God’s Love Takes Temp. Space in Brooklyn
Al Barbarino Sept. 24, 2013, 8 a.m.
A New York-based group that cooks and delivers more than one million nutritious meals annually to people with severe illnesses is temporarily relocating to Williamsburg as it renovates and expands its Soho home.
God’s Love We Deliver signed a 14-month lease for a 20,000-square-foot space at Acumen Capital Partners’ 630 Flushing Avenue beginning in October, when construction is set to begin at their current Manhattan home at 166 Avenue of the Americas. The lease, signed last month, carries with it six one-month renewal options.
The temporary move will allow the organization’s services to continue uninterrupted during the construction process, allowing those services to expand as the organization doubles its size and reach, the group announced today.
“During this interim period, as we expand our facility, we are very happy to set up shop in Brooklyn, where more than a quarter of our clients reside,” said President and CEO Karen Pearl, in a statement. “Since we know Brooklyn well, we think this will be a great fit for us. On top of this, the space meets our organizational needs and is easily accessible to community members and volunteers.”
The temporary Brooklyn location will provide God’s Love with the necessary loading docks for its 16-truck delivery operation, which brings 23,000 meals to 2,500 people every week, and the charity is expected to return to SoHo in late 2014 or early 2015.
The reported $26 million renovation of the two-story SoHo building will more than double its size to five stories, expanding to 48,000 square feet – enough space to prepare two million meals a year.
The kitchen will move from a windowless basement into the second floor, doubling in size to 5,800 square feet, with a separate 1,200-square-foot packing area on the first floor and a third floor that will open up into a 2,250-square-foot terrace where volunteers can convene, according to a report in the New York Times in May, which charted the group’s struggles to forge ahead with the expansion.
The charity said in a statement that the expansion comes as demand for the organization’s services is up by more than 60 percent in five years and that it would have been forced to create a client waiting list without the expansion.
“Expanding our SoHo facility will allow us to meet this growing need and better serve those who rely on our services,” Ms. Pearl said. “Our temporary move to Brooklyn is an important part of this process and we are excited to take the next step in our expansion campaign.”
Founded in 1985, God’s Love began when one woman began delivering food on her bicycle to a man dying from AIDS. Today the group cooks 4,600 meals each weekday, delivering them to clients across New York City and Newark and Hudson County, New Jersey. All services are provided free of charge.