Demolition underway to reshape old Spofford jail site

Councilman Salamanca (c) with developers and dignitaries celebrating the start of demolition.
Photo courtesy of NYC EDC / Kreg Holt

Demolition is underway at a former juvenile detention center site that will become home to affordable housing and multipurpose live/work complex.

Boosters of the ‘The Peninsula’ gathered in Hunts Point on Friday, November 2, to celebrate the start of demolition on the infamous and now closed Spofford Juvenile Detention in Hunts Point.

Russo Demolition based in Lawrence, NY is the contractor on phase one of the three-phased project, with the demolition phase planned for completion in December, stated a NYC Economic Development Corporation spokeswoman.

Russo is a Women’s Business Enterprise stated the EDC spokesman, adding the company’s president is Jennifer Russo.

Construction on the five acre, $300 million redevelopment project that will include 740 units of affordable housing as well as recreation, commercial, community and retail space is expected to begin in winter 2019.

The project includes 52,000 feet of recreational space, 50,000 feet of light industrial space, 53,500 feet of artist community facility space and 15,000 feet of retail and commercial space that is planned for completion, along with the housing, by 2024.

Councilman Rafael Salamanca, who is a strong proponent of ‘The Peninsula,’ stated that the transformation of the site from a jail into the live/work campus with 100 percent affordable housing is a testament to the work of community, city and state leaders.

“The significance of this moment cannot be understated,” said Salamanca.

Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. said that the removal of the jail could be the removal of Hunts Point’s biggest eyesore.

“The re-imagining of Spofford is a tremendous step forward for the Bronx and a real victory for Hunts Point,” said Diaz.”

EDC put out a Request for Expressions of Interest in June 2015 that called for plans to redevelop the site.

The winning submission was a collaboration by Gilbane Development, Hudson Companies and Mutual Housing Association of New York.

Reach Reporter Patrick Rocchio at (718) 260–4597. E-mail him at procchio@cnglocal.com.
The building is undergoing the start of phase 1 of construction: its demolition.
Photo courtesy of NYC EDC / Kreg Holt

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