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Downtown Davenport Partnership presents Downtown Master Plan

"Downtown is everyone’s neighborhood, and the time is now to set a visionary roadmap to build a more sustainable, vibrant and inclusive downtown,” DDP Executive Director Kyle Carter on Davenport 2030: A Resilient City. The Downtown Davenport Partnership commissioned WXY to develop a strategic master plan for its downtown focusing on placemaking, economic development, strategic growth, and talent attraction. Following a decade of significant growth, coupled with notable setbacks, including historic flooding in 2019 and the COVID-19 crisis, Downtown Davenport sought to develop strategies that would build on the city’s strengths, including a growing residential market, robust small business growth, and a thriving arts and entertainment scene. WXY, with its project partners SB Friedman and Sam Schwartz Engineering, developed Davenport 2030: A Resilient City, a ten-year vision for the downtown with a focus on creating stronger connections to surrounding communities, developing talent locally, and gaining quick wins through interim improvements and activations. The master plan was presented to the Davenport City Council in October, and ongoing votes for the final plan will be taken in November/December, including most recently, a city-wide survey for input on the vision’s flood response.

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Peninsula Reaches a Major Milestone

“Today marks a great leap forward towards a revamped and revitalized Hunts Point. With the first residential phase underway, affordable housing in the Peninsula will create new opportunities for the New Yorkers who need it the most,” NYCEDC President James Patchett. The City and development partners MHANY, Gilbane, and the Hudson Companies, officially announced their deal to develop phase one, the first residential phase of the Peninsula, which will include 183 units of affordable housing for low- to extremely low-income New Yorkers, with an additional ten percent of units reserved for formerly homeless individuals. The news follows the Peninsula’s exciting achievement as recipient of the New York City’s Public Design Commission Award for Excellence in Design, an award that showcases eight projects of excellence across the five boroughs. The Peninsula’s first phase is slated to be completed in 2021, with allotted funding of $125.5 million.

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Brooklyn Navy Yard Master Plan

WXY's master plan, presented recently by the Brooklyn Navy Yard Development Corporation, reveals an ambitious vision of how "The Yard" can accommodate 20,000 new jobs by 2020 and up to 30,000 shortly by 2030. The master plan sets out a strategy for intensifying urban industrial campus that combines five million square feet of vertical manufacturing development with optimized open space networks to improve everyday functionality and to provide meaningful links to surrounding neighborhoods. Renderings of the new vertical manufacturing space were featured in CurbedNY.

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D15: A Community Led Diversity Plan

WXY was commissioned by the New York City Department of Education’s (DOE) to work collaboratively with Brooklyn’s District 15 community to envision a more equitable and integrated school district. The D15 Diversity Plan is the first district-wide community-based planning process aimed at creating diverse, meaningfully integrated middle schools in New York City. The report focuses on policies which promote integration and foster inclusive school communities. The city approval of the plan was covered in WNYC, Wall Street Journal and New York Times.

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Repurposing Kearny Point for the Makers of Today

WXY-designed Kearny Point Building 78 was recently celebrated in the Commerical Observer alongside Hugo Neu CEO Wendy Neu for "bringing the creative office revolution". The transformation of the former shipyard was also featured in the Design Curial, as part of a new wave of former industrial buildings that have found success by honoring the manufacturing heritage of the built space, while repurposing them for the makers of today.


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Cultivating Musical Innovation in the Bronx

WXY was commissioned by Women's Housing and Economic Development Corporation (WHEDco ) to design the new Bronx Music Hall. Bronx Music Hall is a 14,000 square foot performing arts venue and exhibition space. The new, permanent home of the Bronx Music Heritage Center will have a flexible performance space with approximately 300 seats, areas for exhibits, rehearsal spaces for music and dance, digital archives, a café, and outdoor performance and public recreation space. The project includes key collaborator Local Projects and is the centerpiece of the Bronx Commons mixed-use development that will include 305 affordable housing units. Read more about it in Curbed NY.

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A Long Island Campground Gets a Bunch of New Modern Cabins

WXY’s prototype cabins for the New York State Parks Department have recently been featured in a number of articles. “Bright and cheery with plenty of natural light” a review in Dwell said, “Embracing the great outdoors, large windows give campers views of nature from every room.” Curbed noted their, “sleek forms, natural materials, and open, light-filled interiors” and The Architect’s Newspaper wrote, “While the usual image of a cabin in the woods is claustrophobic, window-starved and lacking in amenities, WXY’s design is anything but.”

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Editorial: ‘Water needs an architectural embrace’

Read The Architecture Review's article on Blue Dunes by WXY's Claire Weisz and the Harvard Graduate School of Design's Jesse Keenan. The Architecture Review writes, "Weisz and her multi-disciplinary practice WXY have for many years been rethinking design approaches to infrastructure, which at worst can be a case of ‘do the engineering and paste on some design afterwards’. The practice doesn’t just investigate theoretical propositions, however. Its latest design project is of heroic scale – the reconstruction of the eight-mile long Rockaway Boardwalk in Queens, New York, which was wrecked by Hurricane Sandy. Federal aid totalling more than $140 million was made available to restore Rockaway Beach, and the second phase of that programme, now complete, comprises an improved and enhanced boardwalk."

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New New York: Designers Select NYC’s Most Iconic New Architecture

In a new article, Metropolis reached out to more than 35 architects, designers, and key influencers to nominate their favorite recently constructed, must-see buildings, interiors, and public spaces any visitor should experience. Four of them picked WXY's Spring Street Salt Shed and one picked the SeaGlass carousel. Jake Barton, principal and founder of Local Projects said, "The SeaGlass places visitors at the depth of the ocean, inviting them to explore and experience another world just beyond the shoreline of Manhattan. This magical journey sums up the weird and wonderful world that lies just beyond!” And Cynthia E. Smith, curator of socially responsible design, at the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum, said of the Salt Shed, “Celebrating the utilitarian crystalline salt that keeps New York City’s streets safe during winter storms, this sculptural architecture materializes from the city’s grid. A new land- mark on lower West Street, the shed houses tons of street salt, and a high-performance green roof harvests storm water to clean its trucks, while its faceted concretewalls change hue with the refracted urban light.”

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The Bronx Is Building

Read about the Peninsula, a WXY and Body Lawson designed mixed use development in The Bronx. The New York Times writes, "If apartments are sprouting in unlikely places, none may be more striking than the corner of Spofford Avenue and Tiffany Street in the Hunts Point neighborhood, home for years to the Spofford Juvenile Center, a detention complex that was shut down in 2011 over concerns about inmate fights, rats and a lack of air-conditioning." More info can be found in Curbed.


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Parks as Infrastructure and Transportation

Read the cover story in the American Institute of Architects, New York State's quarterly magazine. WXY's Principal in Charge, Claire Weisz, writes, "The dirty, industrial city in which the historic park movement was born is no longer the context. It’s not enough for parks to exist as single-use islands of tranquility. Today parks need to do much more: build infrastructure, provide connectivity and increase resilience—as well as offer urbanites of all ages and abilities the opportunity for exercise. When people were toiling away in factories for twelve hours a day, exercising outdoors was anathema to anyone’s concept of downtime. But by providing non-auto transportation, a park system becomes a place for moderate to rigorous activity—which, given the state of public health, should no longer be considered an amenity any more than transportation and infrastructure are."

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In Home of Hip-Hop, a Concert Hall to Honor Its Musical History

The New York Times and Curbed report on the ground breaking of the WXY designed Bronx Music Hall, a part of a new, all-affordable, housing project in the South Bronx. The Times wrote, "It is the latest move to honor the Bronx’s heritage, part of a continuing effort to burnish the image of an area that was once synonymous with urban decay and neglect."

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