2023 CLARA FOX AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT – Ted Weinstein
CLARA FOX AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT
Director of Bronx Planning, NYC Dept. of Housing Preservation & Development
A lifelong resident of the Bronx, Ted Weinstein has spent almost his entire adult life working on behalf of the Bronx and its communities, both professionally and through numerous civic and community organizations.
After attending Bronx public schools, Ted’s first formal activity began at age 19 with his appointment to his local community planning board in the East Bronx. When his family moved to Co-op City, he organized his building association, joined various civic organizations, and was appointed to that area’s community (planning) board. After the birth of his children, Ted and his family moved to Riverdale, where his activities have included serving as the first resident president of his building cooperative and serving for nine years as an elected member of his local community school board.
But Ted Weinstein is probably best known for his work for the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD). Ted joined HPD in 1980 as the director of the newly created Pelham Parkway Neighborhood Preservation Program (NPP) Office, which later became the Pelham Parkway/Soundview Office, and then finally a newly created South Bronx NPP Office. In 1996, that office was reorganized as HPD’s Bronx Borough Planning Office, with Ted serving as Director of Bronx Planning. With Ted as leader of the team, the unit has carried out numerous planning functions for the borough, with particular emphasis on new construction. Their work has supported the selection of sites, development teams, programs and projects, resulting in the construction of thousands of affordable residential units for the Bronx. Ted has been a strong advocate for affordable mixed income housing, including creating opportunities for senior and special needs populations, and for homeownership. Recently asked what keeps him happy, Ted responded “attending groundbreakings and ribbon cuttings, through which I can see the fruit of my and my team’s labor”. He particularly enjoys meeting the families who have moved into their new homes in the newly developed buildings.
Ted believes that among his most important roles has been to represent the needs and interests of HPD and the City to the communities of the Bronx, and to convey the interests and needs of the communities of the Bronx to HPD and the City. In pursuit of these goals, he has attended more than a thousand community meetings, listening to residents and other stakeholders, and providing information about HPD’s programs, policies, and processes.
In 2014 the city of New Rochelle embarked on a process to develop a master plan for the downtown area and transit center, engaging in studies, planning exercises, and public outreach with over a thousand members engaged online and dozens of meetings. RXR was selected as the Master Developer working with the city and the community to fund the creation of, and work to develop, the revitalization plan for the downtown area.
This was the largest and most significant economic development initiative in the city’s history. The goal for the development of downtown was the creation of an active, mixed-use district with access to the New Rochelle Transportation Center and incorporate the development of economically diverse high-quality housing, modern retail, commercial, office and hotel space integrated with pedestrian friendly streetscape and green space.
The new plan supports 2.2 million square feet of commercial of medical and non-medical office space, 5,500 units of residential, 1.1 million square feet of retail and restaurant use, 300,000 square feet of hospitality space and 2.3 million square feet of student housing, adult care and institutional space. Adopting a form-based zoning code, the City of New Rochelle created an environment for investment in housing and other community needs that is transforming the downtown into a thriving and sustainable community.
Hudson Valley Pattern for Progress is a nonprofit organization that was founded in 1965 by the region’s academic, business, nonprofit and government leaders to provide objective research and planning for the betterment of the Hudson Valley. Our planning and research team serves communities in the nine-county region immediately north of New York City. Pattern works to identify civic challenges and promote regional, equitable and sustainable solutions that improve the quality of life in communities across the Hudson Valley.
Pattern believes in a planning and research process that is built upon a strong foundation of data, informed by community voices, and pointed toward solutions that can be put into action. Pattern promotes and preserves the general welfare of the region, conducts factual studies and planning, and assists other organizations and encourages planning in the region. Pattern conducts self-originated original research to investigate a challenge and provide evidence-based solutions to an emerging issue that is important to the entire region as well as directed research and planning where Pattern is hired by local organizations to help them solve a challenge, plan for the future, or engage with the public on issues that are important in their communities.