START Treatment & Recovery Centers Upgrades Its East Harlem Clinic

In keeping with its ongoing commitment to providing the best possible care to New Yorkers affected by the opioid epidemic, START Treatment & Recovery Centers has acquired a 15,765-square-foot, four-story building at 2191 Third Avenue in East Harlem.

The facility is expanding and upgrading its clinic facilities for approximately 300 patients. The non-profit, which is the largest independent drug treatment agency in New York, has treated over 50,000 New Yorkers since it was founded in 1969.

START will house the new clinic on the ground floor and a portion of the second floor at 2191 Third Avenue. It financed the acquisition through the sale of 2195 Third Avenue, a three-story, 6,000- a square-foot building that previously housed its clinic, and 2193 Third Avenue, an adjacent 4,927-square-foot vacant lot.

Ariel Property Advisors’ investment sales and capital services teams played a central role in both transactions. Ariel’s investment sales team, which comprised of Michael A. Tortorici, Marko Agbaba and Sean O’Brien, participated in START’s purchase and also represented START in its sale of 2193-2195 Third Avenue. Matthew Swerdlow of Ariel’s capital services team procured the financing for START’s purchase of 2191 Third Avenue.

“Our newly renovated facility is bright, cheerful and modern with a comfortable waiting area, and since the clinical services are on the first floor, this new building accommodates the needs of our disabled patients,” says Lawrence S. Brown, Jr., MD, MPH, FACP, DFASAM, CEO of START. “Like many New Yorkers, the residents of East Harlem are grappling with the rampant consequences of addiction. Our goal is to help by providing them with holistic, evidence-based treatment that emphasizes dignity and respect and offers a full range of supportive services.”

START’s approach treats the whole person using medically-assisted treatments; behavioral therapy; primary care; specialized care for HIV/AIDs and Hepatitis C (HCV); and vocational counseling. It offers 11 programs (eight for adults and three for adolescents), and participates in cutting-edge behavior, biomedical and healthcare research.

It is one of the sites for a University of Buffalo study that uses telemedicine to connect patients with substance use disorders and HCV with medical experts via during clinic visits. START also is a Borough Partner in the 100 Schools Project, which provides training to New York City teachers, guidance counselors and administrators on identifying students with issues related to mental health disorders and addiction.

According to Dr. Brown, the new clinical site is a long-term investment in START’s future. East Harlem has experienced a tremendous surge in residential and commercial growth, as well as rezoning by the DeBlasio administration that will keep the area affordable and maintain the neighborhood’s culture. START’s clinic is located across the street from Hunter College’s Silberman School of Social Work.

This is the second time START has used real estate to invest in its future. This summer, START and its joint-venture partners Delshah Capital and OTL Enterprises launched the first phase of construction for 22 Chapel Street, a residential tower that will contain START’s headquarters and bring more affordable housing to Downtown Brooklyn.

START has treated over 50,000 New Yorkers throughout Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Bronx since it was founded in 1969. Its goal is to provide the highest quality of compassionate, comprehensive, evidence-based healthcare and social services; education of the public concerning the maintenance of healthy lifestyles; and cutting-edge behavioral, biomedical and healthcare services research. Its community-based treatment programs for adults and adolescents use individual and group counseling with medical and behavioral health professionals to treat patients; some of its clinics offer short-term, outpatient detoxification and a drug-free chemical dependency program for other non-opiate addictions. Its outpatient services and programs for people seeking quality treatment for drug addiction and rehabilitation include comprehensive medical care and specialized HIV services; behavioral health and vocational services; and medical case management.

Photo: A rendering of START’s new four-story building at 2191 Third Avenue in East Harlem. It financed the acquisition through the sale of 2195 Third Avenue and its adjacent vacant lot (far left).

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