Edenwald YMCA proposal reaches BP Diaz’s desk

CB 12’s full board to vote on proposed Edenwald YMCA
Courtesy of YMCA

YMCA’s second Bronx outpost, set for the north Bronx will see shovels in the ground very soon.

After receiving a unamious “yea” vote from Community Board 12, the proposal’s next stop is the office of Borough President Ruben Diaz, Jr.

The proposed 50,000 square-foot facility could serve as a valuable resource to the neighborhood, while offering a place for families to enjoy recreational activities, as well as a number of programs to empower youth.

The facility will two pools and a basketball court.

“This request goes back 20 years, it’s been number one on our list,” said Community Board 12 district manager George Torres. “Community leaders want to see this come to fruition,” he added.

The construction of a recreation center for Edenwald has been a strong ‘want’ for residents and elected officals for some time. Support from Albany has propelled the project forward.

“This YMCA community center has long been a dream for so many, and moving into the public approval process means it is one step closer to becoming a reality and making a difference in the lives of thousands of families here in the Bronx. I have long maintained that this center is an investment in the future of our community – a sustainable and meaningful one that will empower our youth and instill a sense of pride,” said Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie.

The center, located at 1250 E. 229th Street, will also provide childcare, afterschool and summer camp, classes to improve health and wellness, and activities to strengthen the community, including senior adult programs and civic classes for new Americans.

“This YMCA center will bring together people of all ages and backgrounds, from kids in day camps to seniors seeking wellness programs to new Americans looking to participate in civics classes,” Heastie added.

The Edenwald YMCA will create 100 new permanent jobs that pay a living wage, as well as 101 temporary construction jobs.

It would be built in close proximity to the Edenwald Houses.

“For more than 40 years, we’ve been trying to establish a recreational center of this magnitude. Our district is one of the few districts without one,” said Councilman Andy King.

“It will serve thousands of residents in the 12th Council District as well as created jobs and eventually bring much needed activity and meeting space in our community,” he added.

“We intend to have shovels in the ground this fall,” said YMCA head of Real Estate Joe Chan. “We hope to have the project completed by the fall of 2020,” he added.

The first steps in construction would be to replace parts of the Christopher school due to its close proxmity.

After that, construction on the YMCA would begin.

So far, the proposal has received nearly unanimous praise.

“This is the perfect example of a private/public partnership,” Chan said. “The YMCA is lucky to work with such a motivated community,” he added.

“The YMCA is here for all New Yorkers, to empower youth, improve health, and strengthen community,” said Sharon Greenberger, president and CEO of the YMCA of Greater New York.

“We are so excited about this next step in the process. We look forward to working hand in hand with the Edenwald community to bring our mission to life in this new Y, and helping more people in the Bronx learn, grow, and thrive,” she added.