The Real Deal New York

Salvation Army’s senior residence move meets opposition

Tenants against proposed move from West End Avenue to East Harlem

June 17, 2014 02:40PM

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From left: 720 West End Avenue, Major James Betts, Helen Rosenthal and Letitia James

From left: 720 West End Avenue, Major James Betts, Helen Rosenthal and Letitia James

The Salvation Army wants to relocate seniors to a new residence with a community center, rooftop restaurant and library. But the East Harlem location of the facility has become a sticking point.

The organization claims it is too expensive to maintain the former Upper West Side hotel it has occupied for 45 years, the New York Daily News reported. The new residence would be built at East 125th Street and Third Avenue.

“We see a real renaissance happening in that neighborhood,” Major James Betts, general secretary for the Salvation Army, told the Daily News.

The Salvation Army will fund construction with the $108 million sale of 720 West End Avenue to developer Brack Capital Real Estate. The Salvation Army has agreed to pay moving costs and forego a rent increase for the first 18 months.

A group of seniors is planning to wage a legal fight to stay put. Before a deal is done, both the Attorney General’s charities bureau and a judge must approve the asset sale under New York State law, reports the Daily News. Meanwhile, Upper West Side Council member Helen Rosenthal and Public Advocate Letitia James have spoken up on behalf of tenants opposed to the move. [NYDN] – Tom DiChristopher

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