February 7th, 2019 at 11:00am, 104-19 Roosevelt Ave, Corona, Queens

Make the Road New York (MRNY), with more than 23,000 members, builds the power of immigrant and working class communities to achieve dignity and justice across NYC, Long Island and Westchester County. This month, with the help of Hester Street, they are taking the final step toward realizing their long-held dream of a new, permanent home in Queens.

Since 2015, Hester Street has worked closely with MRNY to plan this monumental capital project. We deployed our real estate finance, community development and design expertise in order to plan and manage the project, secure the financing, oversee the design, and ensure the acquisition of MRNY’s very own piece of Queens. Our team will continue to work alongside MRNY to ensure construction goes off without a hitch, and all the way to the highly anticipated 2020 move-in.

MRNY’s new, 25,000 square foot community center, designed by Enrique Norten and TEN Arquitectos with input from MRNY staff and members, features classrooms, private offices, meeting rooms, a commercial kitchen, a food pantry, a community garden, and thousands of square feet of community space. It is steps away from the 103rd Street 7 train station, and across the street from Corona Plaza.

This beautiful new building will allow MRNY to expand programming and services for immigrant and working class communities by 60%. Most importantly, as the owner of their new, permanent home, MRNY will save money while they build equity – insulating themselves from skyrocketing rents and the threat of displacement.

This new Community Center, the product of years of hard work and unflagging commitment, signals long-term sustainability and self-determination for this immigrant-led organization and the people they serve. It says to the world – Aqui estamos y no nos vamos. We are here to stay!

Building anything in NYC is hard. Building a non-profit community center under the elevated train is close to impossible. A project this big and complicated takes many, many partners to pull off. We would like to thank them ALL for their time, their efforts, their commitment, and their abiding belief that this was a dream that needed to come true.

Extra special thanks to HST’s own Julia Lindgren, Lisa Hartland and Tenzing Chadotsang, Julie Miles, Arlenis Morel, Javier Valdes and Deb Axt of Make the Road NY,  Former Councilmember Julissa Ferreras-Copeland, Councilmember Francisco Moya, Jessie Rose of Brooklyn Legal Services Corp A, Steve Kunin of Rise Community Capital, Stephanie Cesario of Hillmann Consulting, Arturo Suarez and Tatiana Pena of LISC, Abdulla Darrat of Omni New York, and HST Board Member Andrew Friedman of the Center for Popular Democracy.

Read more about the groundbreaking here.