City backs $125.5 million project to build 183 units of affordable housing on the former site of the Spofford Juvenile Detention Center in Hunts Point

Built in 1957, the long-abandoned former detention center will become a vibrant mixed-use neighborhood enclave   

Rendering courtesy of WXY Architecture + Urban Design and Body Lawson Associates

New York, NY —The New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), Housing Development Corporation (HDC), and New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) joined development partners Gilbane Development Company, The Hudson Companies and MHANY Management Inc. (MHANY) to announce plans to construct the first residential phase of the Peninsula, a 100 percent affordable mixed-use development in the Bronx that will ultimately bring more than 700 units of housing, significant open space including a new public plaza, light industrial business opportunities, arts-oriented community facilities, and ground floor retail to the Hunts Point neighborhood. Located on the former site of the Spofford Juvenile Detention Center, the transformation of the long-vacant block represents a significant milestone for the South Bronx.

In partnership with NYCEDC, HDC, and HPD, the development team of Hudson, Gilbane and MHANY will begin construction in the coming weeks on the first residential phase of the Peninsula, which will include 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 rebirth of the abandoned Spofford Detention Center, which has been a looming symbol of despair for years, is a prime example of the type of investments the City is making to generate better outcomes for communities and residents. The Peninsula epitomizes this administration’s commitment to creating opportunity in every corner of the city, whether through housing, economic development, or other critical resources that bolster our neighborhoods and help New Yorkers thrive,” said HPD Commissioner Louise Carroll. “I thank our colleagues at NYCEDC as well as our development partners for their work to make this idea a reality, and I look forward to breaking ground on this transformative project.”

“HDC is proud to have contributed more than $68 million in bond financing and subsidy towards the first phase of this comprehensive affordable housing development,” said HDC President Eric Enderlin. “Thanks to the collaboration of many partners across government, nonprofit, and private sectors, as well as our local elected officials and community stakeholders, this now vacant site will soon be transformed into a dynamic resource for the South Bronx community.”

“Today marks a great leap forward towards a revamped and revitalized Hunts Point. With the first residential phase underway, affordable housing in the Peninsula will create new opportunities for the New Yorkers who need it the most,” said NYCEDC President James Patchett. “Thanks to the development team of Hudson, Gilbane and MHANY, and the continued support of Council Member Rafael Salamanca Jr. and other community leaders for helping support the community.”

“The Peninsula is a wonderful project, and I am proud to have provided it with funding from my own capital budget. This development is a metaphor for the positive rebirth and redevelopment of so many Bronx communities that were, for too long, neglected and ignored. With The Peninsula, we will see the redevelopment of Spofford—a prison for children—into new affordable housing options together with commercial and community space. This project is indicative of what we can achieve in our borough and our city, and I thank my colleagues in the government, non-profit and private sector for their partnership on this transformative reimagining of what once was a terrible burden on our borough,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.

“A collective effort by the Hunts Point community to erase the tainted legacy of Spofford, there was much to celebrate when plans were approved last year to bring 740 units of 100 percent affordable housing and community space to the former location of the detention center,” said Council Member Rafael Salamanca. “With the closing for the first residential phase finalized, we are one-step closer to realizing the opportunity that this project will bring to the neighborhood. As part of phase one of the project, expected to be completed in 2021, 183 units of much needed deeply affordable housing will be available to Bronxites. I look forward to working with NYCEDC, HDC and HPD, as well as the development team of Gilbane Development Company, Hudson Companies and MHANY Management to ensure the timely completion of phase one and thank them for their partnership in seeing out the development of La Peninsula.”

“With financing now in place for the first phase of the project, The Peninsula moves from vision to reality,” said Ed Broderick, President and CEO for Gilbane Development Company. “We are excited to be fully underway on bringing this important, transformative project to the people of the South Bronx.”

“We took pride in demolishing the Spofford Juvenile Detention Center earlier this year, which long stood as a symbol of fear in the South Bronx and devastated the lives of so many of the community’s young people," said Aaron Koffman, Principal at The Hudson Companies. "Today we celebrate a new day filled with promise, hope, and opportunity for this same site with 183 sustainable, affordable homes for area residents and well-paying jobs to bring brighter futures to Hunts Point. We thank our dedicated elected officials, members of Community Board 2 and the hardworking New Yorkers who help create these transformative developments in the various city and state agencies and made Peninsula 1B a reality.”

“This is a development we know will have significant positive impact on the residents of Hunts Point and the surrounding community.” said Ismene Speliotis, Executive Director of MHANY. “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.”

In its entirety, the Peninsula will bring 740 units of affordable housing to the Hunts Point section of the Bronx, as well as 52,000 square feet of open space, including a public plaza, 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, and 17,000 square feet of ground floor retail space. Once completed, 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.

Upon completion, the Peninsula project will be a cutting-edge industrial-commercial-residential project, embedding manufacturing jobs, health and wellness resources, and cultural arts work space to be operated by SpaceWorks.

The Peninsula will also offer community development and educational resources. This includes an on-site educational facility that will feature career-readiness programming, as well as below market rent workspace to local entrepreneurs. The project also includes a health and wellness center operated by Urban Health Plan, a community sponsor of the project.

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.

Stemming from a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) issued by EDC in 2015, the Peninsula fulfills a long-term goal of repurposing this long-abandoned site into a thriving community asset. 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.