Former Calhoun School Building to Become Women’s Shelter

Calhoun building 160 West 74th Street for sale

The Calhoun School’s former lower school building at 160 West 74th Street (between Columbus and Amsterdam avenues) will soon be converted into a women’s shelter.

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The building was sold earlier this year for $14 million to Bayrock Capital, a private investment firm. Cushman & Wakefield, which brokered the sale, said at the time that it would be converted into residences, per a report published in Crain’s New York Business.

Calhoun has since merged its lower school with Metropolitan Montessori School at 325 West 85th Street.

“This facility holds a capacity of 146 beds that will accommodate single adult women who are experiencing homelessness with safety, security, social services, and support in their time of need,” the Department of Social Services wrote to the office of Council Member Gale Brewer. “We expect that many of the residents at this shelter will have roots in this community and the Manhattan area more broadly.” The DSS also states the facility is expected to open in the fall of 2024.

More information was shared during Community Board 7‘s Preservation Committee meeting this week, where a proposal was made for the installation of a barrier-free chairlift at the building’s entrance, rooftop and rear additions, new mechanical equipment and more.

The service provider for the site will be Volunteers of America, “an anti-poverty organization working to end homelessness in the New York area by 2050.”

The non-profit’s interim president and CEO, Noelle Withers, referred to the site as a “temporary shelter” which will be equipped with both interior and exterior cameras and 24/7 security guards.

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“DSS has approached us to operate the site because we have a strong reputation for running high quality programs and being very responsive to community concerns,” Withers said. “We also have a strong record of maintaining high standards for program quality, safety accountability.”

Site-specific details were scarce.

“In terms of services, what I can tell you now is that we will have a full team of social service support staff on site with the goal of exiting all of these women into permanent housing as quickly as possible, and we’ll have other services on site to help them achieve permanent housing, to link to employment, etc,” said Withers. “And so, again, this is very early in the project to be able to tell you definitively and exactly what staffing and program services will look like. But I can tell you that we plan to come back before the community board, together with the Department of Social Services to give a much more detailed presentation on the program.”

Volunteers of America currently operates several sites on the UWS: Rose House at 305 West 97th Street, Regent Family Residence at 2720 Broadway, and one of the more recently opened migrant shelters, which she says is housing one-hundred families.


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