The city plans to open a homeless shelter at 2147 Bath Avenue to provide temporary shelter for 150 single men in the area by the end of this year.
“I have learned that there was no proposal presented to Community Board 11 and there has been no transparency in informing the local communities that the city is planning to build a homeless shelter at 2147 Bath Avenue,” said local Assemblyman William Colton.
Community Board 11 confirmed they have not received information, but have been receiving messages and calls from members of the neighborhood regardless. The city is required to inform the community 30 days before a shelter is located within it, however, no consent is required from the community.
The community board will be holding a meeting this Friday, January 29th at 11 am (which will be streamed here) in order to discuss the proposed shelter, given the strong opposition from the neighbors who have taken to sending them messages via the CB11 Facebook page to voice their concerns.
“I believe that this project will create serious safety and quality of life issues for the neighborhood without solving the basic homeless issue,” stated Colton.
The corner lot – 2147 Bath Avenue – is also known as 156-166 Bay 29 St, and was for years a storefront facing Bath Avenue (most recently occupied by Enterprise Car Rentals) and a three-story Victorian residential building.
The property changed hands on July 1, 2019, for $3.6 million and is now owned by an anonymous 156 Bay 29th Street LLC. Demolition permits were issued in the same year and in 2020, permits were approved to construct four three-story, three-family residential buildings with a cellar on the lot. Each small residential building would have about 1,000 square feet of residential space per floor, according to plans, which are not designed to accommodate a congregant facility.
The architect listed for the property is Henry Radusky of Bricolage Architects who have made news for breaking regulations several times in the past. In 2011, he and architect Douglas Pulaski were found responsible for the collapse of a building in Brighton Beach that led to the death of a construction worker. In 2009, Pulaski surrendered his self-certification, which is his right to certify without review that design and construction comply with codes. In 2002, Radusky’s certification was suspended for a year after inspectors found violations across 55 different jobs.
According to Community Board 11, the shelter will be operated by the Institute for Community Living (ICL). The non-profit organization, established in 1988, specializes in providing services for those suffering from serious mental illness or developmental disabilities.
In 2019, the nonprofit had revenue of over $115 million, of which just over $20 million were to operate two homeless shelters – one for veterans in Long Island City, and one for women with serious mental illness in Brooklyn, in total serving about 400 residents.
It is unclear at this time if the proposed shelter will provide residence for men with serious mental illness. Requests for information from the city were not returned in time for publishing.
Last month, the city presented plans to open another shelter, at 100 Neptune Avenue in Brighton Beach, which was met with opposition from the concerned community.
“If this shelter follows the rules, which the city imposes on its other shelters, the occupants will not be permitted to remain inside during the day but must return in the evening after being out all day,” said Colton. “As such it does not provide a permanent solution to solving the problem of homelessness and is not even open to the many homeless families.”