sites for affordable housing, promote equitable economic development, add waterfront open space, and improve circulation around the neighborhood.
This tour will begin at Hunter’s Point South Park, move north along the LIC waterfront to Anable Basin, and conclude at the IBZ.
Coney Island, America’s most storied amusement resort, is experiencing an enormous effort to renew and reinvigorate its vibrant and diverse beachfront community following major rezoning. What was once a vast expanse of unending entertainment at the turn of the 20th century, comprising the triad of Steeplechase Park, Luna Park, and Dreamland, Coney Island quickly became reduced to large patches of parking lots, falling from the premier entertainment destination of the world to an isolated neighborhood. Following the COVID-19 pandemic, with New Yorkers working on hybrid schedules between their home and a Manhattan office, people have been seeking more hospitable outlying neighborhoods with direct transit access for when they need it. This has resulted in a massive expansion in mixed-income housing developments for the community and renewed interest in Coney Island as an entertainment destination. In our tour we will visit a selection of these new residential projects along Surf Avenue, as well as the newly revived entertainment sites of Coney Island.
Visit groundbreaking resilience-focused projects in Rockaway, Queens. The Arverne East project is a master-planned development transforming a 116-acre oceanfront site, composed of a 35-acre publicly accessible nature preserve, mixed-income housing of various tenure, diverse neighborhood retail, parking, and infrastructure. This project also includes a boutique hotel, recreation spaces, an urban farm, and both short- and long-term uses to encourage economic development, cultural programs, and community health and wellness. Arverne East will also include a district geothermal ambient loop, which will tie into individual building systems for increased efficiency and reduced consumption in heating, cooling, and domestic hot water.
Beach Green Dunes II is a model for resilient, green, affordable housing development, delivering 127 affordable homes to one of the city’s most vulnerable neighborhoods. Like Arvene East, this building’s design and construction uses Passive House principles, a cutting-edge sustainable building method, to increase the building’s energy efficiency. Beach Green Dunes II is a perfect example for how cities and developers can build cutting-edge sustainable design to deliver affordable housing in communities grappling with severe storms, tidal flooding, and rising sea levels.
Beach Green Dunes III is currently vacant land owned by the city of New York and is being developed by L+M Development Partners in conjunction with Triangle Equities and The Bluestone Organization. This project will contain residential space, commercial/retail space, and community facility space, as well as an open space transit plaza. Beach Green Dunes III will also be a Passive House–certified building and participate in the city’s Housing Development Corporation’s and Department of Housing Preservation & Development’s Extremely Low and Low Income (ELLA) housing program.
Join us for a special tour of one of New York City’s most dynamic neighborhoods, Hudson Square. The district, at the nexus of NYC’s premier retail and residential neighborhoods, is rich in history but is also leading the way in terms of sustainable design and thoughtful and contextual architecture that is appealing to some of the world’s largest and most innovative office tenants, including Google, Horizon Media, Publicis Groupe and Squarespace. Trinity Church Wall Street, steward of the neighborhood since the early 1700s, helped usher in a residential rezoning that has allowed the neighborhood to flourish, and, in partnership with Norges Bank and Hines, Trinity Church has repositioned their more than 6 million-square-foot portfolio of purpose-built printing house buildings to cater to modern office needs in a class A manner.
The group will tour the two cornerstones of the Hudson Square portfolio, 555 Greenwich + 345 Hudson and 75 Varick. 555 Greenwich is a 270,000-square-foot ground-up development designed by COOKFOX Architects that is the completion of the adjacent property, 345 Hudson (built in 1931), to create a 1.2 million-square-foot interconnected campus. 555 Greenwich represents the next generation of high-performing buildings and will exceed NYC’s 2030 climate targets for office buildings by over 45 percent and align with New York State 2050 carbon-neutral targets. 345 Hudson is one of three commercial buildings selected to participate in the Empire Building Challenge’s low-carbon public/private design partnership. We will end the tour at the southern end of Hudson Square at 75 Varick, which features downtown’s most expansive rooftop amenity.
The 2004 rezoning of Downtown Brooklyn acted as a catalyst for the neighborhood’s remarkable revitalization, igniting a wave of transformative residential projects that have dramatically reshaped the area. Noteworthy among these developments is CityPoint, a dynamic mixed-use project featuring, a 68-story residential tower, a retail complex, and a popular food hall. In addition, Pacific Park, a vast 22-acre downtown redevelopment, has emerged as a vibrant community, boasting an impressive 6 million square feet of residential space, the iconic Barclays Center, as well as retail and office spaces, along with eight acres of green space. Among the exciting transformations, the Alloy Block is redefining Flatbush Avenue by redeveloping existing and new buildings to encompass educational, residential, and office spaces. Furthermore, Brookfield’s visionary efforts are shaping Brooklyn Commons into an alluring destination for creative office users. These remarkable redevelopments are situated at the heart of the BAM cultural district, surrounded by esteemed museums, vibrant dance centers, captivating galleries, renowned music venues, theaters, artists’ studios, media arts organizations, enticing restaurants, and inviting public plazas.