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The variance to build 66 units of supportive housing at 80-97 Cypress Ave. passed CB5 almost unanimously.

The site of a longtime vacant, graffiti-covered building in Glendale may finally be on track for redevelopment as a much needed senior housing facility.

The WellLife Network—a nonprofit organization that provides housing and supportive services to individuals with developmental disabilities, mental illnesses, seniors and veterans—plans to operate a residential facility for seniors at 80-97 Cypress Ave., according to Vice President of Public Affairs Willie Scott. The planned facility will have 66 units of affordable housing for people age 55 and older, Scott said.

Formerly known as PSCH, Inc. until a rebranding in 2017, the WellLife Network has owned the site since 2004, according to city records. The building currently on the lot, widely regarded as an eyesore in the community, was never completed because the previous contractor used bad materials that were porous and caused the building to flood every time it rained, Scott said.

The Department of Buildings (DOB) eventually issued a stop work order on the project, and WellLife Network has been formulating a new plan since then.

According to Scott, the old structure will be demolished to make way for the new building, but there is no timetable yet.

We’re in the process of acquiring necessary funding for the development of the project,” Scott said. “We want this to be done as soon as possible and we’re trying to get that eyesore out of the community.”

Scott added that he has communicated with Community Board 5 many times over the years and WellLife Network will present the new plans for the senior center at a board meeting in the future.

The often forgotten building on Cypress Avenue regained attention this year after the Department of Homeless Services (DHS) issued a request for community boards and elected officials to recommend possible homeless shelter sites. Not knowing the current status of the site, Councilman Robert Holden suggested the Cypress Avenue building be used as a homeless shelter, he said.

Upon news breaking about a potential shelter coming to Cooper Avenue, Holden expressed frustration that DHS had not acknowledged his suggestion. When pressed for more information, DHS then told QNS that the Cypress Avenue site already had plans to be developed into supportive housing.

When reached over the phone on Aug. 3, Holden welcomed the idea of adding more assisted living for seniors in the community.

“We have a very high senior population in the district so we need more for seniors, whether it’s supportive, affordable or assisted living,” Holden said. “Many seniors, unfortunately, with gentrification going on, they’re being pushed out. They’re usually the first victims of the lack of affordability.”

Holden said he also looked into bringing assisted living to the Cooper Avenue site and actually had somebody interested in developing it, but DHS had other plans.


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