In Sign of Bronx’s Gentrification, a Notorious Juvenile Jail is Being Transformed

A rendering of "Peninsula," which will feature more than 700 units of affordable housing.

By Kevin Deutsch
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In a sign of expanding gentrification in the Bronx, builders recently began construction of a massive, mixed-use development at one of the borough’s most notorious former institutions: the violence-plagued Bridges Juvenile Center.

Officials shuttered the notorious Hunts Point facility, officially known as Spofford Juvenile Detention Center, in 2011. Its closure followed years of violence and inmate abuse—much of it carried out inside the jail’s largely unlit, rat-infested cells, which lacked air conditioning.

In its place developers are erecting “Peninsula,” which will feature more than 700 units of affordable housing along with large swaths of land for open community space, an education center, health facilities, local retail stores, and other amenities.

Phase one of the development – expected to be finished in 2021 – will include apartments for households considered “low-income,” “very-low” income, and “extremely low” income. Housing for formerly homeless Bronxites will also be made available, developers said.

About Kevin Deutsch 265 Articles
Kevin Deutsch is a Staff Writer for Bronx Justice News covering the criminal justice system, drugs, and DNA use by law enforcement. An award-winning journalist, Deutsch is the author of the true crime books "Pill City" and "The Triangle." He has worked on staff at the Daily News, Miami Herald, Newsday, The Palm Beach Post, and The Riverdale Press. His work has also appeared in Newsweek, Columbia Journalism Review, The New York Times, The Village Voice, The Forward, The Independent, Huffington Post, Orlando Sentinel, and the New York Post, among other publications. His numerous television appearances include spots on CNN, MSNBC, and C-SPAN's BookTV. He has also been featured in The New Yorker. A Bronx resident, Deutsch hosts the true crime podcast "A Dark Turn" on the Authors on the Air Global Radio Network.