Empire State Development Announces RFEI for 12.8 Acres at Harlem River Yards

Proposals sought to develop Harlem River waterfront and maximize benefits of site

Empire State Development (ESD) today announced it has issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) to solicit ideas for the sale or lease of the air space above approximately 12.8 acres of the Harlem River Yards in a manner that will maximize the economic benefit of the site while preserving the intermodal footprint of the site.  Harlem River Yards is an area on the southern waterfront of the Bronx, by the Mott Haven and Port Morris neighborhoods.  Originally part of the Penn Central rail system, the yard was sold to New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) in 1982 and is currently primarily used for industrial and manufacturing purposes.  

“It’s exciting, and very rare to offer the opportunity to develop more than a dozen acres of prime waterfront land in New York City,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky.  “This South Bronx location offers easy access to the waterfront, multiple mass transit options and a major highway and I’m certain that the Harlem River Yards central location and enormous potential will generate great interest from respondents looking to submit creative proposals.”

“Development of the Harlem River Yard provides an unprecedented opportunity to integrate transportation with mixed use retail and housing to maximize the economic benefits of State-owned property in New York City,” said Department of Transportation Commissioner Matthew J. Driscoll. “In addition to creating economic benefits for the residents of the Bronx, this development will also significantly increase long-sought public recreational access to the Harlem River waterfront.”

“We encourage developers to submit innovative proposals that include high-quality affordable homes that will be convenient to transportation, retail services and recreational opportunities,” said New York State Homes and Community Renewal Commissioner James S. Rubin.  “By enhancing the Harlem River waterfront we’ll create a more vibrant local economy and community.”


Proposals should address several development objectives, including:

  • Preserve the designated intermodal rail facility footprint at Harlem River Yards.
  • Allow for the uninterrupted, continued operation of the Harlem River Yard and its tenants.
  • Maximize economic benefit to the State while minimizing the State’s economic and environmental risk.
  • Enhance the Harlem River Yards as an economic engine for the South Bronx and New York.
  • Increase public access to the Harlem River waterfront.
  • Increase the availability of high-quality affordable housing in New York.
  • Maximize incorporation of green building and sustainable design practices.
  • Feature meaningful participation of Minority Business Enterprises, Women Business Enterprises and Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned-Businesses, per Article 15A of the New York State Executive Law.

The RFEI and additional information is available on the Empire State Development website here.

Responses are due at 2 p.m. on Thursday, February 2, 2017.  An optional site visit is scheduled for Wednesday, December 14, 2016.  Respondents are not required to attend but must RSVP to [email protected] on or before December 9 if they wish to participate. 

Harlem River Yards is currently under long-term lease from NYSDOT to Harlem River Yard Ventures, Inc. (HRYV), part of the Galesi Group.  The 96 acre parcel includes a 28-acre intermodal rail facility, a Federal Express Distribution Center, 21st Century Fox America, Inc. (formerly known as News America Incorporated), a printing/distribution facility, a Waste Management solid waste transfer station, and a Fresh Direct distribution center.

About Empire State Development

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency (www.esd.ny.gov). The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing Governor Cuomo’s Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I Love NY,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.


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