The proposed homeless shelter at a former factory in Glendale won't be moving forward, according to the city's Department of Homeless Services.
When a crew of workers recently showed up in front of 78-16 Cooper Ave. in Glendale, it immediately caught the attention of nearby residents.
The old manufacturing building located there was once slated to become a "transient hotel" for homeless people and was widely opposed by Community Board 5 and other citizens who created the Glendale/Middle Village Coalition and filed a lawsuit against the city.
The commotion at the site this week, however, was nothing but repairs to a water main break, according to a spokesman for the Department of Environmental Protection.
A Department of Transportation document confirms that on Jan. 8 at 9:54 a.m., an emergency permit was issued to repair a water main leak at the location. A Bronx-based private company, New York City Water Works LLC, was granted permission to do the work and the permit is valid until Feb. 6.
Councilman Robert Holden initially released a statement on Facebook saying that he fielded a number of inquiries from members of the community and reported that the DEP was doing work at the site. He then released a follow-up statement including a copy of the DOT permit.
"Please know that you can always contact me to get to the bottom of a concern and don't rely on social media rumors," Holden said.
Late on Friday, Jan. 12, a spokesperson for the Department of Homeless Services confirmed to QNS that "there is currently no shelter operating on premises and we currently have no proposal for this site." Samaritan Daytop Village, the human services organization that was going to operate the Cooper Avenue site, gave a similar statement acknowledging its past involvement and confirming that it "will not be providing any services or operating any program at the Glendale location."
Records from the Department of Buildings appear to indicate when the shelter plans may have changed. Shortly after it was reported that the initial plans for the shelter were approved, DOB records show that a proposed renovation to the four-story structure submitted by George E. Berger & Associates was approved on April 2, 2015. Over the next two years, there were three amendments to the renovation approved under the same applicant, the records show.
The last amendment under that applicant was approved one year ago on Jan. 11, 2017. Since then, there were two additional amendments proposed in June of 2017 under a new applicant, SW Engineering Company. George E. Berger & Associates is listed as the filing representative on those amendments.
One of those amendments was approved, and the other is still pending with the amendment fee due, records show.
While it appears there are still some potential renovations to the Cooper Avenue building, residents can finally be assured that it won't be a homeless shelter.