‘It’s Like Kismet’: How a Long-Empty Building Found the Perfect Tenant – The New York Times

This old, triangular clinic was created to serve the poor and infirm. God’s Love We Deliver was up to the task.

When New York City locked down in March 2020, the meal delivery organization God’s Love We Deliver received 3,500 calls from people seeking help in a single weekend. By the end of June that year, the number of daily meals it was producing had increased by 2,500.

Since then, the organization, which was founded in 1986 to serve homebound AIDS patients but throughout the years has broadened its mission, has brought on additional caseworkers and nutritionists. This has squeezed the nonprofit’s SoHo headquarters for space.

“We’ve gone from pandemic to pandemic,” said Karen Pearl, the president and chief executive of God’s Love We Deliver.

But because of a combination of quirky real estate laws and timing, the nonprofit is set to expand its operations into a long-vacant building in need of a very specific tenant, for which God’s Love fits the bill. The organization has signed a four-year lease to occupy the Northern Dispensary, a historic structure in the West Village and formally a health clinic.

“It’s like kismet,” said Ms. Pearl.

The Northern Dispensary was erected in 1831 to serve the poor residents of

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