The Peninsula, A 100% Affordable Mixed-Use Bronx Development

Posted on November 04, 2019, 6:26 pm
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Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Vicki Been, New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) President and CEO James Patchett, New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), Housing Development Corporation (HDC) Executive Vice President Development Anthony Richardson, Council Member Rafael Salamanca, Jr., Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr., Assembly Member Marcos Crespo, Senator Luis R. Sepúlveda, and representatives from Gilbane Development CompanyHudson Companies and MHANY Management, Inc. today broke ground on the Peninsula. The transformational project will convert the former Spofford Juvenile Detention Center into a vibrant, mixed-use development that will bring more than 700 units of affordable housing, open space including a new public plaza, light industrial business opportunities, community facilities, and ground floor retail to the Hunts Point neighborhood.

NYCEDC, HDC, and HPD in partnership with the development team Hudson Companies, Gilbane Development Company and MHANY will begin construction on the first phase of the Peninsula. Phase one will include 56,000 square feet of industrial space – designed to support various Bronx-based small to medium-sized industrial and light manufacturing businesses – in addition to 183 units of deeply affordable housing – studios to three-bedroom units – for extremely low-, very low-, and low-income New Yorkers. An additional 10 percent of the units will be set aside for formerly homeless individuals. The first residential phase is expected to be completed in 2021.

“The Peninsula is a physical manifestation of this administration’s commitment to building inclusively and equitably,” said Deputy Mayor Vicki Been. “This project transforms the former Spofford Juvenile Detention facility into much needed affordable housing, open space, community facilities, and locally-owned manufacturing and retail space for good-paying jobs. We are closing the chapter of a long dormant site and making critical investments for a strong, vibrant neighborhood.”

Today’s groundbreaking marks a significant step toward redevelopment of the former Spofford Juvenile Detention Center into a vibrant, mixed-use campus in the South Bronx. The Peninsula will deliver over 700 affordable homes, community facilities, manufacturing space, open space and more to the Hunts Point community while creating hundreds of good-paying jobs for New Yorkers,” said NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett. “We’re grateful for the support of our city partners, Councilmember Rafael Salamanca, Jr., Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., Assembly Member Marcos Crespo, Senator Luis R. Sepúlveda, our development partners, and all of the community leaders and activists who worked hard to make today possible.”

“With today’s groundbreaking, we begin the transformation of a former detention center into a vibrant affordable housing campus and wellspring of economic opportunity. The Peninsula is the result of a collaborative interagency effort to invest in our communities and create better outcomes for the New Yorkers we serve,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “I thank our colleagues at NYCEDC, as well as our local elected officials and community partners for supporting this project and the South Bronx community.”

“The Peninsula will ultimately transform this now-vacant site into over 700 units of affordable housing, in addition to dynamic commercial, community, and public space,” said HDC President Eric Enderlin. “Congratulations to our partners and elected officials on reaching this important milestone for the Hunts Point community.”

The former Spofford Juvenile Detention Center was in operation for more than 50 years before it closed in 2011. The Peninsula, a 5-acre, mixed-use development will deliver 740 units of affordable housing, approximately 52,000 square feet of publicly accessible open space, 56,000 square feet of light industrial space, including a kitchen step-up space for food business entrepreneurs, 53,500 square feet of community space, including a day care center, and artist workspace to be operated by SpaceWorks. This includes an on-site educational facility that will feature career-readiness programming, a health and wellness center operated by Urban Health Plan, and 17,000 square feet of ground floor retail space. Once complete, the residential units, ranging in size from studios to four-bedrooms, will be affordable to low-and moderate-income families earning a wide variety incomes. The entire Peninsula project is expected to be completed by 2025.

“Today’s groundbreaking marks a new beginning for Hunts Point. The transformation of this space is testament to the City’s commitment to implement reforms that are responsive to the needs of young people as well as the community at-large. I want to commend the efforts of all who were involved in moving this project forward, as it will positively impact New York City for years to come,” said ACS Commissioner, David A. Hansell.

“For more than five decades, the grounds of Spofford Juvenile Detention Center symbolized a system that caused much pain and despair,’ stated Council Member Rafael Salamanca, Jr. “While we will never forget the terrible legacy of Spofford, a transformative movement spearheaded by the community has led to a groundbreaking of hope. With the beginning of construction on phase one, the South Bronx is seeing the positive change that will produce 740 units of 100 percent affordable housing and hundreds of thousands of square feet of community space, job creation and training, a health and wellness center, and much more.”

“Despite the progress we have made, lack of access to quality affordable housing continues to be in an issue in NYC, particularly in communities like the Bronx,” said Congressman José E. Serrano.  With the construction of the new Spofford-Peninsula project, nearly 700 individuals and families in the Bronx, including many formerly homeless people, will now have access to an affordable housing unit by 2025. The allocation of 56,000 square feet of industrial space for the construction of various Bronx-based small to medium-sized industrial and light manufacturing businesses, retail space, and community development initiatives, will also help spur local economic development. I applaud and thank the NYCEDC for choosing to invest in the Bronx through mixed-use projects that help spur economic development while addressing residents’ needs.”  

“The reimagining of Spofford, replacing the juvenile detention center with affordable housing, living wage jobs, day-care opportunities, health opportunities and retail, is a tremendous step forward for The Bronx, emblematic of the transformative changes we have seen in the borough since I took office,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.

“Breaking ground at the Peninsula marks a historic day for the Bronx, which has too often born the weight of inadequate housing and lack of resources and investment,“ said Senator Luis R. Sepúlveda. “Starting this phase of the Peninsula symbolizes a just revitalization of Hunts Point and concrete progress towards an inclusive, sustainable, and empowering space for our communities to prosper in. I thank everyone who was involved in the planning of this visionary project and look forward to seeing its completion in 2021, with the economic and social justice it will bring to Bronx-based businesses and residents for years to come.”

“The redevelopment of the former Spofford Juvenile Detention Center on the Peninsula in Hunts Point is a great example of the kind of city investment we need across the Bronx – one that promotes community wellness, supports local businesses, and provides quality affordable housing to low-income families at risk of becoming homeless. I am extremely grateful to the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development, the Housing Development Corporation – as well as my fellow Bronx elected officials Council Member Rafael Salamanca, Jr., Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., and Assembly Member Marcos Crespo – for their leadership on this project. I look forward to working together to make this project a success for the Hunts Point community,” said State Senator Alessandra Biaggi (D-Bronx/Westchester).

“Based on a community vision of neighborhood transformation, The Peninsula is a prime example of what we can achieve when public-private partnerships drive change that lifts up residents and turn challenges into opportunities,” said Ed Broderick, President and CEO, Gilbane Development Company. “This kind of smart growth offers a brighter future that truly delivers for South Bronx families — our team is proud to bring the project to reality.”

“It is a great day for Hunts Point and the South Bronx. No longer will a building stand as a symbol of fear and hopelessness on this site; but rather as a sign of hope, potential and progress for the region. With 740 sustainable, affordable apartments and numerous permanent work opportunities, The Peninsula will embody something Justice Sonia Sotomayor once wrote, ‘As you discover what strength you can draw from your community in this world from which it stands apart, look outward as well as inward. Build bridges instead of walls,” said Aaron Koffman, Principal, The Hudson Companies, Inc.

“The Peninsula will have significant positive impact on the residents of Hunts Point and the surrounding community,” said Ismene Speliotis, Executive Director at MHANY Management. “This public/for-profit/not-for-profit partnership provides a full range of opportunities in affordable housing, economic development and community programming and MHANY is proud to be a member of this team and this comprehensive endeavor.”

“The Community Board is excited to see the next step in the construction of La Peninsula. At the end, this project will benefit everyone. We continue to thank the developers and Councilman Salamanca for their support,” said Ralph Acevedo, District Manager of Bronx Community Board 2.

“The redevelopment is transformative for the Hunts Point community, addressing many of the social determinants of health.  Urban Health Plan is proud to be an active partner and to provide health and wellness services.  The Peninsula is aligned to our integrated, holistic approach to community health and wellness,” said Paloma Izquierdo-Hernandez, President and CEO, Urban Health Plan.

“LISC NYC congratulates MHANY, Gilbane and Hudson Companies on the groundbreaking of the Peninsula, a project that truly embodies equitable development in New York City, said” Eva Neubauer Alligood, LISC NYC Interim Executive Director. “By bringing much needed affordable housing, open space, light industrial business opportunities, arts-oriented community facilities and ground floor retail to the former site of the Spofford Juvenile Detention Center, the project will enable the Hunts Point community to start a new chapter built on equity, inclusion and opportunity. LISC NYC is proud to have helped MHANY finance light industrial space that will enable small businesses to flourish and provide good jobs for community residents.”

“Wells Fargo is thrilled to be a small part of this transformational project.  Our goal is to finance and invest in projects that will make significant impacts in the communities that we serve, and Peninsula is a perfect example of the kind of work we love to do every day,” said Page Travelstead, Senior Vice President of Community Lending and Investment, Wells Fargo. Once completed, this five acre project will provide new housing and community focused retail to the site of a former juvenile detention center and will make a meaningful difference here in New York City, and the South Bronx specifically. It was a pleasure to work with the entire team on closing the first phase in June, and we can’t wait to see the completed buildings!  Congratulations to Gilbane, Hudson Companies, MHANY, HPD, HDC, EDC and all of the other City and State stakeholders that made this project a reality.”

NYCEDC invested significantly in the industrial component of phase one, including an allocation of $15 million through the IDF award and $3 million through the IDLF program. The $121.5 million residential phase one of the Peninsula was financed by HPD and HDC. The construction loan will be serviced by Wells Fargo Bank, which is also the Low Income Housing Tax Credit equity investor. The land is being conveyed to new ownership under a ground lease with the City facilitated by EDC. The project was designed collaboratively by WXY Architecture + Urban Design and Body Lawson Associates.

In June 2015, NYCEDC issued a request for expressions of interest (RFEI) to redevelop the vacant site. The Peninsula fulfills a long-term goal of repurposing this site into a thriving community asset and represents a significant milestone for the South Bronx. The development process has been guided by local elected officials, residents and stakeholders, including Council Member Rafael Salamanca, Jr., Urban Health Plan, The Point CDC, Bronx Community Board 2, BronxWorks, the Hunts Point Alliance for Children, City Year, Youth Ministries for Peace and Justice, Casita Maria Center for Arts and Education, Sustainable South Bronx and more.

Today’s groundbreaking follows the unanimous approval by the City Council as part of the City’s public review process in March 2018. Additionally, the development team has committed to a 35% MWBE participation goal and will partake in HireNYC, a free NYCEDC program that connects the City’s workforce development services to various projects.

About NYCEDC

New York City Economic Development Corporation is a mission-driven, non-profit organization that creates shared prosperity across New York City by strengthening neighborhoods and growing good jobs. NYCEDC works with and for communities to provide them with the resources they need to thrive, and invests in projects that increase sustainability, support job growth, develop talent, and spark innovation to strengthen the City’s competitive advantage. To learn more about our work and initiatives, please visit us on FacebookTwitter, or Instagram.

About New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (NYC HPD)

The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) is the nation’s largest municipal housing preservation and development agency. Its mission is to promote quality housing and diverse, thriving neighborhoods for New Yorkers through loan and development programs for new affordable housing, preservation of the affordability of the existing housing stock, enforcement of housing quality standards, and educational programs for tenants and building owners. HPD is tasked with fulfilling Mayor de Blasio’s Housing New York Plan which was recently expanded and accelerated through Housing New York 2.0 to complete the initial goal of 200,000 homes two years ahead of schedule—by 2022, and achieve an additional 100,000 homes over the following four years, for a total of 300,000 homes by 2026.  For full details, please visit nyc.gov/hpd and for regular updates on HPD news and services, connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @NYCHousing.

About New York City Housing Development Corporation (NYC HDC)

The New York City Housing Development Corporation (HDC) is the nation’s largest municipal Housing Finance Agency and is charged with helping to finance the creation or preservation of affordable housing under Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Housing New York plan. Since 2003, HDC has financed more than 180,000 housing units using over $23.5 billion in bonds and other debt obligations, and provided in excess of $2.9 billion in subsidy. HDC ranks among the nation’s top issuers of mortgage revenue bonds for affordable multi-family housing on Thomson Reuter’s annual list of multi-family bond issuers. In each of the last seven consecutive years, HDC’s annual bond issuance has surpassed $1 billion. For additional information, please visit nychdc.com.

Jonas Bronck is the pseudonym under which we publish and manage the content and operations of The Bronx Daily.™ / Bronx.com - the largest daily news publication in the borough of "the" Bronx with over 1.5 million annual readers. Publishing under the alias Jonas Bronck is our humble way of paying tribute to the person, whose name lives on in the name of our beloved borough.