The former Brandon Residence, a nine-story building at 340 West 85th Street that housed single women for more than 60 years, is expected to be sold and turned into housing for seniors who need social and health services.
We first reported on the potential sale of the Brandon last year. It is one of the more unique properties in the neighborhood: a women-only SRO that offered private rooms with shared baths, along with two meals a day and 24/7 door staff. It’s intriguing in this case that the building will remain an affordable housing residence, rather than become a luxury apartment building like other local buildings run by nonprofits.
Social services agency Volunteers of America, which owns the building, is negotiating with the West Side Federation for Senior and Supportive Housing, which expects to complete the sale next month. Plans were explained at a meeting on Wednesday. WSFSSH plans to move seniors from its Valley Lodge property on 108th Street into the building sometime in the coming months as it prepares to rebuild the 108th site (we’ve detailed that project too). Once the new building is constructed on 108th Street, the Valley Lodge residents will return uptown and the Brandon will be renovated to accommodate new seniors.
One next-door neighbor who attended the meeting told us he’s anxious about the change, claiming that it will essentially be a homeless shelter. “I think it will be disruptive to this small dead end street — 120 homeless people is too much,” said the neighbor. “They’re making it more dangerous.”
But a rep for WSFSSH says the building will not be a shelter — it offers supportive housing with meals, activities and services for seniors. Valley Lodge aims to help formerly homeless seniors transition to permanent housing, according to the Valley Lodge website.
We wrote about the history of the Brandon here.