MTA Looking To Develop Air Rights Above the LIRR in Bay Ridge

The MTA is releasing an RFP, looking for developers t0 develop the airspace and related real property above a section of the LIRR Bay Ridge Branch.  The RFP states that “the air space and related real property interests will be available through a 99 year ground lease”.

The development site is located along 61st Street between 8th Avenue and Fort Hamilton Parkway, on the borders of several neighborhoods; Sunset Park to the north, Borough Park to the east, Dyker Heights to the south and Bay Ridge to the west.

These neighborhoods are generally residential in character with active commercial retail corridors. The Development Site is located wholly in Community District 12; Community District 10 lies immediately to the south and Community District 7 is located to the west. These bordering neighborhoods, Sunset Park and Borough Park in particular, have experienced rapid population growth in the last decade and have a great need for housing.

The Sunset Park neighborhood has experienced a substantial increase in population in the last few decades and has the second largest Chinatown in New York City. From 1990 to 2014, Sunset’s Park population increased 34 percent to 152,700 residents at a rate twice as fast as the City’s overall population growth. The part of Sunset Park near the Development Site is predominantly characterized by residential blocks with busy retail corridors. The 8th Avenue retail corridor which borders the western edge of the Development Site, is thriving with retail and medical facilities, including those affiliated with Maimonides Medical Center. The Sunset Park neighborhood includes a large industrial area near the waterfront several blocks to the west. The blocks immediately adjacent to the Development Site are zoned M1-1 for light manufacturing uses and are predominantly occupied by warehouse facilities.

The Borough Park neighborhood borders the eastern side of the Development Site and is also primarily residential with commercial retail corridors, including Fort Hamilton Parkway, New Utrecht Avenue and 13th Avenue. Borough Park is home to one of the largest Orthodox Jewish communities in the country. The neighborhood has also been experiencing a rapid population growth in the last few decades creating a corresponding need for housing.

The Dyker Heights neighborhood located to the south is generally bounded by Fort Hamilton Parkway, 62nd Street, 14th Avenue, and the Gowanus Expressway. It is residential neighborhood primarily characterized by one and two-family homes.

The neighborhood of Bay Ridge to the south of the Development Site is bounded by the Gowanus Expressway and the Belt Parkway. It is also a primarily residential neighborhood with vibrant neighborhood corridors along Third and Fifth Avenues.

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