After a proposal for veterans housing fell through at the vacant “Pelham Grand” building in Pelham Bay, four non-profit groups have designs on the former hospital building for social service programs.
Some of the groups could be undercapitalized, and would have to vie for government dollars, possibly giving Community Board 10 an opening to express its views on the matter, said Community Board 10 district manager Kenneth Kearns.
It is also up to the owner, communications mogul Moujan Vadhat, to approve of any plan, said Kearns.
“Their proposals are only their pipe dreams,” said Kearns. “These organizations run programs and they have heard of a vacancy in the area, and each one of them wants to move their program in. But I have no idea what the owner wants, and I have no ideas what the owner thinks.”
“We have not spoken to the owner, and he has not spoken to us,” he added. “It is private property and the only real jurisdiction that we have is to comment if government funds are used.”
The Community Board 10 municipal services committee will discuss the ideas at a meeting at the board office, at 3165 E. Tremont Avenue, on Tuesday, May 13 at 7:30 p.m.
The programs, all referrals from the city Human Resources Administration or Department of Homeless Services, run the gamut of social services: recovering veterans, homeless housing, housing for single mothers with children, and drug programs, said Kearns.
List of groups
According to the district manager, the organizations with the ideas are:
•Neighborhood Association for Inter-Cultural Affairs
•Love Conquers All
•Toulwani Helping Hands
Ben Randazzo, chief-of-staff for Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, said that his office was also contacted by one of the organizations. He has also gotten a small amount of information on the other three ideas.
He also said that his office had been in touch with Vadhat.
“We have spoken with the owner over a period of time, telling him the use has to meet with community approval, or be something we feel would really be good for the community,” said Randazzo, “or I hate to say it, the lesser of the evils.”
“They all have something sticky about them, from the little bit that I have read,” he said of the latest plans.
The building, at 1870 Pelham Parkway South at the corner of St. Paul Avenue, was home to Pelham Bay General Hospital for many years. It was later a branch of Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center.