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TriBeCa Sober House Prepares to Welcome First Residents

TRIBECA — This isn't your typical halfway house.

Tribeca Twelve, the new sober living space designed for college students which opens next month on West Broadway, feels more like a luxury loft than a clinical facility.

The six-story former warehouse features plush furniture, flat-screen TVs, stainless steel kitchens, marble-framed fireplaces and bedrooms flooded with natural light.

"We wanted to give people a serene place to recover and reorganize themselves," said Judith Moyers, a board member of Hazelden, the organization behind Tribeca Twelve.

"Having a serene place in New York is pretty hard. [But] this is just fabulous. I think it will work."

Tribeca Twelve — named for the abstinence-based, 12-step program Hazelden uses in all of its facilities around the country — will welcome its first eight students Aug. 13 and will fill all 30 spaces by January, said Mark Mishek, Hazelden's president and CEO.

Mishek said he has received inquiries from all over the country and expects that the house, which is the first of its kind in Manhattan, will soon have a lengthy waitlist.

"There's a huge demand for this service," Mishek said during a recent tour of Tribeca Twelve.

The sunny building at 283 West Broadway will serve men and women 18 to 29 years old who are either in school or are planning to return.

They will likely come to Tribeca Twelve after a more intensive detox program and must be ready to live independently, with all the temptations that New York offers, including several bars within one block of their new home.

The residents will have recovery coaches and other supportive services, provided in partnership with Columbia University's Department of Psychiatry, and they will also be subject to drug testing and unannounced searches so staff can detect relapses quickly.

The program costs $5,000 to $5,500 a month, and residents are expected to stay for six to 12 months.

A small outpatient clinic on the ground floor of the building will host counseling sessions, AA meetings and other group events.

One of the building's most attractive amenities is a 1,600-square-foot roof deck that offers views of TriBeCa Park, the rising World Trade Center and the Chrysler Building.

The roof deck is now just a raw space, but Hazelden is working with architecture and design students from around the country on ideas for converting it into a homely place for the residents to relax.

Nine teams of finalists presented their designs to Hazelden's leaders this week, offering visions of gardens, barbecues, fountains, trees and lawns. Hazelden will pick the winners soon and begin implementing their designs.

For one of the entrants, Nadine, an undergraduate student at the Fashion Institute of Technology, the project had a deep personal meaning. Nadine, who requested her last name not be used, recently spent several months in a therapeutic clinic, where she said she had a transcendent moment of feeling that for the first time in years, she was content with her life.

The rooftop Nadine designed features hammocks, communal seating, flowering herbs and sheltered benches.

"I want it to be very relaxing," Nadine told Hazelden's leaders.

"I've been through this myself. I would love to be part of the healthy steps young people can take to get better."