Hochul unveils plan to bring 2,800 homes to underused Creedmoor campus in eastern Queens
Image via WikiCommons
Gov. Kathy Hochul on Wednesday released the Creedmoor Community Master Plan, a proposal to redevelop 58 acres of the Creedmoor Psychiatric Center campus in Queens into a mixed-use community with over 2,800 homes, green space, bike infrastructure, retail, and amenities. State-owned Creedmoor has operated as a mental health center since 1912 and hit its peak patient population of 7,000 in 1959. Today, a majority of the campus sits vacant. Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and Empire State Development (ESD), along with the Metropolitan Urban Design Workshop, developed the master plan over six months.
The breakdown of the proposed 2,800 housing units includes 1,633 homes for purchase, mainly targeted to residents who earn 100 percent of the area median income. These homes could range from two-story homes with private open space to attached townhome triplexes and co-op buildings. Roughly 1,240 units will be affordable and supportive housing, with 377 units for seniors, 431 units for those experiencing mental illness, and 432 units available through a housing lottery.
The Creedmoor Community Master Plan could be the area’s single largest investment in housing since the 1950s and the largest expansion of homeownership opportunities in nearly half a century.
“Creedmoor represents a once-in-a-generation opportunity for New Yorkers to reimagine State land and plan for the emerging needs of tomorrow,” Hochul said. “Working together in productive partnership with the community – and thanks to the leadership of Queens Borough President Donovan Richards – we can build more housing, create more jobs, and strengthen Eastern Queens for the next generation.”
Also included in the plan are roughly 14 acres of open space and designated locations for amenities including a recreation center, a daycare facility, a school, and neighborhood retail.
The Creedmoor Psychiatric Center is currently home to a few transitional and supportive housing residences and an impatient tower that once housed thousands of residents but now only serves a few hundred, according to The City. The center experienced a drastic decrease in residents following the deinstitutionalization of mental health services half a century ago.
Empire State Development is looking to redevelop the 55-acre portion of the entire 125-acre campus that is compatible with the existing transitional and supportive housing services, which are licensed by the state Office of Mental Health.
The plan for Creedmoor was developed over six months and involved a comprehensive community engagement process that included in-person and virtual workshops. Through community feedback, a need for new community gathering spaces, diverse housing options, neighborhood retail, and improved public transportation was identified.
Now with the plan’s release, ESD will form the Creedmor Community Advisory Committee to help guide the project’s implementation. The next steps include an environmental review process in 2024, as well as ESD’s creation of a General Project Plan and the release of a request for proposals (RFP) to find developers to help bring the vision to life in a series of phases.
The master plan builds upon the Governor’s New York Housing Compact, an effort to boost housing growth statewide and address NY’s ongoing housing crisis. While Hochul’s ambitious plan to require all localities across the state to meet home creation goals every three years has been abandoned, according to City and State NY, the Governor is still expected to include a replacement for the expired 421-a tax abatement in her 2024 agenda.
New York has identified underused state-owned facilities, including prisons, as possible locations for redevelopment. A report released by the state in late 2022 identified 12 closed prisons across the state that were ripe for redevelopment, including Chelsea’s Bayview Correctional Facility, which Hochul released an RFP for in September, and Harlem’s Lincoln Correctional Facility.
On Wednesday, Hochul unveiled Seneca, the winning proposal for a project that will transform the Lincoln Correctional Facility at West 110th Street, which closed in 2019, into 105 affordable homes for purchase. The former prison is one of 12 closed prisons across the state identified as possible redevelopment locations in a report released by the state in late 2022.