Jun 26, 2024 Press Release

Robin Hood Joins Elected Officials, Government, and Civic Leaders to Herald the Opening of the Joseph and Shelia Rosenblatt Building

The Development Kicks Off A Chapter of ‘New Stories’ for Inwood with a Modernized State-Of-The-Art Public Library, a Child Care Center and 174 Units of Deeply Affordable Housing 

A Robin Hood grant, made possible through the generosity of a Rosenblatt family gift, served as the linchpin to leverage more than $90 million in public funding that made the project possible

New York—Today, Robin Hood shared a podium with a bevy of community leaders, elected officials, and representatives of governmental agencies to celebrate the ribbon cutting for a new 2-story multi-million development in Inwood that houses a modern state-of-the-art branch of the New York Public Library in the Joseph and Sheila Rosenblatt Building and above a 12-story tower of 174 deeply affordable housing units that will be known as The Eliza Apartments. The development also includes a child care center that will house a universal Pre-K program, a STEM education center, a community kitchen, and community space for meetings and large gatherings.

The 14-story development dubbed ‘New Stories’ by Robin Hood is the largest co-location development of a library and affordable housing under one roof in New York City’s history. Its completion is directly attributable to a Memoriam grant made possible by Robin Hood donors and siblings Sam Rosenblatt, Sarah Goos, and Jill Gordon, honoring their parents, the late Joseph and Sheila Rosenblatt. The eponymous building now houses the new Inwood Public Library Branch named in their honor.

“The new development housing a modernized Inwood Library and the Eliza Apartments is a living tribute to all that my late parents loved about New York – opportunity, education, and community. When Robin Hood introduced us to this project, my sisters and I were proud to make a gift in our parents’ honor that had the added benefit of unlocking $90 million in public funds to replace an old, worn library branch on underutilized city-owned land,” said Sam Rosenblatt, president of Olmstead Properties. “It was our father’s dream to enable every eager student in New York City to have a unique and quiet space to do their homework and prepare properly for school. Our mother was deeply committed to finding affordable housing for all New Yorkers and helping them out of the shelter system. It was truly a perfect fit for both of them when Robin Hood told us about this project. It is our hope that this project can be replicated many times over. We have all, from the very beginning, lovingly nicknamed this project ‘New Stories.’ Today, the site boasts a modern, state-of-the-art library, 174 deeply affordable housing units, and program space that will allow generations of residents, library patrons, and students to write the next chapter in their bright and hopeful new stories.”

Robin Hood donors and siblings Sam Rosenblatt, Sarah Goos, and Jill Gordon, cut the ribbon on the Joseph and Sheila Rosenblatt Building in Inwood.

The new development housing a modernized Inwood Library and the Eliza Apartments is a living tribute to all that my late parents loved about New York – opportunity, education, and community.

Sam Rosenblatt, Robin Hood donor and president of Olmstead Properties

The New Stories development culminates more than a decade of planning, community meetings, and collaboration between city agencies, elected leaders, Robin Hood, The New York Public Library, developers, and other stakeholders. The 174 new units of affordable housing debut as the city’s rental apartment vacancy rates continue to hover around 1%. A staggering 70,000 applicants vied for an apartment in the new development.

“The project is a powerful proof of concept. This is philanthropy at its best, filling in the gaps, and providing the connective tissue to meet extraordinary needs. Through our experience with New Stories we created a playbook, from funding to permitting and beyond, for pursuing more public-private partnerships just like this one to address our city’s ongoing need to provide stable housing for all New Yorkers. Our success in making today possible should signal to everyone that this is a project worth replicating across all five boroughs. Robin Hood is honored to have been a part of this project and immensely grateful to the Rosenblatt family for making all of this possible,” said Emary Aronson, Chief Knowledge Officer, and Senior Advisor to the CEO at Robin Hood.

In 2023, Robin Hood’s grantmaking built and preserved nearly 1,700 units of affordable housing across New York City and prevented evictions for more than 3,100 families.

About Robin Hood
Robin Hood is New York’s largest local poverty-fighting philanthropy. Last year, Robin Hood celebrated its 35th year of funding, supporting, and connecting New York’s most impactful community organizations at the forefront of the battle against poverty. We are NYC’s largest local poverty-fighting philanthropy and since 1988, we have invested nearly $3 billion to elevate and fuel New Yorkers’ permanent escapes from poverty. In 2023, through grantmaking with 250+ community partners, we created pathways to opportunities out of poverty through our strategic partnerships on child care, child poverty, jobs, living wages, and more. We are scaling impact at a population level for the nearly 2 million New Yorkers living in poverty. At Robin Hood, we believe your starting point in life should not define where you end up. To learn more about our work and impact, follow us on X  @RobinHoodNYC or go to robinhood.org.



Crystal Cooper, Deputy Director of Communications, Robin Hood