New York City Mayor Adams today opened 183 deeply affordable homes and a cultural arts center on the former site of the Spofford Juvenile Detention Center in the Hunts Point neighborhood of the Bronx, where he was held at 15 years old. The detention center was closed in 2011, after 54 years in operation with notoriously poor conditions for the youth detained there. The full five-acre redevelopment project, called The Peninsula, will bring 740 affordable homes, an early childhood education center, a wellness center, a one-acre public plaza, and a supermarket to Hunts Point.
Rendering of The Peninsula campus on the site of the former Spofford Juvenile Detention Center in Hunts Point. Credit: WXY Studios.
The $121 million, 100-percent affordable housing project — with retail space and studio space for emerging artists — reflects Mayor Adams’ commitment to get New Yorkers into safe, high-quality, affordable homes, as outlined in his blueprint for the city’s affordable housing crisis, “Housing Our Neighbors: A Blueprint for Housing and Homelessness.” The first phase of the project, completed today, includes 183 affordable homes for New Yorkers earning between 30 and 80 percent of the area median income, with 18 reserved for formerly homeless New Yorkers. The building offers a wide range of amenities, including a community room, a children’s playroom, a fitness room, and bike storage space.
The development also includes a cultural arts center with a state-of-the-art black box theater, an art gallery, a dance studio, coworking space, and 26 artist studios. Inspiration Point Center for the Arts, a local nonprofit, will operate the space, which will also serve as a community space for local events. The ground floor includes a 5,000-square-foot retail space.
When the entire project is complete, The Peninsula will feature:
- Approximately 740 units of 100 percent affordable housing, with studio, one-, two-, three-, and some four- bedroom apartments;
- An early childhood education center designed in coordination with the New York City Department of Education and the New York City School Construction Authority;
- Recreational and community facilities, including artist studios, expanded programming for The Point Community Development Corporation (CDC), and a wellness center to be operated by community partner Urban Health Plan;
- Commercial space, including a supermarket; and
- Open space, including a one-acre landscaped public plaza.
“NYCEDC is proud to work with the mayor, our city partners, and the community to redevelop the former Spofford Juvenile Detention Center into a place that meets the community’s most pressing needs and transforms the site into a symbol of hope,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) President and CEO Andrew Kimball. “Once complete, The Peninsula will help create a more equitable and resilient economy in Hunts Point by providing affordable housing, community arts space, and good jobs.”
“The Peninsula is the result of a collaborative effort to invest in the South Bronx and create better outcomes for New Yorkers,” said New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. “What was once a long-dormant site with a painful past is now a vibrant affordable housing development with performing arts space, retail, and a light industrial building designed to support local entrepreneurs — with more still to come. Thanks to our partners and local elected leaders, we can deliver this innovative live-work campus to Hunts Point.”
“In addition to creating affordable homes for New Yorkers from a range of household incomes, including the formerly homeless, The Peninsula will strengthen the neighborhood through a combination of community programming, commercial, and artistic space,” said New York City Housing Development Corporation President Eric Enderlin. “This multifaceted project represents what can be achieved when we work together with our partners towards the goal of fostering a more equitable city for all. Congratulations to the Melrose community and all the new residents who will call The Peninsula home.”
“We need to support our artists and cultural organizations in every corner of New York to ensure they can continue to work here and generate the unmatched creative energy that defines our city,” said New York City Department of Cultural Affairs Commissioner Laurie Cumbo. “The Peninsula will not only provide much-needed affordable housing and jobs for New Yorkers but also create a vibrant community by integrating space for local artists and arts organizations. It’s important that we use the power of art and culture to transform this former detention center site into a space for healing and community. I applaud our partners at the mayor’s office and NYCEDC for working with us to provide space for artists and creativity in this new development, delivering an exciting new cultural resource for the Bronx.”
The nearby light industrial building, completed last year, offers several small production-based businesses affordable space to grow and create good jobs in and for the Hunts Point community. Current tenants include bakers, coffee roasters, and noodle, tamale, and greens producers, along with an organic knitting research, development, production, and training center. One building will also be home to a shared incubator kitchen that will be developed jointly with HotBread Kitchen, offering entrepreneurs who cook in their homes the opportunity to expand their production. The light industrial building is projected to create upwards of 100 jobs over the next five years.
The Peninsula was designed collaboratively by WXY Architecture + Urban Design and Body Lawson Associates Architects and Planners.
“One of the most important resources in the Bronx is affordable housing. For this reason, I welcome with great joy the first affordable housing development in The Peninsula,” said New York State Senator Luis Sepulveda. “This 14-story development will not only provide 183 permanent homes to individuals that are home insecure, but it will also help with the transformation of the area as Hunts Point moves forward. I applaud Mayor Adams for investing in the Bronx and look forward to working together to develop the community of Hunts Points as well as other areas in the borough.”
“The redevelopment of The Peninsula at the site of the former Spofford Juvenile Detention Center is a retaking of the neighborhood,” said New York State Assemblymember Amanda Septimo. “The addition of affordable housing and community spaces are investments in a stronger neighborhood and an important turn of the page for the Hunts Point community. It is long past time for Hunts Point to tell its own story. I am grateful for the leadership of the community partners, the development team, and the New York City Economic Development Corporation in bringing this historic project to reality.”
“Growing up in the South Bronx in the early ‘90s, the existence of the Spofford Juvenile Detention Center was ever-present,” said New York City Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr. “When kids misbehaved, parents would share stories of Spofford’s dark reality, a place kids could easily wind up if they continued acting out. Pained by Spofford’s tarnished history, the South Bronx pushed back and charted out a new course for the detention center. First, as the district manager of Community Board 2, and later as the local Councilmember, I worked with the administration and New York City Economic Development Corporation to redevelop Spofford as a place where our youth would be protected and could thrive. What came out of those efforts was a 740-unit, 100-percent affordable housing development, which included community facilities and green space, cultural arts programming, an early education youth center, and light industrial space for businesses. Today’s celebration of phase one’s completion is the culmination of the community’s hard work, and I am proud to have personally allocated $500,000 in capital dollars to pave the way for this day.”
“The Peninsula project, formerly the Spofford Juvenile Detention Center, in Hunts Point was for years a place characterized by pain, and today we are able to transform this space into a place of hope and opportunity,” said Ralph Acevedo, district manager, Bronx Community Board 2. “It has been great to work with our local Councilmember, NYCEDC, and the many community stakeholders to develop a community-driven plan that will truly serve the community. Today we celebrate this achievement and look forward to seeing this project come to full fruition.”
“The Peninsula is innovative in its unified approach to saving energy, waste, and water through its urban plan, which connects the community through the quality of its public spaces and architecture,” said Victor Body-Lawson, FAIA, principal, Body Lawson Associates Architects and Planners. “We applaud the creativity and vision of the agencies and development team for commitment to a better city.”
“Peninsula 1B is a groundbreaking development on two significant levels: It revitalizes and repurposes existing infrastructure in a sustainable manner and also creates new affordable housing units, which are in desperately short supply across the five boroughs,” said Edward Broderick, president and CEO, Gilbane Development Company. “As New Yorkers continue to deal with an emergency-level affordability crisis and mounting inflation, projects like this one are more vital than ever before. We look forward to continuing our work on transforming this site and contributing to the goal of creating a more livable and equitable city.”
“This is what community-led, equitable development looks like. Working with our local partners such as The Point CDC, Urban Health Plan, and Community Board 2, we shaped this development with stakeholder priorities front and center,” said Aaron Koffman, managing principal, The Hudson Companies. “It is with great pleasure to stand here today, on the former site of the Spofford Juvenile Detention Center, and deliver 183 brand new, 100-percent affordable units to the Hunts Point community. Today, we are one step closer to bringing affordable and sustainable housing at scale to neighborhoods across the city and, more importantly, transforming a symbol of oppression into a one of opportunity for the next generation. Our team is so proud to be a part of this effort, and we are looking forward to working on the next phases of the project in the next few years.”
“Inspiration Point Center for the Arts is thrilled to join this transformative initiative, in the borough responsible for some of the most significant cultural and artistic movements of our time,” said Daniel Freeman, director, Inspiration Point Center for the Arts. “Designed and developed specifically for Hunts Point, our nonprofit organization provides essential community programming, opportunities, and support for local artists, and affordable access to the arts. Inspiration Point is proud to work alongside our development and community partners and grateful for the support from the New York City Economic Development Corporation and the Department of Cultural Affairs in creating this community cultural destination.”
“Providing truly affordable housing for families and real economic development opportunities for small businesses of Hunts Point, the Bronx, and the city actualizes MHANY’s mission,” said Ismene Speliotis, executive director, MHANY Management. “MHANY is honored and proud to be part of rebuilding Hunts Point together with current residents and with the new residential and light industrial residents who will join us at The Peninsula buildings 1A and 1B. Generating opportunities, kindling hope, and sharing the joy on every new resident’s face is priceless, inspiring, and continually drives us to do better.”
“Hunts Point in the Bronx is bringing the future of 100-percent affordability in the design of a new approach to live-work neighborhoods,” said Claire Weisz, FAIA, founding principal, WXY Architecture + Urban Design.