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City okays plan to turn parking garage into 280-unit housing development

The city has approved a land-use proposal to build a 279-unit affordable housing development on a city-owned parking garage site in Manhattan Valley

The project, on West 108th Street between Amsterdam and Columbus avenues, will also include a new community health center, upgrades to an adjacent park, and the renovation of a nearby school athletic field.

“This project is a huge win for our community,” said Council Member Mark Levine. “It will provide desperately needed affordable housing, social services, medical care, park improvements, school upgrades, and more.

“A revitalized 108th Street will be a vibrant, welcoming new destination for local residents of all backgrounds, and I am incredibly proud we were able to secure so many benefits for the neighborhood.”

Levine has been working with the local community for two years to fine-tune the plan. He said, “At every turn, one fact was made unequivocally clear: the overwhelming majority of residents in my district believe we need to prioritize subsidized housing over subsidized parking.”

Earlier this year, the project — which will be developed and operated by the West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing, Inc. (WSFSSH) — received unanimous approval from Community Board 7, the Department of City Planning, and Borough President Gale Brewer.

119 of the development’s new units will be supportive housing, 79 will be affordable units set aside for families earning 60 percent or less of the area median income, and 81 will be set aside for seniors.

Additionally, Valley Lodge, an existing WSFSSH homeless shelter considered a model of a well-run facility, will be rebuilt with 110 units for adults over aged 50.

A new $2 million synthetic turf field will replace the worn-out sports field at Booker T. Washington Middle School and a 6,000 s/f Community Health Center will be created on the ground floor of the new building, to be run by The Institute for Family Health;

There will be major upgrades for the adjacent Anibal Aviles playground, including a comfort station with two new public restrooms, reconstruction of the western portion of the playground to include a sitting area for seniors, and placement of a Parks Department worker to provide additional maintenance and educational programming;

The new building will have two interior meeting places for community programming; three parking spaces for the Central Park Medical Unit’s off-duty ambulances; and a storage space for the Bloomingdale Family Preschool Program.

In order to mitigate the loss of parking from the existing site’s garages, Levine successfully petitioned the Department of Transportation to implement angle parking on the south side of West 104th street between Amsterdam and Manhattan Avenue, creating 33 new spaces. The conversion is expected to happen this summer, pending consultation with the Community Board.

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