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Flatbush African Burial Ground Remembrance and Redevelopment Task Force

Managing Agency: NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation & Development (HPD); NYC Economic Development Corp. (EDC)
Location:
2286 Church Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11226
Project Description
: An affordable housing development with 130 units and community space was planned for the former P.S. 90 site.
Status: The City has decided to not move forward with the release of a Request for Proposals (“RFP”) for affordable housing, in lieu of an onsite memorial. For more information, visit fabgtaskforce.nyc

Project Details: In October 2020, the City announced plans to develop affordable housing in Flatbush, Brooklyn at 2286 Church Avenue, the site of the former Public School 90 (P.S. 90). The site was slated to hold approximately 130 affordable homes and community development space. The 29,000 square foot development site formerly contained a historic late 19th-century school building, which was demolished in 2015 due to hazardous structural conditions.

In addition to the site’s history as a school, archaeological excavation uncovered a small number of fragments of human remains associated with a historical burial ground for people of African ancestry. At the time, the human remains were transferred to the minister of the Reformed Dutch Church of Flatbush for reinternment in their consecrated cemetery.

Task Force: The subject site is an archaeologically sensitive parcel located at 2274-2286 Church Avenue (Block 5103, Lot 58) that formerly housed Public School 90 and is currently vacant. Because of the historical and archaeological significance of the Site, local elected officials have convened a community-based task force to advise on the proper handling and memorialization of additional artifacts or human remains, if discovered during future construction, and the future development program, including ideas for youth community space, affordable housing and design. In 2019, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) and the Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) established the need for a Task Force to make efforts to identify any potential descendant communities of the colonial enslaved and freed Africans of early Flatbush, establish a procedure for handling any additional remains if discovered, and discuss potential memorialization of the history of site.

The Task Force, working simultaneously with the RFQ process, was supported by HPD, EDC and technical expertise by LPC. The community task force, co-chaired by Borough President Eric Adams and Council Member Mathieu Eugene, advised on the proper handling and memorialization of additional artifacts or human remains, if discovered during future construction, and the future development program, including ideas for the youth community space, affordable housing, and design. The task force is supported by the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC), HPD and two local Women Business Enterprise (WBE) firms – Historical Perspectives, Inc. and TYTHEdesign—providing archaeological and facilitation services. Community and public engagement around the site began in Spring 2021.

Please review the Dismore Chestnut Community Visioning report at https://www1.nyc.gov/assets/hpd/downloads/pdfs/services/dinsmore-chestnut-workshops-report.pdf and In Honor of Black Life by Natiba Guy Clement at https://www.bklynlibrary.org/blog/2020/06/16/honor-black-life

Request for Qualifications (RFQ): The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), released this Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to establish a group of Qualified Applicants that HPD designates as qualified to apply for a Request for Proposals (RFP) to be released in the second half of 2021. Only Qualified Applicants will be invited to respond to an RFP to develop a high-quality, sustainable, mixed-used affordable housing development with youth services that respects the unique history of the subject site in the Flatbush neighborhood in Brooklyn Community District 14 in early 2021 with a deadline of March 5, 2021. Detailed instructions are provided in the RFQ. The first addendum to the RFQ will include contact information of Applicants that register and download the RFP before 5:00pm on January 14, 2021. More information about the RFQ and application instructions can be found at www1.nyc.gov/site/hpd/services-and-information/former-ps90-rfq. Inquiries regarding the RFQ should be directed to formerps90@hpd.nyc.gov.

Cancelation of RFP: In December 2021, the City decided not to move forward with the release of a RFP for affordable housing, youth services and memorialization.

Oct. 8, 2021 letter from Eric Adams opposing RFP, supporting a memorial and open space

 

FABGRR Task Force Meetings:

November 30, 2020 Presentation to Brooklyn Community Board 14

December 9, 2020 Presentation to P.S. 90 Task Force 

February 3, 2021 Task Force presentation

February 24, 2021 Task Force meeting

March 24, 2021 Task Force meeting

April 14, 2021 FABGRR Task Force Meeting:  The Flatbush African Burial Ground Remembrance and Redevelopment Task Force discussed building plan and site design, and reflected on themes uncovered from previous Task Force meetings. 

May 5 & May 22, 2021 FABGRR Task Force Meetings

Click here to learn more about the development proposed for this site.

April 21, 2022 CB14 Flatbush African Burial Ground Task Force meeting – Email to request the WebEx link or watch the live stream on YouTube.

 

Additional Project Links:

Mayor’s October 2020 Press Release: www1.nyc.gov/site/hpd/news/044-20/mayor-de-blasio-council-member-eugene-plans-transform-flatbush-site-affordable#/0

HPD January 2021 Press Release: www1.nyc.gov/site/hpd/news/060-21/city-releases-request-qualifications-development-teams-transform-flatbush-site-into

P.S. 90 Task Force Information: https://ps90taskforce.nyc/get-involved

Bedford-Church Community Engagement Report: Findings from the Flatbush African Burial Ground Remembrance and Redevelopment Process (published December 2021)
https://www.cb14brooklyn.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/03/bedford-church-report.pdf