RESTORING LOCAL ECONOMIES
Spring Bank, a South Bronx-based community development financial institution (“CDFI”) and one of only 2 B-Corp certified banks in the U.S., engaged Barretto to provide guidance on market penetration strategies and the development of banking products targeted to non-profit organizations, small businesses, and anchor institutions in The Bronx and Upper Manhattan. Barretto Bay helped the bank introduce a small dollar loan product targeted to borrowers with little or no credit history but with steady employment. By using non-traditional underwriting and payroll deductions for loan payments, the Employee Opportunity Loan helps households unable to qualify for a conventional bank loan access financing to cover unexpected expenses or pay off high-cost debt. And by eliminating the need for a credit score, the loan helps overcome a key challenge in historically under-banked communities while also helping borrowers establish a credit history and start savings accounts. Barretto Bay’s initial market research and deep relationships across sectors enabled the bank to enroll large employers in the program, making the loan available to thousands of employees in the downstate region.
The Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative & the Greater New York Hospital Association
The Greater New York Hospital Association (GNYHA) engaged Barretto Bay to develop a procurement localization strategy to help its members source more goods and services from MBEs and other small businesses in The Bronx and Upper Manhattan. Phone interviews, site visits, and public meetings ultimately yielded a database of vendors well-positioned to meet the needs of GNYHA members in targeted procurement categories. Among Barretto Bay’s recommendations to the client was the development of a procurement app to help steer GNYHA members to local vendors and facilitate transactions with smaller firms lacking the back-office capabilities to manage e-commerce sales and fulfillment.
Based on the findings of the GNYHA study, The Bronx Cooperative Development Initiative--an economic democracy project sponsored by CommonWise Education and MIT’s Community Innovators Lab--subsequently engaged Barretto Bay to devise a B2B ecommerce approach to match Bronx anchor institutions with the borough’s high-road businesses. The Bronx Vendors Platform, an ecommerce site aimed at localizing procurement of goods and services, is currently under development
Hostos Community College
In 2012, CUNY’s flagship in the South Bronx engaged Barretto Bay to develop a workforce development and wellness strategy to help the college prepare students for careers in the food sector and at the same time, address rising rates of diabetes, obesity, and other diet-mediated disease among students and their families. Barretto Bay responded with a plan for an Associates Degree in Food Studies, a new farmers market on campus, a partnership with a consumer cooperative, and a variety of other interventions designed to increase access to fresh produce and other healthy foods. The new Hostos Farmers Market began operations in August 2015 and the Department of Food Studies at Hostos was formally launched one month later, in September 2015.
Spofford Youth House Redevelopment
In June 2015, the NYC Economic Development Corporation issued a Request for Expressions of Interest for the redevelopment of the former Spofford Youth House, located on a five acre site in the Hunts Point section of The Bronx. Closed in 2011 after 54 years of use as the City’s principal juvenile detention facility, Spofford presented a significant opportunity to generate living wage employment, entrepreneurial opportunities for Bronx businesses, and new affordable housing for the South Bronx. Barretto Bay assembled a team of community-based organizations, MBE food manufacturers, and South Bronx artists and coders, as well as a Bronx-based film studio, a health care provider, a community bank, and 2 affordable housing developers to submit a proposal for a mixed-use development on the site.
The team’s proposed project addressed neighborhood affordable housing imperatives while achieving a density appropriate for the Hunts Point residential community. The vision for the Spofford site represented a new model in community development—one that embedded food manufacturing enterprises in a carefully planned mixed-use community and sought to achieve synergies between living wage employment, housing development, wellness, and open space creation.
A new entrant in the global cement marketplace, Mcinnis engaged Barretto Bay to help craft an approach to its proposed NYC maritime terminal that balanced the needs of industry with those of the nearby community and the imperatives of habitat protection in an adjacent wetlands. Barretto Bay applied best practices in industrial development and a collaborative process to the challenge of planning a facility that both ensured a smooth entry into the NYC market and also met the high environmental and community benchmarks the company had established for itself. Ongoing community conversations yielded a design for the 9 acre terminal that includes a ¼ mile greenway segment, a 3 acre wetlands, a community “eco-dock”, greenwalls, roof-mounted photovoltaics, shorepower, and public art.
New York Restoration Project’s Haven Project
In 2015, the Barretto Bay team helped New York Restoration Project craft a plan to connect residents of the Mott Haven section of The Bronx with a new bike-ped pathway to Randall’s Island, one of New York’s premier recreational destinations, and improve access to other green spaces in the area. Barretto Bay planned and implemented three visioning workshops for residents, public officials, and local business leaders and assembled a coalition of neighborhood stakeholders to advocate for an on-street network of designated bike lanes and pathways as well as a string of new waterfront green spaces. The workshops and regular engagement with community leaders yielded the Haven Project, a comprehensive wellness, open space development, and parks connectivity project that launched in 2016.
ANIMATING MARKETS FOR DISRUPTIVE TECHNOLOGIES
In early 2012, a West Coast-based maker of electric vehicle charging stations engaged Barretto Bay to create a model for charging station deployment across New York State. Barretto Bay devised a cluster model for electric vehicle charging and secured locations across New York for two-dozen new charging units. Barretto Bay introduced the technology to host locations and negotiated terms of installation and service with each host institution.
BMW North America
The BMWi Group, which oversees the rollout and ongoing marketing efforts for the automaker’s battery electric vehicles, engaged Barretto Bay and WXY Studio to devise a strategy for accelerating the market penetration of the i3, a metropolitan EV with an 81 mile range. Barretto Bay identified multi-family developments and workplace campuses in the NY metro area where likely early adopters cluster and is helping to craft an electric vehicle car-share model suited to preferences and defined use cases in the targeted communities.
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and Transportation and Climate Initiative of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic States
NYSERDA and TCI engaged Barretto Bay and its partners WXY Studio and Energetics to study emerging patterns of electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) deployment in the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states and provide a resource to help guide public and private investment in EVSE infrastructure in the region. Barretto Bay devised a cluster analysis to study EVSE siting and developed metrics and likely use cases to help decision-makers evaluate potential EVSE locations.
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and New York State Department of Transportation Green Loading Zone Study
NYSERDA and NYSDOT engaged Barretto Bay and its partners WXY and Energetics to evaluate the utility and potential impacts of “green loading zones” (“GLZs”), meant to incentivize the use of commercial electric vehicles in dense metropolitan areas. Barretto Bay devised and developed the GLZ concept as a public policy tool to encourage EV adoption without the application of direct subsidies to the fleet operator
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and New York State Department of Transportation Electric Vehicle Tourism Study
Barretto Bay and its partners WXY Studio and Energetics were engaged by NYSERDA and NYSDOT to study opportunities for rejuvenating the tourism market in four counties north and west of New York City by developing conceptual plans for an ecosystem of EV-friendly lodgings and destinations, EV rental locations at designated Metro North rail stations, and an EV tourism app for green-inclined tourists.
New York State Energy Research and Development Authority and New York State Department of Transportation Second Life EV Battery Study
Barretto Bay and its partners Empire Clean Cities and BHJ Advisors studied potential after-market applications for retired electric vehicle batteries, developed a market analysis of each, and recommended pilot projects to repurpose and redeploy battery packs in the energy storage and demand management sectors. Barretto Bay conceived of the study to help the automotive industry establish a residual value for EV packs and to help policymakers grapple with a growing stockpile of EV batteries retired from private and public fleets, including NYC Transit’s hybrid buses. The study’s findings may ultimately help lower the upfront costs of an EV to the consumer by demonstrating the after-market value of an electric vehicle’s most expensive component.
MOVE Systems Pedestal Project
This vertically-integrated food truck technology company engaged Barretto Bay to identify locations for its pioneering plug-in pedestal which enables food trucks and carts to power their operations with electricity from the grid, rather than from polluting portable generators. The Barretto Bay team worked with MOVE to secure public funding from NYSERDA to begin deployment of this curbside electrification solution, which simultaneously reduces the mobile vending industry’s reliance on fossil fuels and reduces operating costs for the food truck operator. In a second phase of the project, Barretto Bay worked with private developers and municipalities to deploy MOVE pedestals at mobile vending locations throughout the downstate region. The first 4 pedestals were installed at town beaches in Suffolk County in July 2016.
MESSAGING CHANGE AND ENGAGING COMMUNITIES
OLIN and PennDesign
Two respected design and landscape architecture practices engaged Barretto Bay to help embed local imperatives in a resiliency plan for the Hunts Point peninsula and the world’s largest food distribution center that was submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Rebuild by Design competition. During the second half of 2013 and early 2014, Barretto Bay worked intensively with organized labor locals, food wholesalers, small businesspeople, neighborhood advocates, and the local non-profit community to elicit local solutions to longstanding resiliency challenges in Hunts Point. The findings from this consensus-building, community research, and engagement process ultimately informed the PennDesign-OLIN team’s successful Rebuild By Design application, yielding an initial award of $20 million--which was subsequently matched by the City of New York.
Hostos Community College Center for Bronx Non-Profits
In 2013, The Hostos Center for Bronx Non-Profits asked Barretto Bay to enhance its public engagement strategy and raise its profile among policymakers and the borough’s non-profit community. Barretto Bay responded with an implementation plan for a Public Conversations Series featuring quarterly field-building discussions on emerging paradigms in public policy and non-profit practice. Since its launch in January 2014, the series has highlighted the innovations of Bronx practitioners--their successes as well as disappointments—in a number of practice areas, including economic development, healthy food access, criminal justice reform, and LGBT advocacy. These convenings have become a vital forum for the borough’s non-profit leaders as they grapple with new challenges in their communities and begin to road test pioneering approaches to longstanding public policy issues.