A Bridge to Healthcare Access for Underserved Queens Residents Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center

The Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center (Addabbo) is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) and a Level 3 Patient Center Medical Home, providing a full range of high-quality, accessible, and cost effective healthcare services to the medically indigent, the uninsured, the underinsured, and the undocumented of New York City. Denham Wolf’s partnership with the organization has resulted in two significant expansion projects aimed at combating the health disparities that have recently ailed the Far Rockaway community in South Queens.

Based primarily in Queens County, Addabbo operates a network of six Community Health Centers. The main facility, located at 6200 Beach Channel Drive in Far Rockaway, is situated in what’s been designated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services as one of the most “medically underserved” areas of Queens.

First engaged in 2001, Denham Wolf helped Addabbo acquire and redevelop a City-owned parcel of land in Far Rockaway that had become a blighted property. To kick-off the project, our skilled real estate consultant team led the organization through an extensive strategic planning process to determine the project’s physical and financial feasibility. This process essentially enabled the organization to identify and secure the funding and financing required to undertake the project. As owner’s representative, our team then assisted with the acquisition of the 33,470 square foot lot and oversaw the design and construction of a new 22,000 square foot state-of-the-art facility, built to reflect Addabbo’s patient-centered care philosophy.

This project enabled the health center to increase its capacity and better serve the community with services such as primary care, diabetes treatment and management, cardiology, and HIV early intervention and treatment. The Queens Chamber of Commerce selected the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center’s Far Rockaway facility as the #1 Health Related Facility built in Queens in 2006.

Following the closing of multiple hospitals in South Queens, Addabbo experienced an influx of new patients. Likewise, after Hurricane Sandy struck in 2012, Addabbo was one of only two clinics serving area residents. During this time, as the healthcare crisis in Queen’s began to peak, the need for more resilient medical facilities became even more severe.

In 2013, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) issued the “The Beach Channel Drive Development Site RFP” to identify a developer to acquire and redevelop a vacant City-owned parcel located adjacent to Addabbo’s current building. Given the growing need for additional space, Addabbo enlisted the Denham Wolf team to assist in preparing a proposal to purchase the vacant land and expand its building. Based on a well-crafted proposal that showcased Addabbo’s capacity, a dedicated planning process, financial feasibility, and a highly supportive community, Addabbo was selected as developer and executed a purchase and sales agreement with NYCEDC.

Denham Wolf is currently serving as owner’s representative to Addabbo for the 21,000 square foot expansion project, which will significantly increase its services to the Rockaway community and strengthen the area’s overall healthcare infrastructure. Slated for completion in 2019, the expansion will add 21 new exam rooms, a 50% increase, and Physical Therapy, a new specialty service at the site. Addabbo is committed to the HireNYC program and plans to achieve a high level of participation from minority-and-women-owned businesses as part of its work.

Denham Wolf’s seamless integration of services, sophisticated understanding of medical facilities, mission-driven capital projects, and New York City funded resources within these projects has and will continue to advance Addabbo’s commitment to cultivating economic development in Far Rockaway. The gap between healthcare access and the needs of marginalized Queens’ residents is on its way to being filled.


“The amount of support that's poured in from Far Rockaway residents and our stakeholders for both the renovation and expansion projects just further affirms how much this facility contributes to the economic health of the community. ”

—Ronzard Innocent, Director of Project Management at Denham Wolf

Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center
Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center
The Rockaways, Queens
Gertler & Wente Architects