(Originally published in the Queens Tribune by Jon Cronin on September 26, 2017)
Alphapointe—a nonprofit that aids the education, advocacy and employment of legally blind people—announced on Tuesday the purchase of its new location in Richmond Hill.
The lease for the Midwest-based nonprofit’s Brooklyn location will end in January and the group plans on opening new offices at 87-46 123rd St. in Richmond Hill as early as December. The Brooklyn location employs 130 legally blind people—and when the new facilities are open, the nonprofit intends to employ more.
Reinhard Mabry, the president and CEO of Alphapointe, said that the nonprofit recently merged with NYC Industries for the Blind to ensure that more than 200 people will continue to have jobs. However, Alphapointe needed to find a permanent home to accommodate its growth.
Mabry noted that the location in Brooklyn was no viable for the landlord, who had other needs.
“We no longer fit as an ideal tenant,” he said.
Mabry said that the nonprofit is “ready to kick off the renovations,” which are expected to last between 12 and 18 months.
He noted that Alphapointe couldn’t have made the transition without its board of trustees, which had faith in the nonprofit’s mission, and Build NYC, which helped the group finance the new building.
Mabry said that Alphapointe is also kicking off a capital fundraising campaign to finish the renovation, but did not disclose how much was required.
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