EDC delays bidding process on Covenant House’s 780K sf Hell’s Kitchen project

City investigating claims youth shelter inflated the number of people it helps
May 19, 2016 12:53PM

A city investigation into alleged fraud by the proprietors of Covenant House New York, a shelter for youth homeless people, is throwing a wrench into the city’s Economic Development Corporation’s effort to find a developer for a major Hell’s Kitchen project.

Covenant House was accused by a tipster to an anonymous hotline of severely inflating the number of people it serves as part of an effort to secure city funding for a new facility for the group.

The EDC put out a request for proposals (RFP) in January for a two-site, 780,000-square-foot mixed-use project on 10th Avenue at 40th Street, including 700 apartments, retail space, and a new 150,000-square-foot facility for the shelter.

Now, the agency – which has been fielding proposals for months, according to the New York  Times – is tapping the brakes.

“We have learned that certain allegations have been made against Covenant House,” EDC spokesperson Anthony Hogrebe told the Times, “and we do not plan to make a developer selection until the facts are more fully known.”

A spokesperson for Covenant House said the shelter would press on regardless.

“Even if the redevelopment project does not proceed — and that is a very big if,” Marcia Horowitz told the Times, “Covenant House is moving forward with the development of a new site, and Mr. Drury is leading that effort.” [NYT] – Ariel Stulberg