Affordable Housing Project Opens at Former Juvenile Detention Center Site in Hunts Point

Real Estate In-Depth | June 23, 2022

Rendering of The Peninsula campus on the site of the former Spofford Juvenile Detention Center in Hunts Point. PHOTO CREDIT: WXY STUDIOS

NEW YORK—New York City Mayor Eric Adams and other city officials were on hand yesterday to cut the ribbon on a 183-unit affordable housing project developed on the former site of the Spofford Juvenile Detention Center in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx. The detention center was closed in 2011, after 54 years in operation with notoriously poor conditions for the youth detained there.

Mayor Adams was detained at Spofford when he was 15 years old.

Once complete, the full five-acre redevelopment project—called The Peninsula—will bring 740 affordable homes, an early childhood education center, a wellness center, a one-acre public plaza and a supermarket to Hunts Point.

“Today is a new day for Hunts Point and so many young people who were traumatized at Spofford,” said Mayor Adams. “I went from being a detainee here to becoming the mayor who is working to transform it. And now, we are taking a major step forward in that transformation and bringing this community the affordable homes, good-paying jobs, and public space they deserve.”

The $121 million, 100% affordable housing phase of this project also features retail space and studio space for emerging artists. The first phase of the project includes 183 affordable homes for New Yorkers earning between 30% and 80% of the area median income, with 18 homes specifically reserved for New Yorkers who previously experienced homelessness. The building also offers a wide range of amenities, including a community room, a children’s playroom, a fitness room, and bike storage space.

The development additionally includes a cultural arts center with a state-of-the-art black box theater, an art gallery, a dance studio, a coworking space, and 26 artist studios. Inspiration Point Center for the Arts—a Bronx-based nonprofit—will operate the space, which will also serve as a community space for local events. The ground floor includes a 5,000-square-foot retail space.

When the entire project is complete, The Peninsula will feature:

• Approximately 740 units of 100% affordable housing, with studio, one-, two-, three-, and some four- bedroom apartments;

• An early childhood education center designed in coordination with the New York City Department of Education and the New York City School Construction Authority;

• Recreational and community facilities, including artist studios, expanded programming for The Point Community Development Corporation (CDC), and a wellness center to be operated by community partner Urban Health Plan;

• Commercial space, including a supermarket; and

• Open space, including a one-acre landscaped public plaza.

New York City Mayor Eric Adams cuts the ribbon at the first phase of the Peninsula development in the Hunts Point section of the Bronx.

“NYCEDC is proud to work with the mayor, our city partners, and the community to redevelop the former Spofford Juvenile Detention Center into a place that meets the community’s most pressing needs and transforms the site into a symbol of hope,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President and CEO Andrew Kimball. “Once complete, The Peninsula will help create a more equitable and resilient economy in Hunts Point by providing affordable housing, community arts space, and good jobs.”

“The Peninsula is the result of a collaborative effort to invest in the South Bronx and create better outcomes for New Yorkers,” said New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development Commissioner Adolfo Carrión Jr. “What was once a long-dormant site with a painful past is now a vibrant affordable housing development with performing arts space, retail, and a light industrial building designed to support local entrepreneurs — with more still to come. Thanks to our partners and local elected leaders, we can deliver this innovative live-work campus to Hunts Point.”

A nearby light industrial building, completed last year, offers several small production-based businesses affordable space to grow and create good jobs in and for the Hunts Point community. Current tenants include bakers, coffee roasters, and noodle, tamale, and greens producers, along with an organic knitting research, development, production, and training center. One building will also be home to a shared incubator kitchen that will be developed jointly with HotBread Kitchen, offering entrepreneurs who cook in their homes the opportunity to expand their production. The light industrial building is projected to create upwards of 100 jobs over the next five years.

The Peninsula project team includes Gilbane Development Company, The Hudson Companies, and MHANY Management. The project was designed collaboratively by WXY Architecture + Urban Design and Body Lawson Associates Architects and Planners.

“After hosting our Bronx Week Ball at La Peninsula, once the site of the Spofford Juvenile Detention Center, I am excited to see this project’s continued transformation,” said Bronx Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson. “La Peninsula is a 68,000-square-foot facility in Hunts Point that represents our borough’s potential with new affordable housing, retail space on the ground level, an outdoor community room, studio space for inspiring artists, and other amenities that will truly enhance the neighborhood. I applaud the New York City Economic Development Corporation, community organizations, and the developers for their work in bringing this project to fruition and for bringing positive change to the South Bronx.”