The West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing (WSFSSH) is well on its way to building the first residence of the Gateway Housing Development Initiative, the transformation of the 30-year-old Valley Lodge shelter into “WSFSSH at West 108,” a model mixed-use development that integrates transitional shelter, permanent affordable housing and community amenities on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. Gateway Housing has been working with WSFSSH and other leading New York City nonprofit service providers to redevelop existing shelter sites into residential buildings containing both transitional and permanent housing units, as well as amenities that strengthen the surrounding community.
One of New York City’s most experienced nonprofit affordable and supportive housing developers, WSFSSH closed on financing in December 2018 to redevelop Valley Lodge, a 92-bed shelter it operates for homeless seniors on West 108th Street, between Amsterdam and Columbus Avenues. The shelter building has been demolished (along with two adjacent City-owned parking garages) to make room for a new building that will have 110 shelter beds, 198 affordable permanent housing units (including 119 supportive housing apartments), and community facilities that include a healthcare center, office space for a local nonprofit, and new comfort stations for the adjacent playground.
The residents of the original shelter were moved to a temporary location at West 85th Street, in order to preserve valuable shelter capacity for older adults during construction. When construction of the new residence is completed, shelter residents will return to West 108th Street, and the West 85th Street location will be rehabilitated into permanent supportive housing.
The new building was designed by Dattner Architects, and the General Contractor is Procida Construction Corp. Capital financing for the shelter was provided through a first mortgage loan from Chase secured by the Department of Homeless Services contract; capital financing for the permanent housing was provided by the NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development Supportive Housing Loan Program, HDC Bond, HDC ELLA Loan, NYS OTDA/HHAP funding, plus federal low-income housing tax credits syndicated through the National Equity Fund (NEF) and secured by Chase. The project is currently finishing up demolition, and construction will begin in May 2019. The new Valley Lodge is expected to be open at the end of 2020, and the full building will be operational by early 2021. Below is a rendering of what the new residence will look like when completed.
“As a long-term partner in the movement to reconsider shelter design and homeless housing in NYC, WSFSSH was excited to forge an alliance with Gateway Housing in 2015, as the redevelopment of Valley Lodge Shelter was getting underway,” said Paul Freitag, Executive Director of West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing. “Many financing, design and programming options were examined and evaluated with Gateway. We are thrilled that the core concepts and the mission to create an inclusive home, expand the historic characterization of shelter, strengthen resident links to stable housing and engage the local community will be dynamic elements of WSFSSH at West 108.”