Rudin’s St. Vincent Project Gets Green Light from Planning Commission

bill rudin e1327355003557 Rudins St. Vincent Project Gets Green Light from Planning Commission

All smiles. (PMcM)

Earlier this afternoon, a die-hard group of developers, activists and real estate enthusiasts gathered at the New York Department of City Planning for a much anticipated meeting. In a brief meeting, the controversial Rudin development project at the former site of St. Vincent’s Hospital passed with unanimous support from all City Planning commissioners.

Commission Chair Amanda Burden explained that she was pleased with how the developers had worked with the community. “The Rudin West Village proposal represents an important step in incorporating the former St. Vincent’s campus into the fabric of the West Village,” Ms. Burden said.

Commissioner Angela Battaglia similarly voiced her support of the project, but encouraged Rudin to continue searching for a way to include an affordable housing program into the massive real estate endeavor.

After the meeting, Mr. Rudin spoke to a bevy of reporters, most of whom were curious about the affordable housing angle Commissioner Battaglia had mentioned. “I’m not exactly sure, there were a couple of different comments, and I think we need to see what their report was,” Mr. Rudin said. “Maybe after we’ve read it we can comment on it.”

Mr. Rudin explained that the development project will create “a revitalized neighborhood with jobs being created and stores being refilled.” In addition to condos and a park, the new space will include *an urgent care clinic with exactly two hospital beds.

As Mr. Rudin was speaking to the press, several opponents of the project gathered behind him, with signs reading “Shame! Shame!” and “City Planners to The West Side: Drop Dead.”

The vociferous activists argued that without a fully-operational hospital, complete with in-patient care and Level 4 trauma facilities, the West Side of Manhattan would be put in dire straits. “There’s a very large disparity of hospital beds and this isn’t being addressed by the plan,” said Dr. Gerrie Nussdorf. “There’s a change in health care where these freestanding clinics are somehow taken as being equal to hospitals.” The urgent care center, she said, is “kind of a band-aid: it can help certain things if they’re not so serious, but for serious things people need to be transported to a hospital.”

Another opponent, Timothy Lunceford, told The Observer that despite the planning commission’s statements, the Rudins have not worked with the community. “I’m telling you the commission did not tell the truth today,” he said. “Bill Rudin has not told the truth any time he’s presented to the board about working with the community.”

Mr. Rudin told the assembled reporters that *financing is completely in order for the project, and it will be completed sometime in 2015.

eknutsen@observer.com

Comments

  1. Barbara Ruether says:

    Rudin lies about working with the community. We, who have attended every community meeting, every public hearing, written, spoke and been interviewed have never been approached by the the Rudins. Further, our Community Board 2 did not vote to approve the Rudin ULURP. At all the meetings, out of the hundred of residents appearing and speaking, only 1 gentleman spoke for the Rudin project. This gentleman spoke at all the meetings for the Rudin project and just happens to live in a building on 5th Avenue owned by the Rudins. This community is now left without a hospital and trauma center. Ambulance time to take patients in traffic to the well-bedded East Side of Manhattan determines life and death and disability. Imagine what that means if you are the heart patient, the stroke victim, the asthmatic child in respiratory arrest or, God forbid, a patient in sepsis, where minutes count……. No, Rudin lies, and our corrupt officials have aided and abetted him and no one is accountable because the dead can’t speak.

  2. Anonymous says:

    I am in complete agreement with the previous comment by Ms. Ruether. The community has been out in force for 2 years demanding that we have a hospital restored to the lower west side of Manhattan. Neither Mr. Rudin nor ANY of his representatives have met with the community. He has met with a few, hand-picked community residents who have told him what he has wanted to hear, but they are NOT representative of the community at large.

    The reason this property has been the focal point of this fight is that St. Vincent’s hospital was the only hospital infrastructure that exists  below 57th Street on Manhattan’s west side. Public officials have told our community repeatedly that there is no money for a new hospital. It would take substantially less money and time to restore a hospital at the St. Vincent’s site than to build an entirely new hospital. 

    We’re not asking for something new. We’re asking for access to the same healthcare that this community had for 160 years until St. Vincent’s, irresponsibly, was closed. Currently, NO hospital serves Manhattan’s lower west side from 57th to the Battery. That is gross negligence on the part of the City Planning Commission, who made their decision today, and every public official in this city and state. I pray that it doesn’t take another national tragedy to open their eyes.