Samaritan Daytop Village and Manatus Development Group broke ground on The Richard Pruss Wellness Center – a “one-stop shop” for behavioral and primary health care in the Mott Haven section of the Bronx on November 13, 2019.
Named in honor of the late Richard Pruss, President Emeritus and former Board Chair of Samaritan Village (later renamed Samaritan Daytop Village), the Center will give Bronx residents convenient access to high-quality fully integrated care. The new Center will transform a vacant lot into a beautiful, modern facility that will provide outpatient treatment for substance use disorder, mental health services, care coordination and a primary health clinic.
With care coordination across different programs, the facility will serve more than 6,000 individuals annually, adding a critical resource center to this low-income, federally designated medically underserved community.
On hand for the groundbreaking were Mitchell Netburn, Samaritan Daytop Village’s President and CEO; Justin Stern, Managing Member, Manatus Development Group LLC; Kathy Riddle, founder and President and CEO Emeritus of Outreach, who was married to Mr. Pruss for 25 years; New York State Senator Luis Sepúlveda; Commissioner Arlene González-Sánchez, NYS Office of Addiction Services and Supports (OASAS); and dozens of friends and supporters.
Mr. Netburn said, “The Richard Pruss Wellness Center will be a transformative project. Not only will it change thousands of lives for the better, it will keep jobs in this neighborhood and become an oasis providing critically needed behavioral and primary health care to a community that has long been underserved. By creating this new state-of-the-art facility, consolidating programs and expanding our services, Samaritan Daytop Village will increase the number of individuals we serve each year by up to 30 percent. The Center is a fitting tribute to the legacy of Richard Pruss, a visionary and fierce advocate for people in recovery, who dedicated his career and life’s work to the behavioral health field.”
Pruss, who spent his career at Samaritan, is renowned for his pioneering work helping thousands of individuals confront their addiction and find the road to recovery.
Speaking on behalf of the Pruss family, Ms. Riddle said, “The Richard Pruss Wellness Center is a wonderful tribute to a man who cared for so many individuals in need of treatment and services and helped change the direction of their lives. Richard believed in the unlimited potential of the human spirit and recovery.”
Four Samaritan Daytop Village programs already in the neighborhood will relocate to the new building, keeping more than 180 jobs in the community. The programs, Willis Avenue Opioid Treatment Program (477-479 Willis Avenue), Independence Outpatient Treatment Program (2776-78 3rd Avenue), New Beginnings Community Counseling Center (2780 3rd Avenue) and Hope Management Program (368 East 148th Street) currently operate in leased, storefront spaces.
Senator Sepulveda said, “It’s an historic day for the south Bronx as we mark the opening of the new Richard Pruss Wellness Center, which promises to be a vibrant hub for health and wellness in the Bronx. Our communities have been systematically & historically medically underserved, contributing to the chronic health challenges that we face and hold us back. I commend Samaritan Daytop Village for their dedication to our community, and it is holistic and community-driven health centers like this one that are the just, equitable, and dignified resources that enable our community to thrive.”
“Comprehensive services, supports and resources in a single location will provide an opportunity for people to access the individualized care they need to rebuild their lives from addiction,” OASAS Commissioner González-Sánchez said. “This groundbreaking is the first step in meeting and supporting the needs of these individuals and their families as well as the community at-large.”
Designed by GF55 Architects, the six-story, multi-use state-of-the-art building will incorporate energy-efficient design, enhanced security features, advanced digital infrastructure and upgraded interior and exterior finishes.
Mr. Stern of Manatus Development Group LLC, said, “Manatus Development Group is honored and excited to be building The Richard Pruss Wellness Center for Samaritan Daytop Village. When opened, the facility will be an essential behavior health and primary care center for the Mott Haven community. Working with strong not-for-profits throughout NYC to enhance their missions via real estate development is Manatus’ core business model. We could not be happier working with the Samaritan team throughout the process.”
Construction is privately funded through market rate borrowing from TD Bank. The development cost of the 84,000 sq. ft. project is expected to be $35 million.
“This incredible project transforms an underutilized lot into a neighborhood resource for vital health and medical services right in the heart of Mott Haven. The organizations occupying this development will be better able to serve vulnerable members of our community, with so many invaluable services integrated into one energy-efficient building that also features state-of-the-art digital infrastructure. Thank you to Samaritan Daytop Village and Manatus Development Group for making this project a reality in our borough,” said Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr.
Commissioner Ann Sullivan, M.D., NYS Office of Mental Health, said, “The Richard Pruss Wellness Center will be an extremely valuable addition to the community and offer Bronx residents access to behavioral health programs as well as primary health care services. The beautiful, state-of-the-art facility will provide Samaritan Daytop Village with the space they need to relocate four successful programs under one roof. I am happy to offer my congratulations and thanks to Samaritan Daytop Village and Manatus Development Group for the great work they do.”
Occupancy is expected in the first quarter of 2021. For renderings, please look here.
The Richard Pruss Wellness Center is located on the 500 block of Courtlandt Avenue, at the corner of East 148th Street.