Background

Asian Americans for Equality (AAFE) is a 45 year old non-profit  organization dedicated to enriching the lives of Asian Americans and all of those in need. Founded in 1974 to advocate for equal rights, AAFE has transformed in the past four decades to become one of New York’s preeminent housing, social service and community development organizations.

AAFE is committed to preserving affordable housing throughout New York and to providing new opportunities for the city’s diverse immigrant communities. Employing innovative approaches, the organization has preserved and developed 86 buildings, creating more than 800 units of affordable housing. It has secured approximately $380 million in mortgage financing for home buyers and disbursed more than $50 million in loans to hundreds of small businesses.

AAFE also serves thousands of people a year through its offices in Chinatown; Sunset Park, Brooklyn; Jackson Heights, Queens; and Flushing, Queens. Through these offices AAFE provides client based services through a wide range of multilingual counseling services, education, financial assistance and training to empower people, small businesses and neighborhoods. Its research, advocacy and grassroots organizing initiatives help to shape government policy and effect positive change. At its heart, AAFE embodies the hopes and dreams of New York’s many vibrant immigrant communities, and helps turn those dreams into reality.

Project Description

AAFE will be announcing its expansion into a new Flushing headquarters at the newly built “ONEFlushing” building on 41st Ave just west of Main Street in downtown Flushing. AAFE is an owner of the building in partnership with Monadnock and HANAC.  In addition to new affordable housing, the project will also have storefront retail and community facility space. AAFE will occupy approximately 6,384 sq/ft of that community facility space on the second floor of the building. The space will include offices for AAFE’s small business lending and counseling services affiliate, Renaissance Economic Development Corporation; AAFE’s social service programs and a senior center run by AAFECare. The space will be received plumbed, wired, walled, and painted white.  AAFE was awarded outside funding to do final outfitting of the space. We envision this to include (but is not limited to) layout decisions, furniture, computers, servers, telephones, paint and color scheme, and additional design elements. Any construction work that requires permitting will not be allowed on this project. There should be a strong attempt to use MWBE procurement when possible. 

Objective

AAFE wishes to create a space that is welcoming and reflective of the AAFE and Renaissance brand. The designed work environment should be professional in appearance to give a positive impression to clients who walk in the door. And for new clients seeing AAFE for the first time, it is important to give a professional first impression of the organization. The space will also need to be flexible to adapt to the expected changing needs of this new program location.

The senior center should be a warm and welcoming place to make seniors, coming from both within the building and the surrounding neighborhoods, feel comfortable and participate in group socialization, arts, dance, and cultural activities throughout the day. The facility should be inviting so that it helps with recruiting new seniors to participate, and flow seamlessly for cross-referrals to social services that will be offered by on-site AAFE counseling staff. The space also has access and control of a large outdoor patio that will be furnished. There should be a smart transition between the spaces to make it more seamless and inviting during temperate weather. 

Specifics

Office Space:
Reception area with waiting space
Work stations for 14 employees for Renaissance and AAFE
4 private rooms for counseling
Training room for 40 people
Individual filing storage and office wide filing storage
Computers, phones and servers (we expect the sizing and networking of IT equipment to be outsourced as we are between IT vendors)
Shared Pantry room

Senior Center:
Movie/Dance Room
Dining area for up to 60
Storage Room

Budget

The awarded capital funding for the project is $250,000. All costs should fall within this budget. The design fee cannot exceed 15% of the total cost of the award, and ability to achieve deliverables at the most competitive pricing will be factored in our selection process. As a non-profit organization AAFE procures items sales tax free.

Timeline

We will have full access to the space in December of 2018. AAFE would like to begin the design process quickly in order to have a finished space in March 2019 or earlier.

Other Expectations

  • Work directly with the Director of AAFE’s program services and the Director of Renaissance Economic Development Corporation to investigate and explore their goals and listen to their ideas.
  • Present proposed design for feedback through sketches, computer models or other appropriate means. 
  • Create a design that fully utilizes the awarded funding.
  • Identify and propose the equipment and furniture to be purchased and AAFE will purchase them in order to procure them tax free.
  • Either provide or find a vendor for IT design and procurement.
  • Coordinate delivery and installation of furniture fixtures and equipment.
  • Coordinate with Monadnock and AAFE so that design does not delay the building achieving Certificate of Occupancy approvals

Interested Parties

To apply, please provide a written Letter of Interest describing your firm, design experience, current workload, capacity to take on this project, and a draft cost proposal. We anticipate a fast turnaround on our selection process. Deadline for submissions will be December 21, 2018.

Interested parties should send proposals to or request further information by contacting Zach Bommer at zach.bommer@aafe.org or by phone at 646-822-0564. Site visits can be arranged upon request.  Attached is a floorplan of the space and an exterior photograph facing the patio.