Hester Street is proud to partner with South Bronx Unite (SBU) to produce a forward-looking plan for the adaptive reuse of the vacant Lincoln Recovery Center in the Mott Haven neighborhood of the Bronx, transforming this historic site into the H.E.Arts Center for health, education, and the arts.

In the face of rising real estate speculation and the threat of displacement in the South Bronx, this space will have the potential to address long-term structural deficits in public health, education and youth development, and arts and cultural programming. The H.E.Arts Center will serve as a vital community anchor and an important tool for local empowerment and self-determination as well as neighborhood preservation and anti-displacement initiatives. After an extensive engagement process started in 2013, thise project has achieved broad-based support from dozens of local CBOs, small businesses, elected officials, city councilmembers and government agencies.

In the initial phase, HST offered critical pre-development support to SBU to make this project a reality, including conducting feasibility surveys, financial appraisals, architectural analyses and general project planning. Over the last four years, SBU has been awarded site control by NYC’s Economic Development Corporation, wrapped up procurement, and begun the construction phase with the help of our team. The project is on schedule to be completed in 2026. 

The new H.E.Arts Center will serve upwards of 100,000 residents in Mott Haven and Port Morris as a community-driven health and arts facility, and will provide permanently affordable space for a number of Bronx-based organizations and also anchor the Mott Haven-Port Morris Community Land Stewards trust. Residents will also have access to free children’s music programs, and theater programming via the nonprofits housed there.