God’s Love gets a facelift as Rivers, Kors pitch in

 

Photo by Jessica Frankl At the groundbreaking for the God’s Love We Deliver headquarters vertical expansion and renovation, from left, Karen Pearl, God’s Love We Deliver president and C.E.O.; Michael Kors, fashion designer and G.L.W.D. board member; Blaine Trump, G.L.W.D. board vice chairperson; comic Joan Rivers, a G.L.W.D. board member; Scott Bruckner, G.L.W.D. board chairperson; and Mike Moran, a member of the G.L.W.D. Chairman’s Council.

Photo by Jessica Frankl
At the groundbreaking for the God’s Love We Deliver headquarters vertical expansion and renovation, from left, Karen Pearl, God’s Love We Deliver president and C.E.O.; Michael Kors, fashion designer and G.L.W.D. board member; Blaine Trump, G.L.W.D. board vice chairperson; comic Joan Rivers, a G.L.W.D. board member; Scott Bruckner, G.L.W.D. board chairperson; and Mike Moran, a member of the G.L.W.D. Chairman’s Council.

glwd-renderingBY LINCOLN ANDERSON  |  Joan Rivers emceed and Michael Kors spoke at Wednesday’s groundbreaking event in Soho for the expansion and renovation of the God’s Love We Deliver building, at the corner of Spring St. and Sixth Ave. The comic and the fashion designer are both longtime supporters of the nonprofit, which cooks and delivers meals to people living with severe illnesses in the metropolitan area.

The G.L.W.D. project will more than double both the organization’s space — from 18,000 square feet to more than 44,000 square feet — and its capacity to prepare meals — from 1 million to 2 million meals a year.

“Today marks the beginning of a project of great significance to not only all of us at God’s Love, but to a growing number of people across the metropolitan area who rely on our services,” said Karen Pearl, president and C.E.O. of God’s Love We Deliver.

The God’s Love expansion project was made possible, in part, by a city grant and private gifts, including $5 million from Kors, who was named to the group’s board of directors earlier this year. In recognition of Kors’s contribution to the expansion project, the new facility, designed by Gerner Kronick and Valcarcel, will be named in his honor.

The project also benefited from G.L.W.D.’s sale of several million dollars’ worth of air rights to the adjacent One Vandam luxury residential high-rise project.

Signifying construction’s start at the God’s Love Sixth Ave. facility, guests of the ceremony used giant knives to cut an equally giant cake with an image of the future building.

“I’ve loved and worked for God’s Love We Deliver for many years, and I know how important their nutritious, individually tailored meals are for our neighbors who are too sick to shop or cook for themselves,” said Rivers. “Today’s expansion is the beginning step toward fulfilling a dream for all of us associated with this wonderful charity.”

“I am so excited to be here today to break ground on the Michael Kors Building for God’s Love We Deliver,” Kors said. “I’ve been working with God’s Love for over 20 years now, and I’ve always been amazed by the work that they do. With this expansion, I know that we can help feed even more people and continue to reach all of those in need.”

The God’s Love expansion, which is expected to be completed in late 2014 or early 2015, comes as demand for the organization’s services is up by more than 60 percent in five years, according to G.L.W.D. Without a significant increase in space in the immediate future, God’s Love would — for the first time in the organization’s 28 years — be forced to have a waiting list for clients.

During the renovation, God’s Love has temporarily relocated to South Williamsburg in Brooklyn, so that the organization’s services can continue uninterrupted.

Begun as an H.I.V./AIDS service organization, today God’s Love provides for people living with more than 200 individual diagnoses. Meals are individually tailored for each client by one of the organization’s registered dietitians, and all clients have access to unlimited nutrition counseling. All of the agency’s services are provided free of charge.

Soho neighbors are suing over the city’s approval of the air-rights transfer from the G.L.W.D. site to the One Vandam project, charging that a deed restriction on the former prohibits it.

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2 Responses to God’s Love gets a facelift as Rivers, Kors pitch in

  1. As a decades-long neighbor of GLWD, I am wondering if ground-breaking comedienne Joan Rivers is breaking ground for another "facelift" … or some other kind of cover-up.

    The proposed building, as pictured in your article, is quite different than the rendering previously presented to the CB2 Land Use Committee, and that which appears on the GLWD website. Furthermore, the DOB plan examination (which has been mysteriously rejected numerous times, including this past week) calls for a 107-foot structure (as compared with the existing 24-foot building), which, by my reckoning, is more like 10 stories, rather than the 6 stories which GLWD has filed with the DOB.

    The rendering also conveniently excludes the 15-story One Vandam condo, now under construction alongside GLWD, which has already resulted in the evacuation of neighboring buildings. This angular cacophony of glass and aluminum, replete with what appears to be a gigantic diving board atop One Vandam, and roof gardens for the wealthy condo owners astride GLWD, will be a visual abomination stating to all that our historic South VIllage is now ripe for ruination.

    Much like the bandito in "The Treasure of The Sierra Madre", the fashionable celebrities in your ground-breaking photo might as well be saying, "Covenant? We don't need no stinkin' covenant!".

    The fact that GLWD has "grown by more than 60 percent in five years" is another reason why this out-of-scale, out-of-character land grab does not belong on the congested residential corner of Spring Street and Avenue of the Americas. GLWD had already outgrown this site several years ago, causing enormous traffic and pedestrian congestion. Now they will be transgressing upon numerous long-time residents of modest means, many of whom are elderly and ill. If GLWD is indeed growing this fast, why don't they set up shop in an industrial zone, such as their new location in Brooklyn, and truly involve themselves in serving a growing population of people in need?

    It's painful to oppose an organization with "Gods Love" in its name. But I am reminded by the current realities of downtown real estate valuation that there are, indeed, many gods in this world.

    Harry Pincus

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