Recommends Disposition to Keep NYPD Counterterrorism Bureau Training Facility at Former Army Reserve Center
QUEENS, NY – The Fort Tilden Local Redevelopment Authority today voted to approve a redevelopment plan that would dispose the federal property at Fort Tilden to the City of New York. The disposition would continue the use of the New York Police Department (NYPD) Counterterrorism Bureau for its training facility on site at Fort Tilden. The 9.15-acre property is the site of the former Fort Tilden Army Reserve Center, located at 415 State Road in Breezy Point in the Rockaway Peninsula, and includes a 29,469 square foot building and a 7,036 square foot vehicle storage/repair structure. The redevelopment plan will next be reviewed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) as part of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process that governs the transfer of surplus military property. Once approved by the federal government, it will be conveyed to the NYPD at no cost.
“The community has a sound, long-term plan for the reuse of the Fort Tilden Army Reserve Center,” said Borough President KATZ. “This would be an opportunity for the NYPD to have a cutting-edge counterterrorism training facility that will enhance the security of our borough, city and region. We look forward to the federal government’s review of the redevelopment plan and are optimistic that this property will continue to be of benefit to the public for decades to come.”
When the site was declared “surplus property” in June 2015, Borough President Katz formed the Fort Tilden Local Redevelopment Authority to review and recommend ideas for adapting the site for public benefit use. The Fort Tilden Local Redevelopment Authority is made up of representatives for the following: Mayor Bill de Blasio; Queens Borough President Melinda Katz; U.S. Representative Gregory W. Meeks; State Senator Joseph P. Addabbo, Jr.; Assemblymember Stacey Pfeffer Amato; City Councilmember Eric A. Ulrich; Community Board 14; Belle Harbor Property Owners Association; Breezy Point Cooperative, Inc.; Neponsit Property Owners Association; Point Breeze Association, Inc.; Rockaway Artists Alliance; Rockaway Point Association; Rockaway Theatre Company; and the Roxbury People’s Association.
In 2016, the Fort Tilden Local Redevelopment Authority solicited Notices of Interest from the public for the surplus property. The NYPD, which has used the site on a monthly license from the U.S. Department of Defense since August 2016, was the only party to submit a Notice of Interest. Under the NYPD’s proposal, the facility would continue to provide state-of-the art counterterrorism training to officers and personnel from police, fire and other first responder agencies and private security firms from the Northeast region.
The Fort Tilden Local Redevelopment Authority concluded that the site was not a feasible location for homeless services due to various reasons including the site’s remoteness, limited mass transportation access, lack of housing, and environmental remediation needs. The New York City Department of Homeless Services has also stated that the site is not part of the City’s plan for providing homeless services, which has a focus on sheltering homeless people in or near their home neighborhoods so they remain close to family members and other support networks that can help them climb out of homelessness.
Once the plan is found in compliance with the Base Closure Community Redevelopment and Homeless Assistance Act and approved by the U.S. Department of Defense, the site will be conveyed to the NYPD at no cost, provided that the NYPD continues to use it for public benefit.
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