Ex-Army Reserve Center to provide housing for homeless vets

555 Neried Avenue on Tuesday, April 23.
Schneps Community News Group/ Alex Mitchell

The Doe Fund has finalized its plan to place homeless veterans in a north Bronx community.

It announced its intention to develop 90 new units of permanent, supportive and affordable housing at 555 Neried Avenue in Wakefield on the site of the former Joseph A. Muller Army Reserve Center on Tuesday, April 16.

Redesigned by MHG Architects, the four-story, 51,000 square foot development will convert a currently abandoned building into 54 studio units that will house homeless vets. The remaining 35 affordable units will be rented to low-income individuals, with a preference for local Bronxites, with one unit set aside for a live-in superintendent.

On-site building amenities will include social services administered by The Doe Fund, custodial staff, 24-hour security, a community laundry room, a bike room and a private side yard for residents and their guests.

The building will also include a 123-seat lecture hall that will be available to the Wakefield community for educational programs, cultural activities and Community Board 12 events.

Currently, the ex-military facility sits next to Montiefiore’s Wakefield Campus Annex at 4401 Bronx Boulevard and the Bronx River Metro North train tracks, which runs beneath the soon-to-be supportive housing.

The total gut renovation of the boarded up, fenced off property is expected to take until roughly 2021.

The former Army Reserve Center was acquired by The Doe Fund in September 2013; the nonprofit was able to obtain the property through the federal government’s Base Realignment and Closure program.

The mission of the Doe Fund is to combat the city’s homelessness crisis through affordable housing and necessary programing.

Since that time, The Doe Fund says it has worked closely with Wakefield residents to create a redevelopment plan that responds to local community needs, especially with respect to property revitalization, affordability and the creation of new community spaces.

CB12 expressed support of the project at its November 2017 board meeting.

CB12 chairman George Torres also said that the board worked with The Doe Fund to create a feasible and successful plan of action for the property.

The community rejected an earlier proposal to construct a 200-bed male shelter. The Doe Fund won over the community’s support when it was reworked into supportive housing.

“We are so very grateful for the input from community members and the surrounding neighborhood, and for all of the partners who helped make this project possible,” said George T. McDonald, founder and president of sponsoring agency. “Together, we can continue to improve the lives of our city’s most vulnerable residents,” he concluded.

The project was funded by NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, Sterling National Bank and Raymond James Tax Credit Funds, Inc. The development also received a social service operating grant awarded through NYC’s 15/15 Rental Assistance Program.

This is one of two major, recent projects announced by the Doe Fund in the Bronx. It previously announced plans to develop 255 units of affordable, supportive housing at 1331 Jerome Avenue in Mount Eden.

Rendering of a completed 555 Neried Avenue.
The Doe Fund

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