Bay Ridge

New senior center on solid ground as work progresses

February 25, 2023 Jaime DeJesus
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A simulated indoor groundbreaking ceremony took place Wednesday at the site of the new Bay Ridge Center (BRC), 15 Bay Ridge Ave.

For the past 47 years, the center has been located in the basement of Bethlehem Lutheran Church, which has about 5,000 square feet. The new facility, slated to open this fall, has 21,000 square feet and will provide state-of-the-art computer labs and music and exercise rooms for older adults. 

The front of the new Bay Ridge Center. Eagle Urban Media/Photos by Ted General

BRC Executive Director Todd Fliedner marked the occasion with community partners, elected officials and members of his staff. John Abi-Habib, chairman of BRC’s building committee, led shovelers as they dug into a mound of soil on the concrete floor.

Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President Randy Peers, Councilmember Justin Brannan, Honorary Consul of Lebanon John Abi-Habib and BRC Executive Director Todd Fliedner. Eagle Urban Media/Photos by Arthur De Gaeta

Fliedner said the event was more about the home stretch than about breaking ground.

“The building is here and the foundation is set,” he said. “What we are here to celebrate today is the beginning of our build-out of this space with the anticipated opening of this fall. We think it’s going to be just amazing.”

BRC Executive Director Todd Fliedner speaks at the ceremony. Eagle Urban Media/Photos by Arthur De Gaeta

Fliedner said the exercise suite will be better than any fitness center in the city.

“It is designed especially for older adults and deals with issues like balance and strength training,” he said. “We are going to be the first community-based group to have this equipment in our entire country.”

U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis secured $2 million in federal funds for the center and Assemblymember Michael Tannousis facilitated the transfer of $400,000 that the Assembly previously allocated for the project. The Salaam Club gave BRC a $30,000 donation in December.

The new facility is starting to take shape. Eagle Urban Media/Photos by Ted General

“For almost 50 years, the Bay Ridge Center has provided Brooklyn seniors with a place to exercise their minds and bodies, grow their independence, and increase their community involvement,” Malliotakis said. “I am confident that this massive expansion and upgrades will allow BRC to serve so many more seniors in our community with the services they deserve and provide a comfortable place to gather and thrive for years to come.”

U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis secured $2 million for the center. Eagle Urban Media/Photos by Arthur De Gaeta

Marianne Nicolosi, BRC’s former executive director, said she’s excited about the center’s future.

“As someone who had an idea that wanted to see it come to fruition and couldn’t make it all the way through, Todd is finishing my dream and I am very grateful,” she said. “I’m looking forward to being a part of the center once it gets off the ground and being a member.”

Ted General contributed to this story.

Councilmember Ari Kagan, Rev. Paul Knudsen of Bethlehem Lutheran Church and former state Sen. Marty Golden. Eagle Urban Media/Photos by Arthur De Gaeta
U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis, BRC Executive Director Todd Fliedner and Councilmember Ari Kagan. Eagle Urban Media/Photos by Arthur De Gaeta
Assemblymember Alec Brook-Krasny, Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce President Randy Peers and Assemblymember Michael Tannousis. Eagle Urban Media/Photos by Ted General
Work on the new center is expected to take until the fall. Eagle Urban Media/Photos by Arthur De Gaeta
State Sen. Andrew Gounardes, Adam Wysocki of NYC Aging, former BRC Executive Director Marianne Nicolosi, U.S. Rep. Nicole Malliotakis and Councilmember Justin Brannan. Eagle Urban Media/Photos by Ted General


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