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Thread: St. Vincent's Hospital (7th Ave) - Redevelopment Plan

  1. #91


    I never understand the MTA. Why can't they build a substation, ventilation, whatever, AND get something for the public, like apartments, retail, museum, park, etc.? They have those ugly, low-rise substations on prime sites all over the city.

    Why not sell the air rights over these substations to raise cash for transit?

  2. #92
    Crabby airline hostess - stache's Avatar
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    Not sure, but I think I read something about the courts looking into how the Post office is selling air rights to developers.

  3. #93


    Quote Originally Posted by ASchwarz View Post
    I never understand the MTA. Why can't they build a substation, ventilation, whatever, AND get something for the public, like apartments, retail, museum, park, etc.? They have those ugly, low-rise substations on prime sites all over the city.

    Why not sell the air rights over these substations to raise cash for transit?
    I really hate the substation on W B'Way across the street from the new NY Law School Condo tower, and there's a horrible one on 7th in the low 20's.

  4. #94


    Quote Originally Posted by stache View Post
    Not sure, but I think I read something about the courts looking into how the Post office is selling air rights to developers.
    LOL, that was another one of Andrew Berman's benefactors' failed lawsuits. It was thrown out immediately. He argued that the feds (USPS) couldn't sell their air rights without public review.

    I'm sure they knew it would be thrown out but the objective is to get headlines and maybe they get lucky and tie up the project for a few months on a technicality.

  5. #95


    Quote Originally Posted by londonlawyer View Post
    I really hate the substation on W B'Way across the street from the new NY Law School Condo tower, and there's a horrible one on 7th in the low 20's.
    Yeah, and another one on Avenue A. I wonder why the MTA hasn't yet sold these air rights. Everyone benefits.

  6. #96


    Don't confuse MTA sub stations with Con Edison sub stations. For instance, the one on 7th in Chelsea is Con Ed. It has nothing to do with the TA.

  7. #97
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    Here's a link to the webpage created by GVSHP that has some new images and models of the proposal.

  8. #98
    Build the Tower Verre antinimby's Avatar
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    Alternative hospital plan cuts height and a building

    A rendering of the Rudin Organization’s proposed residential
    development on the east side of Seventh Ave., the site of
    most of St. Vincent’s Hospital’s current campus. An alternative
    scheme eliminates this residential component from St. Vincent’s
    rebuilding plans.

    By Albert Amateau
    Dec. 27 - Jan.2, 2007

    Neighborhood groups involved in the Greenwich Village Community Task Force on the redevelopment of St. Vincent’s Hospital have drafted an alternative to the current plan that would reduce the height of the new hospital from the proposed 321 feet down to 190 feet.

    The community alternative, which is not yet final, would also eliminate the 230-foot-tall residential tower on the east side of Seventh Ave. proposed by the Rudin Organization in partnership with the hospital.

    While the alternative was not presented to St. Vincent’s and Rudin at the packed Dec. 19 task force meeting, drafts are being circulated among members of the task force and elected officials.

    To accommodate the dramatic height reduction proposed for the new hospital on St. Vincent’s current O’Toole Building site on the west side of Seventh Ave., the alternative calls for any facilities that cannot fit into a hospital of reduced size to be located in a second, smaller hospital building on the east side of the avenue.

    Rather than demolish all the hospital’s current buildings on the east side of the avenue for residential development, the alternative draft calls for adapting four of the buildings for residential reuse. The alternative plan considers those four buildings — Smith-Raskob, the Nurses Residence and the Reiss Pavilion on W. 12th St. and the Spellman Pavilion on W. 11th St. — all 10-stories or more, to be historic.

    A limit of 930,000 square feet of aboveground developed area — St. Vincent’s total current area on both sides of the avenue — is also included in the alternative plan. However, the 150,000 square feet of space belowground that is in St. Vincent’s current hospital plan, would not count in the 930,000 square feet limit in the alternative plan.

    The alternative also proposes a size limit for new development no larger than the three largest hospital buildings — Link, Coleman and Cronin — now located on the east side of Seventh Ave.

    The St. Vincent’s/Rudin plan calls for 1.13 million square feet of aboveground development, 200,000 square feet more that the alternative plan limit. Moreover, the alternative plan would bring the new hospital building in line with the tallest buildings currently on both sides of the avenue.

    The alternative draft also calls for St. Vincent’s to come up with a public-space design acceptable to neighbors for the triangle on the west side of the avenue. The alternative also calls for ambulance and garage entrances to be on Seventh Ave. with below-grade or indoor entrances and queuing areas for ambulances.

    But the St. Vincent’s plan calls for the ambulance entrance to the new hospital to be on W. 12th St. between Seventh Ave. and Greenwich Ave., according to a presentation of traffic issues made at the Dec. 19 task force meeting by Dan Plottner, of Sam Schwartz Associates traffic consultants.

    To accommodate the ambulance entrance, W. 12th St., now one-way eastbound, would become two-way between Seventh and Greenwich Aves.; the sidewalk on that block would be narrowed on the north side to create a parking lane.

    Also at the Dec. 19 meeting, Ray Quartararo, of Jones Lang LaSalle, construction managers, outlined a plan for the estimated four-year construction period for the hospital side of the project. The plan is intended to minimize disruption to both the neighborhood and hospital operation.

    “Most of that disruption would occur within the first two years until the core and shell of the hospital is completed,” Quartararo said. Following the completion of the new hospital and the transfer of operations from the old to the new hospital, the three-year demolition and construction on Rudin’s residential project on the east side would begin.

    Jones Lange LaSalle will issue protocols for public safety and construction site safety and environmental controls for dust, dirt and debris, as well as noise and vibration. The firm will also work with city agencies on auto and foot traffic patterns and public transportation modifications during the construction period, Quartararo said.

    Most neighbors at the Dec. 19th task force meeting continued their anxious objections to the size and height of both the proposed new hospital and the residential tower. But Henry Amoroso, St. Vincent’s chief executive officer, said of the proposed hospital height, “We’ve taken everything out of the hospital that we could.” The only way to finance a state-of-the-art hospital is to sell the property on the west side of the avenue, he added.

    “How about schools?” asked Irene Kaufman, a member of the Parents Association of P.S. 41, the elementary school on W. 11th St. “P.S. 41 is at 112 percent of capacity and P.S. 3 [on Hudson St.] is full. Private schools are full, too. At least some of the people who will move into the residential project will have children,” she added.

    The current plan, however, received support from some neighbors and several St. Vincent’s staff members at the meeting.

    “In the real world you have to accept what’s happening,” said Miguel Acevedo, a resident of the Fulton Houses on Ninth Ave. between 16th and 19th Sts.

    “We’re being overshadowed where we live by 30-story buildings,” Acevedo said. “Look at the Hudson Yards [the proposed project between 29th and 42nd Sts.] — no schools, no hospital. We don’t want the density but what we really need is affordable housing. I’m trying to get affordable housing from this development,” he said of the St. Vincent’s/Rudin project.

    © 2007 Community Media, LLC

  9. #99
    The Dude Abides
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    Where do these people pull these random numbers out of?

  10. #100
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Beloved Hospital’s Plans Cause Furor in the Village

    April 1, 2008

    At a highly anticipated public landmarks hearing on Tuesday, preservationists are expected to battle a controversial development proposal for St. Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan in Greenwich Village.

    Opponents fear that the city will sanction the destruction of nine buildings in a historic district and allow the construction of two enormous towers that they say would blight their low-rise neighborhood and undermine the value of landmark protection throughout the city.

    But the hospital says that 3,000 people have joined a group supporting its plan, Friends of the New St. Vincent’s.

    Passions have run so high that the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission has abandoned its 50-seat hearing room in the Municipal Building for a 913-seat hall at the Borough of Manhattan Community College at 199 Chambers Street.

    Both sides say the controversy is more than just a major preservation battle, since it pits historic-district protection against the hospital’s goal of providing a top-level trauma center and advanced teaching hospital to serve more than a million people living, working or visiting in the hospital’s treatment area.

    St. Vincent’s has teamed with the developer William C. Rudin in a deal to remedy what it says is a dire situation that has left a vast swath of Manhattan from Wall Street to the Upper West Side under the auspices of St. Vincent’s — an outmoded, cramped and until recently bankrupt private nonprofit hospital — at a time when the city is closing many public hospitals.

    Greenwich Village, when aroused, has humbled invaders as formidable as Robert Moses, who was prevented a half-century ago from blasting an expressway through the neighborhood. But this struggle involves a hospital founded there in 1849 that not only has helped the neighborhood to flourish, but also is beloved by many — even some of the plan’s fiercest opponents.

    There are five Level 1 trauma centers in Manhattan, but aside from St. Vincent’s, the only one on the West Side is at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital Center, five miles north at 114th Street and Amsterdam Avenue.

    “The lack of a world-class hospital will not only jeopardize the West Side population, but also threaten New York’s future competitiveness as a city, since medical care is crucial to quality of life,” said Mr. Rudin, president of Rudin Management Company.

    Under the proposal, the hospital would move from its current buildings on Seventh Avenue between 11th and 12th Streets across the street, to Seventh Avenue between 12th and 13th Streets, occupying a new $800 million, 21-story, 329-foot-tall building. That is 65 feet taller than the hospital’s tallest structure. The plan would require the demolition of the modernistic O’Toole Building, once derided by neighbors as the “overbite building” but now admired by many preservationists.

    The current buildings and the land they occupy would be sold to Rudin Management for $301 million. St. Vincent’s would use that money to reduce debt and partly pay for the new hospital.

    The Rudin company would then raze eight other hospital buildings and construct an $800 million complex that includes a 21-story, 265-foot-high luxury condominium tower on Seventh Avenue and new residential town houses on West 11th and 12th Streets, as well as a smaller, midblock apartment building. The hospital would need approval not only from Landmarks, but also then from the City Planning Commission and the City Council.

    If approved, the plan would be “a blow to the distinctive historic character of Greenwich Village,” said Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation.

    The Greenwich Village Historic District is roughly bounded by West 13th and West 4th Streets, and University Place and Greenwich Street.

    “St. Vincent’s is a great institution and deservedly beloved,” said Kent L. Barwick, president of the Municipal Art Society of New York, a civic group. He said that his wife and his three children had been born there. But at the hearing, the society will oppose demolition of three of the nine buildings.

    Peg Breen, president of the New York Landmarks Conservancy, said her organization would testify that it favored the adaptive reuse of the buildings on the side streets, as well as a reduction in the size of the planned condominium tower.

    “There is genuine concern about the large number of buildings that could come down, and the precedent that this would set for historic districts,” she said.

    Henry J. Amoroso, president of St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers, the entity that includes the Greenwich Village hospital, countered that “the word ‘precedent’ assumes that there is a similar circumstance that could be applied to future applicants.”

    Mr. Amoroso said, “But there is none, since no other hospital in the city is wholly in a landmark preservation district.”

    Neither the Landmarks Conservancy nor the Municipal Art Society has a veto over construction, but both groups’ recommendations sometimes carry weight with the Landmarks and Planning Commissions.

    St. Vincent’s, the city’s only remaining Catholic hospital operating as an acute care facility, came out of two years of bankruptcy protection last August.

    “We take our civic responsibility seriously,” said Mr. Rudin, who is chairman of the Association for a Better New York.

    But to some, the hospital development is “the 800-pound gorilla of inappropriate development projects,” said Mr. Berman.

    The request to demolish nine buildings is rare but not unprecedented, said Lisi de Bourbon, a spokeswoman for the Landmarks Commission. Last year the parks department sought and received permission to raze 19 buildings in the Fort Totten Historic District, in Queens.

    City zoning provisions permit hospitals, schools, nursing homes and other facilities to build larger structures than commercial developers may.

    At the time the city’s zoning map was introduced in 1961, however, St. Vincent’s was bigger than the permissible size, according to Shelly S. Friedman, a lawyer advising the hospital. The hospital was grandfathered in, and then was permitted to build two large medical buildings in the 1980s after the Planning Commission allowed St. Vincent’s to transfer extra floor area to the new buildings from a triangular lot it owns at West 11th Street.

    A new hospital would require another designation by the Planning Commission, Mr. Friedman said. And Mr. Rudin would need separate rezoning to build the new apartment complex at the planned size.

    Mr. Amoroso, the St. Vincent’s executive, said that “only the value of the real estate we have today will fund the ability to build a new hospital.”

    And Mr. Rudin said that “the only way to achieve the raising of capital sufficient to build a new hospital is to enable us to build a larger building.” He added that only condominiums could defray construction costs. His company will argue that the proposed residential buildings total 175,000 square feet less than the current hospital buildings.

    If approved by the city, the new hospital is scheduled to be completed in late 2015; the hospital would move across the street before the residential tower could be built.

    Despite the current downturn in real estate, Mr. Rudin expressed confidence that “the credit markets will have readjusted themselves by the time we can build.”

    A renovation of the existing buildings “would cost a billion dollars and take 15 years,” Mr. Amoroso said, adding that it would be “cheaper, faster and more efficient to build one cutting-edge, energy-efficient, green hospital.”

    Some of those who live on side streets would arguably benefit from the smaller scale of the proposed town houses but nevertheless oppose the plan. “The hospital thinks I would be happier to face town houses,” said Richard Davis, who owns a house on 12th Street across from a hospital building. “But the question is, how can they take down half of a landmarked city block, right across from my house?”

    Mr. Berman’s group mocks the proposed low-rise houses as “generic pseudo town houses.”

    Other residents are concerned about the impact of the residential project on Public School 41, at 116 West 11th Street. “The school is at 110 percent of capacity, kids are being tutored in the hallways, and where are kids from the new apartment block going to fit?” said Irene Kaufman, who has children in the first and third grades at the school.

    But others in the neighborhood support the hospital.

    “You can’t consider the landmarks issue in a vacuum; there are public health issues as well,” said Maria Passannante Derr, a third-generation resident of West 11th Street who was born at St. Vincent’s. “Our task is not just to preserve bricks and neighborhoods, but to provide 21st-century health care in the event of a mass trauma event, an accident, an epidemic. This is an issue of medical infrastructure.”

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

  11. #101
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
    Join Date
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    In Village, a Proposal That Erases History

    Hiroko Masuike for The New York Times

    April 1, 2008


    The passionate battles surrounding the birth of New York’s preservation movement nearly a half-century ago seem like distant memories now. For some New Yorkers the main threat to architecture in the city is no longer the demolition of its great landmarks, but a trite nostalgia that disdains the new.

    Well, think again. Over the last few years the growing clout of developers has gradually chipped away at the city’s resolve to protect its architectural legacy. The agency most responsible for defending that legacy, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, has sometimes been accused of putting developers’ interests above the well-being of the city’s inhabitants.

    A proposal before the commission to tear down several buildings in the Greenwich Village Historic District is shaping up as a crucial test of whether those critics are right. A hearing on the issue is scheduled for Tuesday morning, and New Yorkers would do well to follow the proceedings if they care about the city’s future.

    The application by the St. Vincent Catholic Medical Center calls for the demolition of eight structures on West 11th and 12th Streets, near Seventh Avenue, to make way for a towering new co-op building and a hospital. The threatened buildings range from the 1924 Student Nurses Residence Building to the 1963 O’Toole Building, one of the first buildings in the city to break with the Modernist mainstream as it was congealing into formulaic dogma.

    The question facing the commission is which, if any, of these buildings contribute to the character of the neighborhood, a protected historic district. (If the agency sides with preservationists, the battle is not necessarily won; St. Vincent’s, which is financially troubled, still has the option of pleading economic hardship.)

    Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers
    A rendering of a plan for St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Greenwich Village.
    The lines indicate the elevation of existing hospital buildings.
    A hearing on the project is scheduled for Tuesday.

    Sadly, the hospital’s application reflects the pernicious but prevalent notion that any single building that is not a major historical landmark — or stands outside the historical mainstream — is unworthy of our protection. Pursue that logic to its conclusion, and you replace genuine urban history with a watered-down substitute. It’s historical censorship.

    St. Vincent’s board would like you to believe that this is a purely practical decision. The project, planned in partnership with the Rudin Organization, a local developer, would be built in two phases. In the first the five-story O’Toole Building would be demolished to make room for a 21-story tower that would house the entire hospital. (Because of the floors’ unusual height, this is roughly equivalent to a 30-story building.) A 21-story residential tower, flanked by rows of town houses, would replace the hospital’s seven other buildings between 11th and 12th Streets.

    The hospital expects to get $310 million from the sale of that land, which would go toward the construction of its new $830 million tower. (It would raise the remainder through private donations and other sources.)

    In patronizing fashion, hospital officials have suggested that preservationists are choosing buildings over lives, as if the two were in direct opposition. This is the kind of developer’s cant that is ruining our city. The addition of up to 400 co-op apartments is about money, not saving lives. There are plenty of other ways that the hospital could upgrade its facilities.

    The existing buildings that make up the hospital’s main campus east of Seventh Avenue do not rank as major historic landmarks. Even preservationists concede that the George Link Jr. Memorial Building, a bland brick box dating from the mid-1980s, is not worth saving.

    But it is not their status as individual objects that makes these buildings important; it’s their relationship to the historic fabric of the neighborhood. The designation of the neighborhood as a landmark district in 1969 was intended to protect humble structures like these. Established after local activists brought attention to the destruction wreaked by urban renewal projects, the designation was an affirmation that the city’s character is rooted in the small grain of everyday life.

    The threatened demolition of the O’Toole Building is most troubling of all. Designed by the New Orleans architect Albert C. Ledner, it is significant both as a work of architecture and as a repository of cultural memory.

    It was built to house the National Maritime Union, as the era of longshoremen and merchant sailors was nearing an end. Its glistening white facade and scalloped overhangs, boldly cantilevered over the lower floors, were meant to conjure an ocean voyage and a bright new face for the union. (Think of “On the Waterfront.”) Its glass brick base, once the site of union halls, suggests an urban aquarium.

    In short, you don’t need to love the building to grasp its historical value. Like Ledner’s Maritime dormitory building on Ninth Avenue or Edward Durell Stone’s 2 Columbus Circle, the O’Toole represents a moment when some architects rebelled against Modernism’s glass-box aesthetic in favor of ornamental facades.

    Viewed in that context, the O’Toole Building is part of a complex historical narrative in which competing values are always jostling for attention. This is not simply a question of losing a building; it’s about masking those complexities and reducing New York history to a caricature. Ultimately, it’s a form of collective amnesia.

    At St. Vincent’s, the damage is likely to be only compounded by the design of these new co-op buildings, a sentimental faux version of the past.

    If we continue down this path, we’ll end up with the urban equivalent of a patient on meds: safe, numb, soulless. Is this choosing lives?

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company

  12. #102
    The Dude Abides
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    This actually has the look of a sensibly-scaled development. Go figure.

  13. #103
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    That image from the Times only shows the eastern part of the plan,
    and does NOT show the actual bigger hospital structure set to rise on
    the O'Toole site west of Seventh Avenue (seen at right, below).

    From today at CURBED:

    The War Over Greenwich Village Begins Today

    Tuesday, April 1, 2008
    by Joey

    As you may have heard, St. Vincent's Hospital is planning a little expansion.
    OK, a huge one. The details are messy, but here's the gist: St. Vincent's has
    partnered with developer William Rudin to build a new, 21-story facility on
    Seventh Avenue between 12th and 13th Streets, which would take the place
    of the loved/hated O'Toole building. The old St. Vincent's, across the street,
    would be sold, razed, and replaced with a 21-story luxury condo building.

    A row of townhouses and a smaller mid-block apartment building would be
    built along 11th and 12th Streets, looking something like this. This proposal
    would certainly be controversial anywhere in the city, but it's especially
    complicated by the fact that St. Vincent's—a beloved, respected and
    necessary community facility—is in a protected historic district. It's the
    biggest proposed development in Greenwich Village in 50 years, and there has
    already been some nasty back-and-forth between the hospital and
    preservationists. Still, that was all an appetizer.

    The real showdown begins today.

    For the deal to get done, St. Vincent's/Rudin needs approval from the
    Landmarks Preservation Commission, the City Planning Commission
    and the City Council. A tall task, indeed. The LPC hearing began at 9:30 a.m.
    today, and the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (which
    rallied its troops for the hearing) expects the affair to last the whole day.
    The hospital team will present until about 12:30, at which point there will be
    a 60-minute lunch break and then many many hours of preservationists,
    neighbors and assorted crazies ranting for or against about the proposal
    (mainly against, given the call-to-arms). The Times has a good preview, with
    many pro-hospital arguments centering around the claim that St. Vincent's
    needs this deal to survive. Guilt trip!

    Meanwhile, in advance of the LPC hearing, the Greenwich Village Society for
    Historic Preservation released an animation on YouTube to give people a
    feel for the scale of the proposal. Unfortunately, the Star Wars theme song
    doesn't play in the background while the clip pans over the Village, but the
    video still does the trick. Here it is:

    youtube: Proposed St. Vincent's/Rudin Development (close perspective)

    And that's not all! The results of the informal online survey sponsored by
    Community Board 2, State Senator Tom Duane and Representative Jerry
    Nadler to gauge local opinions on the St. Vincent's plan have been released
    just in time, and you can download the stats right here (warning: PDF).
    There were over 1,500 responses to the survey, and not surprisingly, while
    "a majority of respondents in both the immediate vicinity of the hospital and
    beyond say that having a state-of-the-art hospital facility in the Village is
    very or somewhat important, concerns about construction and demolition
    protocols, the height and bulk of the new residential tower and hospital
    building, and other aspects of the project are widespread."

    · More St. Vincent's Arm Wrestling Coming [Curbed]
    · St. Vincent's West Village Fight Heating Up Again [Curbed]
    · More Images of St. Vincent's W. Village Remodel [Curbed]

  14. #104


    It's a testament to the absurdity of New Yorkers that many oppose razing the O'Toole building and yet don't peep when Federal era buildings, Beaux Artes buildings and other great structures like the Drake are razed. It's insane. I think New Yorkers just like to hear themselves complaining.

    P.S.: For new forum members who are inclined to attack me with xenophobic rants, please note that, nothwithstanding my screen-name, I'm a New Yorker.

  15. #105


    City Council Speaker Opposes Plan to Raze St. Vincent’s Hospital Buildings

    Published: April 2, 2008

    The City Council speaker, Christine C. Quinn, said on Tuesday that she opposed the demolition of the large number of hospital buildings called for by a controversial new development proposal for St. Vincent’s Hospital Manhattan.

    “I cannot support the proposal as it appears before you today,” Ms. Quinn said in a statement that an aide read at a public hearing of the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Ms. Quinn represents the city’s Third Council District, which includes Greenwich Village, where the hospital is situated.
    In an interview after the hearing, Ms. Quinn said that as speaker, she usually waits until landmarks commission issues are before the Council to comment on them. “But I thought it was important for myself and my office to weigh in at this point,” she said. Her statement was read by the aide “because it was too early for me to be there at this stage of the process.”

    Under the plan, the hospital would move from its current buildings, on the east side of Seventh Avenue between 11th and 12th Streets, to the West Side of Seventh Avenue between 12th and 13th Streets, occupying a new $800 million, 21-story building on the site of its current O’Toole Building, which would be razed.

    Eight other hospital buildings would be sold to the Rudin Management Company for $301 million; St. Vincent’s would use that money to reduce its debt and to pay for part of the new hospital. The Rudin Company would then demolish the old hospital buildings and construct an $800 million complex that would include a 21-story condominium tower on Seventh Avenue and new town houses on 11th and 12th Streets.

    Ms. Quinn said that “while I fully recognize the need for a new state-of-the-art hospital,” St. Vincent’s application to demolish the eight buildings “would have an impact that I think would be unfortunate.” She added: “What we want to do is to find a way for a 21st-century world-class hospital to coexist with historic Greenwich Village. We think there is potential here to make changes to the plan that would allow the hospital to move forward while preserving the historic context of the neighborhood.”

    At the hearing, some neighborhood residents said that large residential and hospital towers would blight their neighborhood. Hospital officials, however, testified that a new building was essential to maintain modern health care for more than a million people who live in, work in or visit the area it serves on the West Side.

    Copyright 2008 The New York Times.

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