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Plan To Replace W. 108th St. Garages With Affordable Housing Moves Forward

By Jackson Chen | October 19, 2017 11:43am
 Plans were recently filed with the DOB for WSFSSH's expansion of Valley Lodge.
Plans were recently filed with the DOB for WSFSSH's expansion of Valley Lodge.
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MANHATTAN VALLEY — Controversial plans to demolish parking garages and a homeless shelter on West 108th Street and replace them with affordable apartments and senior housing were filed with the Department of Buildings Tuesday.

The project is being undertaken by the West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing, which currently owns the Valley Lodge transitional homeless shelter at 149 W. 108th St.

The new building would require the demolition of three neighboring garages and the current shelter to create a complex that rises to 11 stories, creating 194 units of affordable housing and 110 beds for homeless seniors.

The plans were filed by the city's Department of Housing Preservation and Development, as it owns the three nearby garages.

WSFSSH executive director Paul Freitag said his organization is moving through the city's approvals process and will hold a public meeting at Community Board 7 in the coming weeks. She added that WSFSSH is hoping to begin two years of construction next summer.

The project was introduced in the spring of last year and has since won support from more than 20 organizations, including the Goddard Riverside Community Center and West End Presbyterian Church, Freitag said.

"As we talk about the overwhelming need for affordable housing, which has been a clear, recognizable need both citywide and on the Upper West Side, people are very supportive of our project and the affordable housing it will be providing," he explained.

But the project is not without its detractors.

WSFSSH's main opposition comes from Save Manhattan Valley, a coalition of residents and organizations who prefer to retain the three parking garages.

The group was created in response to the Valley Lodge plans and claims the project will greatly impact their quality of life through the loss of hundreds of parking spots.