The organization plans to pay for the project by selling Williams Memorial Residence, at 720 West End Ave., to a developer for $108 million. Seniors who live in that facility would be guaranteed a room in the new one, but they are loudly opposing the proposal.
The Salvation Army has its sights set on East Harlem, with plans to build a gleaming new affordable senior residence atop a refurbished community center on E. 125th St.
To help pay for the project, the organization aims to sell the Williams Memorial Residence – the popular senior home it opened 45 years ago in a former hotel on the Upper West Side – for a whopping $108 million.
The proposal is already attracting dogged adversaries, but the international nonprofit insists breaking ground in El Barrio makes the most economic sense.
The Salvation Army gave the Daily News a sneak peak of the designs, which includes construction of a planned 10-story building on the corner of Third Ave. and boasts such amenities as a rooftop restaurant, a library and computer room.
“We see a real renaissance happening in that neighborhood,” said Major James Betts, general secretary for The Salvation Army’s greater New York division.
But there is little support of Betts’ ambitions from octogenarians and ninety-somethings, who live in the organization’s Upper West Side residence and have vowed to stay put.
“It’s horrible to move at our age,” said Lillian Schafer, 90, balking at the notion of leaving the assisted-living facility to go to East Harlem. “All the way up there? Oh my god!”