Alice Lidia Piret Hintermann, MUP 2018
Organization: Hester Street Collaborative, New York, NY
Sponsor: Harvard Club of New York
” Alongside their planning and design work, Hester Street also works on specialized real estate development projects. In particular, their development work tends to be for other non-profits/social justice-based organizations. Also, since Hester Street specializes in using a participatory approach, this is sometimes an element of their development projects.
I contributed to work on two real estate development projects. One will be a new headquarters for a large (and quickly growing!) community-based organization in Queens. The other will be an affordable daycare center in Brooklyn. For both of these projects, Hester Street works closely with the organization to understand what the building requires based on the spatial needs of their staff, clients, etc.
Then, once an architecture firm has been selected, Hester Street staff liaise with the firm to make sure that the designs meet the needs that have been identified. They also wrestle with some financial needs. This mainly means trying to find grants, subsidies, and tax credits that will help to finance the development.
In New York City, little other than luxury development can cover the full cost of acquiring land and building. So the organizations with whom Hester Street works rely on their help to close the financial gaps. Another financial element the organization wrestles with is making sure that the architects aren’t designing a building way over budget! Once the building is designed, Hester Street continues to manage the project through development.”