Rockabill Development and GoddardRiverside have partnered to transform an illegal Upper West Side hotel into a permanent supportive housing property and closed on $38 million to complete the project. Located at 235 West 107th Street, the building was zoned for residential use, but operated as The Morningside Inn, an illegal short-stay property.
The six-story building was constructed in 1912 and has 84 individual units that will be reconfigured to ensure that each home has a private bathroom. When complete, the reoriented space will yield 68 individual units and debut as the Stephan Russo Residence, named after GoddardRiverside Community Center’s former executive director.
“Every day our outreach teams speak with people living on the street who say they’d come indoors if they could have their own room,” said Roderick L. Jones, president of Goddard Riverside. “We look forward to opening the Stephan Russo Residence to give those people a chance at a better and more dignified life. We believe the neighborhood will also benefit when more people are housed.”
Rockabill Development and GoddardRiverside acquired the property in 2021 for $12.6 million according to reports. In the following years, the team made their plans to complete substantial interior renovations and to restore the building to its original use as a permanent affordable housing property.
Of the 68 households, 54 will receive supportive services and rental assistance through New York City’s 15/15 Supportive Housing Initiative, which provides supportive housing to people who are chronically homeless. Additional apartments include six affordable units for households at 60 percent area median income and eight units for existing long-term residents of the property whose deeply affordable rent will not increase.
Enhancements to the building will include new elevators, carpet removal and the installation of new hardwood flooring, façade repairs, and energy upgrades to bring the property up to current code. Specific energy upgrades include boiler and steam pipe replacements and the installation of a high-efficiency heating and cooling system.
Financing for the project includes an $18.4 million capital subsidy from the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development’s Supportive Housing Loan Program, a $14 million construction loan from Chase, and $700,000 in Reso A funding from both Manhattan borough president Mark Levine and council member Gale Brewer.
“As a longtime representative and resident of the Upper West Side, I know how much we need additional housing for people living on the street,” said Brewer. I’m proud to partner on this new residence with Goddard Riverside, a respected provider that runs four supportive housing buildings in Manhattan, including two in my district that have been there since the 1990s.”
Construction is slated to begin next month.