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DDC, DOHMH Break Ground on New Manhattan Pet Adoption Center


(New York, NY – June 4, 2021) The NYC Department of Design and Construction (DDC) and NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (DOHMH) joined Animal Care Centers of NYC, animal rights advocates and local community leaders this week to break ground on a new Pet Adoption Center at 328 East 109th Street in Manhattan. DDC is managing the project for DOHMH.

Artist rendering of exterior of future Manhattan Pet Adoption Center

An artist’s rendering of the façade of the future Manhattan Pet Adoption Center in East Harlem (Studio Joseph)

The $6.33 million project will convert a 2,500-square-foot one-story garage on the grounds of the Animal Care Center of East Harlem into a dedicated adoption facility for dogs, cats, guinea pigs and other animals. The building will have a colorful façade that will bring in daylight and create an attractive and engaging street presence, while a steel rainscreen will add depth while preserving the existing masonry behind. The design has won an Annual Award for Excellence in Design from the NYC Public Design Commission and a Global Future Design Award from APR (Architecture Press Release).

“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,” said DDC Commissioner Jamie Torres-Springer. “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.”

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

"We are so grateful to Mayor de Blasio for making the capital commitments to build this brand-new adoption center in Manhattan as well as full-service shelters in the Bronx and Queens," said ACC President and CEO Risa Weinstock. "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."

Location of future home of the Manhattan Pet Adoption Center

The future home of the Manhattan Pet Adoption Center

The project will fully renovate the old garage’s interior and exterior with new roofing, skylights, lighting and fixtures, while a new glass system for the kennel area will showcase the animals available for adoption. The building’s floor will be replaced with a new concrete slab that includes additional drainage, and new energy-efficient HVAC equipment will meet the current standards for animal care. The building’s cellar will also be upgraded and waterproofed.

Wendy Joseph of Studio Joseph completed the design under DDC’s Project Excellence Program, which pre-selects and pre-qualifies design firms that DDC works with on most public buildings projects. The program is designed to decrease the amount of time required for DDC to procure design services, while ensuring the highest levels of quality and professionalism in construction projects managed by the agency.

Construction by DDC will begin later this month and is anticipated to take 16 months to complete, at which point the site will be turned over to the Animal Care Center to complete its conversion into an adoption center. The general contractor is Litehouse Builders Inc. of Port Washington, NY.

The Manhattan Pet Adoption Center is one of several animal-related projects DDC is currently working on throughout the City, including new Animal Care Centers in Brooklyn and the Bronx and an expansion and renovation of the City’s animal shelter in Staten Island.

About the NYC Department of Design and Construction
The Department of Design and Construction is the City’s primary capital construction project manager. In supporting Mayor de Blasio’s long-term vision of growth, sustainability, resiliency, equity and healthy living, DDC provides communities with new or renovated public buildings such as firehouses, libraries, police precincts, and new or upgraded roads, sewers and water mains in all five boroughs. To manage this $15.5 billion portfolio, DDC partners with other City agencies, architects and consultants, whose experience bring efficient, innovative and environmentally-conscious design and construction strategies to City projects. For more information, please visit