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Developer Planning 15-Story Homeless Shelter In South Bronx

The South Bronx's 1298 Inwood Ave., where plans filed last week call for a 15-story homeless shelter.

A developer specializing in luxury condos and multifamily is trying something new: a homeless shelter in the South Bronx.

The developer behind luxury residential condo towers 5th On The Park and 240 Manhattan Ave. is building a homeless shelter in the Mount Eden neighborhood, according to records filed with the New York City Department of Buildings last week.

David Sjauw, Court Square Real Estate’s principal, is registered as the owner, although the development itself will be completed by a company named 1298 Inwood Developers, according to public documents submitted to the DOB on Oct. 13. 

The property — a squat, red-brick building at 1298 Inwood Ave. with commercial space at street level — sits along the Jerome Avenue commercial corridor. If the DOB approves Sjauw’s request, the two-story building would be demolished in favor of a 15-story, 166K SF shelter providing 195 units.

The ground floor, which is commercially zoned, would become a community space. The developer plans to spend roughly $35M on the project, according to the filing.

Architecture firm Curtis + Ginsberg, whose portfolio includes NYCHA developments in Coney Island and Crotona, is listed as the architect of record for the planned shelter.

Neither Sjauw nor representatives for NYC’s Department of Social Services responded to requests for comment from Crain’s New York Business, which first reported the shelter.

News of the development comes as the city’s shelters buckle under the pressure of the number of unhoused people. The city broke its 2019 record for the number of adults in shelters earlier this month, Gothamist reported. The surge is being blamed on politicians in Texas and Florida bussing and flying migrants into the city, as well as surging rental costs pushing existing residents out of their homes.

The strain on the city’s shelters is so severe that Mayor Eric Adams declared a state of emergency over the number of new migrants arriving in NYC, set up a tent city on Randall’s Island and has even considered utilizing cruise ships to shelter new arrivals.

Adams has also asked affordable developers to remove units from the city’s housing lottery and instead offer them as accommodation for unhoused people, Crain’s previously reported.

However, plans filed by Sjauw are unlikely to provide imminent relief. The construction timeline is unclear, and demolition permits haven't yet been filed, according to Crain’s.