Construction Begins on New Manhattan Pet Adoption Center

Rendering of what the new pet adoption center will look like once completed. Image Credit: NYC DDC/Studio Joseph

The Department of Design and Construction is completely renovating an old garage in East Harlem into a new facility for the specific use of providing animals to adopt for the city. On June 4, 2021, the Department of Design and Construction and the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene announced the beginning of construction on a new Pet Adoption Center located at 328 East 109th Street in East Harlem. The Center will work with adoptable dogs, cats, guinea pigs, and other animals.

The construction project will convert a 2,500 square foot garage into a dedicated adoption facility. The existing garage’s interior and exterior will be fully renovated. New roofing, skylights, lighting, and fixtures will be installed. A new glass system will be added for the kennel area in order to showcase animals that are available for adoption. The floor of the building will be replaced with a concrete slab that will allow for additional drainage. New energy-efficient HVAC equipment will also be installed and the new equipment will meet the current standards for animal care.

The buildings design will include a colorful outward appearance that will be capable of bringing in natural daylight and create an appealing street presence. A rainscreen will be included to add depth and preserve the masonry already on the building. The design for the building has won two awards. The Annual Award for Excellence in Design was awarded by the New York City Public Design Commission and the Global Future Design Award was awarded by the Architecture Press Release.

The design was made by Wendy Joseph of Studio Joseph. The project’s design was made under the Department of Design and Construction’s Project Excellence Program which pre-selects and qualifies design firms that the Department will be working with. The program helps decrease time needed to procure designs while also assuring quality.

Construction on the design will begin in June and will take about sixteen months to complete. After construction is complete, the building will be given to the Animal Care Center to be fully converted into an adoption center. The general contractor of the project is Litehouse Builders Inc. The $6.33 million project is being managed by the Department of Design and Construction for the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.

The Manhattan Pet Adoption Center is one of several animal related projects in development by the Department of Design and Construction. Other projects include Animal Care Centers being built in Brooklyn and the Bronx as well as renovations to the City’s Animal Shelter in Staten Island.

Department of Design and Construction Commissioner Jamie Torres-Springer stated, “The project’s thoughtful design accommodates the needs of sheltered animals and the staff that care for them, while also creating an inviting space that will attract visitors and help find forever homes for the future pets that need them. Pets have been a lifeline for many families over the past year and we’re very pleased to create this new appealing space to facilitate adoptions.”

Health Commissioner Dr. Dave A Chokshi stated, “This new center will ensure that pets have a cozy stopover on their way to a permanent home. Our dogs, cats, guinea pigs, and other pets, deserve nothing less.”

Animal Care Center President and CEO Risa Weinstock stated, “The ability to showcase the wonderful animals we have waiting to find their forever homes in a state-of-the-art center will surely lead to an increase in adoptions and move us that much closer to ending animal homelessness in NYC.”

By: Patrick McNeill (Patrick is the CityLaw intern and a New York Law School student, Class of 2022.)


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