In today’s news, we will look into the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency as they are looking to hire a more diverse workforce as it moves into the new development construction phase. Meanwhile, in Brownsville, Governor Hochul has announced the beginning of construction on a new affordable and supportive housing development that will cost $50 million.
As NGA begins new construction, it seeks a more diversified staff
This month, workmen finished the main building’s exterior on the new NGIC site.
The north St. Louis property will house the government agency that provides the military with geospatial intelligence and services including aviation charts and marine and topographic maps.
NGA West Executive Sue Pollmann remarked, “We can develop a facility for our mission here that we don’t have in St. Louis.”
She explained that NGA’s current site near Anheuser-Busch can’t easily handle visitors without early notification and background checks.
Here, people may work on maps, processes, and the technology underpinning them, Pollmann said. “Doing these things side-by-side is a game-changer,” they said.
She said the 3,100 NGA employees in St. Louis will migrate in late 2025 or early 2026. Pollmann expects restaurants, retail, and office space to follow.
“There are opportunities with the quantity of vacant lots and people’s desire for a north side recharge,” she added.
St. Louis developed a strategy in September to ensure this type of development creates economic opportunity for mainly Black and brown areas.
This includes the new NGA facility, and Pollmann noted that the agency is committed to increasing workforce diversity through connecting to more of St. Louis. NGA has a partnership arrangement with Harris-Stowe State University.
“That allows us to collaborate directly with them on their geospatial programs,” Pollmann said.
She said that the agency works with local elementary and high schools and initiatives like Rung for Women to train women for specific vocations.
Rung for Women President Leslie Gill said last month that graduates had a certificate for success in the sector. “We’ve improved geospatial.”
Example: DaMisha White. Through Rung for Women, she became a 3D geospatial technician at NGA-contractor Maxar Technologies.
They offered me ArcGIS and geospatial intelligence certifications, which boosted White’s confidence. “They brought in field workers, so I felt connected”
The new site’s creators are also reaching their aim of using a diverse staff, said U.S. The project’s Army Corps of Engineers team. They seek 14% minorities and 6% women.
“Six percent doesn’t seem like much, but it’s remarkable how many women are doing carpentry, pipefitting, plumbing, and other trades,” he added.
Morisani said diversity goals were incorporated into contractor selection.
“What’s next?” What are your plans? said he. We check our numbers twice a year. Measured things improve.
Morisani stated the Corps is already employing these same ideas for future projects, including a new hospital at Fort Leonard Wood.
Brownsville’s $50 million affordable and supportive housing development begins construction
Vital Brooklyn Initiative’s 72-Unit Development Fosters Healthy Communities in Central Brooklyn.
NYSERDA awards sustainable, carbon-neutral, all-electric design.
Governor Kathy Hochul announced today that building has begun on The Rise in Brownsville, Brooklyn. The development will offer affordable health, wellness, employment, and legal services to residents and the community. The Rise is part of the state’s Vital Brooklyn Initiative to address social, economic, and health inequities in Brooklyn’s high-need communities. Here’s The Rise.
“We’re pushing full steam ahead to invest in Brooklyn’s housing, wellness, and economic empowerment,” Governor Hochul stated. “The Rise is presently under construction, offering affordable homes to dozens of New York families and important services to Brownsville. I thank our local and state partners for helping with this project and look forward to the ribbon-cutting.”
The Rise complements Governor Hochul’s aim to build 2 million climate-friendly homes by 2030 and make housing more accessible, equitable, and stable. The Governor offered and won a $25 billion, five-year housing package in the FY2023 State Budget. It will develop or preserve 100,000 affordable houses in New York, including 10,000 with support services for vulnerable populations, and electrify 50,000 more.
The Rise won the NYSERDA Buildings of Excellence competition for its clean and resilient design. The Rise will be carbon neutral when completed and meet Passive House and LEED Gold standards.
All flats will be affordable to households earning 60% or less of the AMI. 47 homes will be set aside for criminal-justice engaged women and their families, backed by Empire State Supportive Housing Initiative programs and operating money. Eight will only receive ESHI service subsidies.
Women’s Prison Association and Osborne Association will offer residents and qualified community members support services. Case management, job-readiness training and placement, legal assistance, reentry support groups, and social and wellness skills will be offered. Community Capacity Development, a Brownsville capacity-building program, will focus on critical thinking, conflict resolution, violence reduction, and health and wellbeing.
The property will offer 10,000 square feet of green space for residents and the community, including a rooftop farm and greenhouse managed by Project EATS. Solar panels on the greenhouse’s roof will allow year-round urban farming.
Lounges, a common area, laundry rooms, outdoor terraces with raised beds, and bike storage are also planned. Free Wi-Fi will be available throughout the facility for residents and tourists, part of Governor Hochul’s commitment to expanding internet access across the state.
The site is in Brownsville, Brooklyn, at East New York Avenue and Strauss Street. One Brooklyn Health/Brookdale Hospital Medical Center occupied the now-demolished building. One Brooklyn Health’s ground floor will offer mental health services, office space, and activities.
Xenolith Partners, Women’s Prison Association, and Brownsville Partnership are developing The Rise. Magnusson Architecture & Planning designed the building.
The Rise will get $21.1 million in federal low income housing tax credits and $13.8 million in state subsidies. Homeless Housing Assistance Program receives $10 million from the New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance. The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority is giving more than $1.2 million through the Buildings of Excellence Competition and the New Construction – Housing program. The project can apply for extra solar funding through the NY-Sun program.
Community Preservation Corporation’s equity investing branch provided pre-development and other financial support for the project and has committed to long-term permanent financing. This is the first project to close under CPC’s relationship with Xenolith, in which it provides cash and other assistance to enable the M/WBE to scale its capacity and business infrastructure.
RuthAnne Visnauskas, NYS Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner, said, “The Rise embodies Governor Hochul’s housing strategy, the Vital Brooklyn Initiative, and the state’s proactive plan to combat climate change and create healthier neighborhoods. This new $50 million, 72-unit building is proof of our dedication to hard-working New Yorkers’ health, safety, and financial sustainability, especially those harmed by the criminal justice system and deserve a second opportunity. Our various partners helped bring new housing to Brownsville.”
In the last five years, New York State Homes and Community Renewal committed $1.1 billion to establish or retain 6,000 affordable units in Brooklyn.
Doreen M. Harris, CEO of NYSERDA, said, “Clean, affordable housing is a vital component of New York State’s emissions reduction strategy, and I’m excited to see building begin on The Rise, an award-winning project. Through the Buildings of Excellence Competition, New York State Energy Research and Development Authority is proud to support projects that expand access to healthy energy-efficient homes while demonstrating how effective design can deliver a cleaner, greener outcome, supporting the State’s goal to reduce harmful emissions from the buildings sector.”
The $40 million Buildings of Excellence Competition was started in March 2019 and has awarded more than $31 million to more than 40 excellent new construction projects. The chosen projects become part of a comprehensive data collection effort that shows how to cost-effectively construct clean and resilient multifamily dwellings. The Rise won BoE Round Two. The Architectural League of New York awarded the project a Blue Ribbon for Design Excellence.
Daniel W. Tietz, OTDA commissioner, remarked, “This remarkable development will provide safe, secure housing for justice-involved women and their families with onsite services. We look forward to The Rise’s completion and beneficial influence on residents and the surrounding community.”
Zellnor Y. Myrie: “Affordable housing is a human right that many New Yorkers, especially in Brownsville, lack. I’m excited to see the Rise grow and commend their community service.”
Walker remarked, “I’m thrilled. The Rise addresses affordable and supportive housing needs in Brownsville. Justice-involved people need employment training, job placement, legal aid, and other re-entry services. Some people in my neighborhood need secure homes to survive. Families and communities are stabilized. Xenolith Partners, WPA, and Brownsville Partnership deserve praise. I hope we can continue working together.”
Antonio Reynoso, Brooklyn’s borough president, said “The Rise brings Brownsville mental health services, a rooftop farm, and more. Our housing can improve inhabitants’ prospects, and The Rise’s health care and social services will create a safe, supported community. I’m glad Brownsville will get another supportive home for justice-system-affected families with on-site resources. Many collaborators and agencies made this initiative feasible.”
One Brooklyn Health System CEO LaRay Brown: “One Brooklyn Health is excited to be part of the Vital Brooklyn Initiative. Affordable housing and health care are integral to a community’s economic viability. We look forward to working with each partner to serve The Rise’s families.”
Construction Director at Xenolith Lebron added, “Xenolith Partners is excited to celebrate The Rise’s groundbreaking. We’re delighted to be part of NYS HCR’s Vital Brooklyn Initiative, which promotes health, affordable housing, economic empowerment, and resiliency. The Rise’s WBE and non-profit development partners applaud NYSERDA for their Buildings of Excellence grant, which allows us to build to Passive House standards. We are committed to a deep, productive, and long-lasting engagement with the Brownsville community along with Brownsville Partnership, Women’s Prison Association, CPC, and our local program partners.”
Executive Director Caryn York remarked, “Women’s Prison Association has helped previously imprisoned women and mothers find safe housing and community-based support for 176 years. As the nation’s oldest organization doing this work, Women’s Prison Association is proud to join this team of local partners and stakeholders in developing The Rise and reimagining how we help women coming home from prison.”
Archana Jayaram, Osborne’s CEO, said, “Osborne is proud to join The Rise. The Rise is committed to providing affordable housing and services to people of all backgrounds and problems. Our work with the 12,000 individuals and families that use Osborne services every year has taught us that providing secure and supportive housing is crucial for the successful reentry of those returning from jail.”
Kassa Belay, Brownsville Partnership exec, said, “The Brownsville Partnership is thrilled to be part of this affordable, supportive housing project and is committed to meeting resident needs. Our aim is to ensure that Brownsville residents are first in line for employment opportunities to develop and run The Rise, and that past and present inhabitants are prioritized when units are ready for rent.”
Alice Anigacz, VP of Equity Investments at CPC, said, “We all gain from a more vibrant and varied development business when we empower M/WBEs and community-based entrepreneurs. Our cooperation with Xenolith has helped them grow and create incredible products like The Rise. The Rise, a Passive House-certified, supportive housing complex, will help our municipal and state partners decarbonize the built environment. Thanks to Xenolith, HCR, NYSERDA, the City of New York, and all our partners and political leaders who supported this initiative.”
Emily Chen, National Equity Fund’s East Region Managing Director, said, “The Rise shows how groups can enhance a community by working together. NEF is thrilled to increase the production and preservation of affordable and supportive housing with devoted partners that share our ideals. Soon, individuals and families will have a safe, stable home with supported resources to help them succeed.”
Senior Relationship Manager Matthew Schatz remarked, “TD Bank is delighted about this project and for future residents who can use supportive services to lead empowered, independent lives. We think The Rise might inspire similar supportive housing projects nationwide.”
Disinvestment and marginalization have long hurt Central Brooklyn’s population. Residents face greater incidence of health problems, restricted access to good meals and physical activity, and violence and crime. Central Brooklyn suffers from high unemployment, poverty, and inadequate health care.
The ten projects advance the Vital Brooklyn Initiative’s goal of providing 4,000 affordable houses in Central Brooklyn with social, medical, community, recreational, educational, family housing, and apartments with supported services.
The Vital Brooklyn Initiative was started in April 2017 to address Brooklyn’s inequities and create a new model for community development and wellness in vulnerable regions. Each Assembly Member in Central Brooklyn organized a Community Advisory Council to explore unique issues and possibilities in their districts and build long-term solutions. State senators from Central Brooklyn participated. Nearly 100 community stakeholders attended 25 meetings. In 2018 and 2019, RFPs were issued for ten locations, and development partners were chosen until 2020. The following projects and phases will begin in the next few years.
Summary of today’s construction
Overall, we discussed today the exterior of the main structure at the new NGIC site was completed this month by the construction crew. The government organization responsible for providing the military with geospatial intelligence and services like aviation charts, marine and topographic maps will move into the north St. Louis site. As they advance to a new development phase of the construction, they are looking to a more diverse workforce. The Rise, a new residential development in Brownsville, Brooklyn, was officially confirmed to have construction begin today by Governor Kathy Hochul. Health, fitness, employment, and legal services will be provided at reduced costs to residents and the surrounding community.