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Rendering of The Peninsula by BLA + WXY, courtesy of Gilbane Development Company Rendering of The Peninsula by BLA + WXY, courtesy of Gilbane Development Company
A $300 million project to transform an infamous juvenile detention center into a vibrant development with 740 affordable housing units and myriad community offerings hit an important milestone when the City Council unanimously approved The Peninsula in a 48-0 vote. The vote clears the way for the abatement, demolition, and remediation of the Spofford Juvenile Detention Center. From there, construction of the five buildings will occur in three phases, the first estimated for completion in 2021, the second in 2022, and the third and final phase in 2024. It will create more than 300 permanent jobs and approximately 1,000 temporary construction jobs.
“It’s a big day for justice in the Bronx," said Mayor Bill de Blasio in a statement. "As we move to build more than 700 affordable homes, open space and small businesses in Hunts Point on the site of the old Spofford facility, we are seeing a community rising and the righting of old wrongs.”
The Peninsula-Bronx-03 BLA + WXY, courtesy of Gilbane Development Company
“With over 700 affordable apartments, space for community organizations, small businesses and recreation, The Peninsula will soon transform a site associated with much notoriety and sadness into a thriving mixed-use campus and true community asset" - Maria Torres-Springer, HPD Commissioner
In October 2016, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and the Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) chose a consortium of developers led by Gilbane Development Company, the Hudson Companies and Mutual Housing Association of New York (MHANY) to redevelop the property bonded by Tiffany St., Spofford Ave., and Manida St. Details and images of the master plan designed by Body Lawson Associates and WXY have emerged on Gilbane’s website and new details on the project's goals of 100% affordable housing, good jobs, and recreational space for the Hunts Point community have been revealed.
Spofford View of central plaza (BLA + WXY, courtesy of Gilbane Developemnt Company)
The apartments are part of the de Blasio administration’s Housing New York plan that addresses the affordability crisis and will be reserved for a wide range of households earning incomes ranging from 30% to 110% of the AMI. 740 studios through four-bedrooms will have hardwood floors, dishwashers, and built-in energy efficient heat and air conditioning. The buildings will have solar panels on the roof and include such amenities as gyms, playrooms, laundry rooms, lounges, on-site underground parking spaces, and roof terrace access.
Gilbane says they are working closely with long-time community stakeholders and operators, including The Point Community Development Corporation, Urban Health Plan, Sustainable South Bronx, The Knowledge House, Casita Maria, Rocking the Boat, and BronxWorks. There will be an 16,000-square-foot health and wellness center operated by Urban Health Plan that will connect residents to quality primary and specialty health care. Approximately 50,000 square feet of light industrial space will include kitchen step-out space for food entrepreneurs. Over 50,000 square feet of community facility space anticipated 15,000 square feet of artist workspace.
Peninsula (BLA + WXY, courtesy of Gilbane Developemnt Company)
52,000 square feet of public space will include a new plaza, and an early childhood facility will be preserved and expanded with a dedicated playground. Additionally, there will be community development and education resources provided through a higher-education space with career-readiness programming, a Head Start facility with a playground, and co-working spaces geared toward small business incubation.
BLA + WXY, courtesy of Gilbane Developemnt Company View from Julio Carballo Fields on Manida Street (BLA + WXY, courtesy of Gilbane Developemnt Company)
Spofford Detention Spofford Avenue (BLA + WXY, courtesy of Gilbane Developemnt Company)
Gilbane expects many of the anticipated retail, commercial and industrial tenants to be Bronx-based organizations. The roster already includes Il Forno Bakery, Soul Snacks, Bascom Catering, Mass Ideation, Hunts Point Brewing Company, Lightbox NY film studio, The Point CDC, Space Works, the Bronx Academy of Arts and Dance, and space for a 15,000-square-foot supermarket.
“La Peninsula will be a transformative project for Hunts Point and the South Bronx, adding 100% affordable housing and new jobs while spurring economic growth through the creation of a vibrant hub for my community,” said Council Member and Land Use Chair Rafael Salamanca, Jr. “Together with organizations such as Urban Health Plan, The Point CDC and many others, we’ve advocated tirelessly to ensure that this project thoughtfully incorporates the much-needed community amenities to the neighborhood – and we got them. I’m grateful to our community leaders and partners who’ve helped take this incredible project one step closer to reality and look forward to our continued partnership to see this development to completion.”
Hunts Point Google Earth aerial Google Earth aerial with Spofford Juvenile Detention Center in the center (CityRealty)

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New Developments Editor Ondel Hylton Ondel is a lifelong New Yorker and comprehensive assessor of the city's dynamic urban landscape.