When the New York City locks were closed in March 2020, the food delivery organization God’s Relief Society received 335 people in a week’s relief effort. By the end of June that year, the number of daily food items produced had increased by 2,500.
Since then, the organization, which was established in 1986 to work for AIDS patients at home but over the years has expanded its work, has brought in more case staff and healthcare professionals. This suppressed the inefficiency of SoHo headquarters.
“We have come from a plague, we have become a plague,” said Karen Pearl, executive director and general manager of God’s Love That Saves Us.
But because of a combination of real estate prices and time, the ineffective is designed to expand its operations to make an uninhabited building a real tenant, which is the Love of God is worth the bill. The organization has signed four years of recruitment to live at the Northern Dispensary, a historic building in the West Village and a former health clinic.
“It’s like a kismet,” said Mrs. Pearl.
The Northern Dispensary was built in 1831 to serve the poorest residents of the then northern part of the city. Sitting in a three-dimensional space – and itself with a square side in shape – a brick building with limestone “Heal the sick.”
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In one of these-in-New-York-real-estate stories, the three-story sign remains empty for as long as God’s will has been in place, striking in an environment where every building with a package is a hot item.
And for more than three decades, the building, at the junction of Christopher Street and Waverly Place, seemed to be destined to remain empty.
The man who bought the dilapidated building in 1998 – an eccentric, rude man named William Gottlieb, who drove a truck-station cart and carried documents around in a shopping bag – had a tendency to take over buildings, and live on them. He eventually owned hundreds of properties in the West Village, Meatpacking District, Chelsea and the Lower East Side – a portfolio that was, at one time, worth $ 1 billion. After his death in 1999, family members fought for control of his real estate empire.
The Northern Dispensary, where Edgar Allan Poe is said to have been treated for a cold, was chosen between the handling of William Gottlieb Real Estate, however. Court bans beginning in the 19th century require the building to be used for the poor and vulnerable, thus ruling over the transition to high-end condoms or rental housing, for example.
As the building remained empty – the windows shattered, painting peeling – Gottlieb’s grandson Neil Bender, who and his wife, Marika, now in charge of William Gottlieb Real Estate, appeared to be following in his uncle’s footsteps, along with the property.
“People would come to us years ago,” said Corey Johnson, a spokesman for the New York City Council, whose district includes the Northern Dispensary. “Why has this beautiful building remained uninhabited?”
Then the Love of God entered the picture.
In 2019, Benders attended one of its annual fundraising concerts. They started donating eggs and microgreen to the organization from their farm in Tivoli, NY When they learned that nonprofits needed space, they prepared for Northern Dispensary.
“We were in perfect health,” Benders said in a statement.
They have now agreed to make the building available to the disabled and to renovate with the new HVAC system and rewiring. The floor and walls are in good condition, said Scott Henson, chief of Henson Architecture, the firm that secured the project. Fire uniforms and other cases of the 190-year-old Federal-design structure will be preserved.
These plans should be submitted to the local board and to the Landmarks Preservation Commission. God’s love expects to send workers into the building early next year.
Its monthly rent of five hundred and eight hundred thousand dollars is a small part of what a building this size can afford. This allows the nonprofit – which has an annual budget of $ 27 million, delivers food in five states and, despite its name, no religious affiliation – provides much of its resources to those in need.
“It just feels good to be in a place with a history that was a place to treat patients,” Ms. Pearl said. While some office workers will move to the warehouse, food continues to be produced and distributed from the SoHo site, about a dozen blocks south, which has 10,000-meter-kitchen-feet.
The fact that the building is located in an area where AIDS is rampant and where the Love of God has focused most of its efforts in the early days – interestingly, the Northern Dispensary last tenant before they had been empty for 30 years, a dental clinic, closed in 1989 after refusing to provide assistance to a man with AIDS – feels particularly concern for others.
“Getting them into the heart of the West Village is really good and purposeful,” said Mr. Johnson, a gay man who has been HIV positive for 17 years. “They haven’t found a suitable place.”