Organization pushes to turn vacant building into community center

Posted: Updated:

One organization is pushing for a vacant building in Mott Haven to be turned into a place for health, education and the arts.

Parents in the neighborhood say a community center would be life-changing.

The 23,000-square-foot building has been vacant for nearly a decade.

Mychal Johnson, of South Bronx Unite, says the group started a community engagement process in 2013 to envision what the space could provide. As laid out in their feasibility report, they found an overwhelming need for health, education and the arts.

The group is calling for the building to be called the Hearts Community Center. It would be owned and operated by the Local Community Land Trust and offer programs to kids and adults.

Parents say with a jail possibly coming to the area, a community center is especially needed.

So far, the project has received support from Rep. Jose Serrano, Comptroller Scott Stringer and Councilwoman Diana Ayala. They've already met with the mayor's office and are now in the process of working to meet with the borough president and community board.

 

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