The NYC Economic Development Corporation issued a Request for Proposals today calling for architects and developers to submit ideas on how to make the best use of the six-acre Seward Park Mixed-Use Development site. Entrants are being asked to reimagine the area of the Lower East Side into a new urban plan that includes 1,000 apartments and 600,000 square feet of retail property and green space.

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The area in question has been the subject of debate over the last few years, as locals fear that redevelopment and the introduction of big box stores can change the flavor of the once-bohemian Lower East Side. Most of the land, on the southern side of Delancey St., was cleared for redevelopment in 1967, but has sat as parking lots since. With plans moving forward, supporters fear that the appearance of high-end commercial companies could push out the small boutiques and restaurants nearby that make the Lower East Side a unique place.

That said, the city is ready for proposals to start coming in. Each must include a mixed-use, mixed-income complex, which includes 50% affordable housing mixed with 50% market rate units. An emphasis on street life is also preferred, to ensure that the chosen plan will incorporate and nurture the liveliness that the Lower East Side fosters. We also hope that proposals will include sustainable design, and strive for LEED certification.

Interested applicants can sit in on the RFP information session at 2 p.m. on February 11th  at the EDC’s office at 110 William Street. Proposals are due on May 6, 2013.

Via The LowDown NY