The development at 555 Nereid Ave will transform the site of the former Joseph A. Muller Army Reserve Center in the Wakefield section of The Bronx, and include community space and a host of other special amenities.
THE BRONX, NEW YORK – Yesterday, New York City-based nonprofit organization The Doe Fund announced plans to develop 90 new units of permanent, supportive, and affordable housing in the Wakefield section of The Bronx on the site of the former Joseph A. Muller Army Reserve Center. The total gut renovation of the Center is expected to last about two years.
The four-story, 51,000 sq.ft. development was redesigned by MHG Architects and will convert the site into 54 studio units targeted to formerly homeless veterans — a population in critical need of supportive services. The remaining 35 affordable units will be rented to low-income individuals, with a preference for local residents, with one unit set aside for a live-in superintendent.
The former Army Reserve Center was acquired by The Doe Fund in September 2013 when it was conveyed to the organization by the federal government through its Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) program. Since that time, The Doe Fund has worked closely with Wakefield residents to create a redevelopment plan that responded to local community needs, especially with respect to property revitalization, affordability, and the creation of new community spaces.
“We are deeply proud to transform the former Joseph A. Muller Center into 90 modern, beautiful, high-quality homes for people who desperately need stability after experiencing hardship and homelessness, especially for the 54 veterans who have bravely served our country and who will soon call 555 Nereid Avenue home,” said George T. McDonald, Founder and President of The Doe Fund. “We are so very grateful for the input from community members and the surrounding neighborhood, and for all of the partners who helped make this project possible so that, together, we can continue to improve the lives of our city’s most vulnerable residents.”
Development funding sources include NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD), Sterling National Bank, and Raymond James Tax Credit Funds, Inc. The development also received a social services operating grant awarded through New York City’s 15/15 Rental Assistance Program.
On-site building amenities will include social services administered by The Doe Fund, a live-in superintendent, custodial staff, 24-hour security, a community laundry room, a bike room, and a private side yard for residents and their guests. The building will also include a unique amenity: a 123-seat lecture hall theater that will be available to the community for educational programs, cultural activities, and local community board events.
Last week, The Doe Fund announced plans to develop 255 units of affordable, supportive housing at 1331 Jerome Avenue, located in the Mount Eden neighborhood in The Bronx. Both developments will join The Doe Fund’s substantial portfolio of supportive, affordable, and transitional housing serving populations in need across New York City. The Doe Fund is on track to double its portfolio of affordable and supportive housing by 2020.
“Supportive housing is one of the most effective, long-term solutions to the crisis of homelessness. By pairing 90 new affordable homes with supportive services, this project will provide greater stability and hope to some of our city’s most vulnerable residents, including 54 veterans,” said acting NYC HPD Commissioner Eric Enderlin. “I want to thank The Doe Fund for partnering with us to transform this former army reserve center into a path to a more promising future for residents of 555 Nereid Avenue in The Bronx.”
“Sterling National Bank is grateful for the opportunity to work with The Doe Fund, one of New York City’s premier providers of affordable, supportive and transitional housing,” said K. James Dittbrenner, Senior Vice President, Community Development Banking. “The Doe Fund has created an adaptive reuse project at the former Joseph A. Muller Center that will provide beautiful and safe housing with supportive services for 90 individuals. It is especially exciting that 54 units will be provided to men and women who have bravely served our country.”
Darryl Seavey, Managing Director Northeast Region for Raymond James Tax Credit Funds, Inc said, “Raymond James is thrilled to once again partner with The Doe Fund on the redevelopment of the former Joseph A. Muller Army Reserve Center. The repurposing of the long-dormant structure will breathe new life and vitality into the building, while providing 90 safe, clean, and affordable homes for a very vulnerable segment of the population. Raymond James is particularly proud to provide quality housing for 54 deserving veterans that have served the nation in the Armed Forces as The Doe Fund continues its critical mission to deliver housing for deserving low income New Yorkers.”
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About The Doe Fund
Founded by George McDonald in 1985, The Doe Fund provides permanent and transitional housing, work opportunities, and supportive services to people with histories of poverty, incarceration, homelessness, and substance abuse and individuals with disabilities. In addition to the organization’s citywide portfolio of affordable and supportive permanent housing, its flagship transitional work program, Ready, Willing & Able, co-created by Harriet and George McDonald, has served over 23,000 men since its inception in 1990.