The Bronx's infamous Spofford Juvenile Detention Center (aka Bridges Juvenile Center) may soon get a new life as a center of affordable housing, DNAinfo reports.
The jail—located in Hunts Point—was shuttered after operating for 54 years as a "vermin-infested detention center" that held "about 100 youth in dark cells with no air conditioning." Neighborhood activists pushed for its closure for years, finally achieving their goal in 2011.
Now, the New York City Economic Development Corporation is looking for a developer to take over the site and turn it into affordable housing, as well as commercial space that would bring much needed jobs to the area. The site is made up of four parcels spread across 207,000 square feet, part of which is occupied by a Head Start program called La Peninsula; as such, any proposal will have to incorporate the program into its redevelopment plan.
"For years, the Hunts Point community has sought a vibrant, progressive use for the Spofford Campus, and we look forward to examining proposals that advance the Mayor's affordable housing goals and create new live/work opportunities in The Bronx," said NYCEDC Interim President Kim Vaccari.
The NYCEDC has issued a request for expressions of interest, and anyone is able to submit a proposal, which are due on October 1. According to DNAinfo, the city is encouraging developers "to consider using the site for anything ranging from cultural programs to manufacturing."
· Spofford, Notorious Youth Jail, May Be Redeveloped into Affordable Housing [DNAinfo]
· Bronx's notorious Spofford, aka Bridges Juvenile Center, finally shut down [NYDN]