Our lease expired on December 31, 2010 for our current location at 119 West 24th Street where we have resided for 15 years.
By moving we are saving GMHC nearly $700,000 a year.
A renewal of the current lease would have increased our average annual occupancy expense by 33%, and retained all the risks and expenses associated with operating and maintaining that building.
The move means there will be expanded services for the people who rely on GMHC to make a difference in their lives.
Let’s face it, moving is hard. It forces change and some inconvenience. We’re doing all we can to minimize the inconvenience for staff and consumers. Moving also raises up emotions. We’re going to be leaving a building that has been a lifesaver for so many. But GMHC has a history of only moving when it’s the best thing for the people we serve.
GMHC will be located at 446 West 33rd Street between 9th and 10th Avenues.
We are in good company at our new location. Our next-door neighbors are Planned Parenthood Federation of America and the Associated Press. Directly across the street is The Clinton School for Writers and Artists (Middle School 260) and St. Michaels Church.
The GMHC Prevention and Wellness Center will be located at 214-224 West 29th Street in Chelsea. That’s between 7th and 8th avenues.
Yes, there will be great improvement in how services are delivered—the best part of the change.
Yes. With this move, GMHC is expanding. The top three areas of expansion that will be facilitated by our new home are youth services, a full-service pharmacy capacity, and an expanded food and nutrition program.
A) Youth Leadership development Program: GMHC will be expanding services for 13-18-year-old youth. Our program will emphasize prevention through building self-esteem and motivation to stay in school. Leadership development, learning life and vocational skills, and pursuit of earning capacity will be central to the new program.
B) Food and Nutrition Capacity: GMHC will expand its food and nutrition services. The new dining room and kitchen will increase capacity to serve 25-40 % more individuals, and the Food Pantry program for needy New Yorkers will expand as well, with thanks to the Keith Haring Foundation.
C) The Pharmacy Program which ran as a pilot at the West 24th Street building will now become a full service pharmacy with significantly increased ability to support treatment adherence. This is a great advance for the GMHC community.
GMHC’s meals program will have increased capacity in the new location.
Our HIV testing program, slated to open June 1st, will be expanded in the new GMHC Prevention and Wellness Center located at 214-224 West 29th Street — the hub of our testing and education programs.
Offering testing services at a site different from our new office space on West 33rd Street is not a new concept — Planned Parenthood, AIDS Project Los Angeles and San Francisco AIDS Foundation all have successful HIV testing programs located in separate locations.
The GMHC Prevention and Wellness Center will allow for our high-risk HIV-negative clients to become engaged in educational, support and prevention services that include testing, but do not rely on testing only.
No more than one and a half city blocks walking distance.
34th Street local and express stops 1,2,3, A, C, D, E lines (exit 8th Ave)
34th Street local and express stops F, B, N, Q, R lines (exit 6th Ave.)
34th St Cross-town runs every 7 minutes during peak hours
7th, 8th, 9th, and 10th Avenue buses stop at 34th and 33rd Streets
Walk from Penn Station 33rd St and 8th Ave = 1 ½ blocks
Walk from 34th St and 9th Ave = 1 ½ blocks
Walk from 34th St and 10th Ave = 1 ½ blocks
Walk from 6th Ave and 34th St = 4 ½ blocks
And, of course, some of our clients will continue to use Access-A-Ride.
The 34th Street cross-town bus runs every 7 to 10 minutes
A special GMHC van would take 40 minutes to complete one loop.
A client waiting for a van on Lexington Avenue could wait as much as 40 minutes or more for a GMHC van to arrive. But an MTA cross-town bus arrives every 10 minutes, and every 7 minutes during peak travel time.
We’re fortunate to have our own GMHC entrance to the building at 446 West 33rd Street. We’ll also have our own security system as well as a dedicated elevator.
The designated entrance for GMHC staff, clients, and visitors means no one will have to wait on long lines at other entrances to the building to pass through security procedures intended for staff and visitors to other building tenants.
We will control our own security system. GMHC staff, clients and visitors will have easy access to the building.
In the current building, the situation with the elevators has been challenging. After 15 years GMHC will finally have an elevator that efficiently gets everyone to where they need to go.
The large elevator in the new location can actually move 912 people per hour!
The elevator has the capacity to carry 30 to 40 individuals at one time.
It will travel to only two floors — GMHC’s 6th and 7th floor facility.
It will only transport GMHC passengers.
At West 24th Street, GMHC passengers often had to wait as long as 15 minutes for an elevator, and then stop at several floors before reaching their destination.
GMHC will be open 10:00 am to 10:00 pm Monday through Friday with the ability to hold evening activities as we have in past, so long as a staff member is participating.
What about Saturdays?
GMHC has access to the building on Saturdays.
Currently we do not provide services on Saturdays, and are only open on Saturdays for special events. While that will continue, as we experience life on West 33rd Street, we will explore the possibility of occasionally opening on Saturdays.
The new location has plenty of nearby shops, places to eat, and activities. The 34th Street and surrounding area is quite busy both day and night.
Nearby shops include everything from Penn Plaza, to the walking mall at Herald Square, shopping at K-Mart, Conway’s, Macys, and myriad shops, Loews 34th Street Cineplex; restaurants from the Sky Light Diner, to Mc Donald’s and Chipotle to name a few.
Penn Station itself has shops of every kind. The Hammerstein Ballroom is nearby as is H&M, Forever 21, Foot Action, Borders, B&H, St. Michael’s Church, Madison Square Garden, the YAI Network, Planned Parenthood Federation of America, and the New York Women’s Foundation. New York University Medical Center at 32nd Street & 1st Avenue, and Roosevelt Hospital at 58th Street and 10th Avenue are the nearest hospital and medical facilities.
The move means more money for services not rent.
If we had remained on West 24th Street our rent and building upkeep expenses would have increased by 33%, costing GMHC money we do not have. Were we to remain on West 24th Street we would have to cut back services. That is simply not an option.