Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center is selling the former Cabrini Medical Center, a 1.5-acre, five-building complex at Second Avenue and East 19th Street that it purchased just two years ago, sources said.
The decision comes on the heels of last month’s agreement between the city and a partnership of Memorial Sloan-Kettering and the City University of New York to construct two new state-of-the-art science and medical facilities on the Upper East Side.
“Memorial Sloan Kettering is looking to sell property (known as the former Cabrini Medical Center) because another property became available that better met our needs – given its close proximity to our main campus on the Upper East Side,” said Chris Hickey, director of communications with Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, in an email.
In the UES deal, the city agreed to sell a 66,000 s/f site at 525 East 73rd Street for $215 million, what Mayor Bloomberg at the time called “one of the largest real estate transactions the city has ever been involved in.”
MSKCC will construct a 750,000 s/f cancer care facility at the site, well-positioned near its main campus at 1275 York Ave.
A new 15-story outpatient surgery center, the Josie Robertson Surgery Center at 1133 York Ave., is also currently under construction at 61st and York Avenue, Hickey said.
SKI realty, an affiliate of MSKCC, closed on the Cabrini site in October of 2010, paying $83.1 million.
Cabrini closed due to financial difficulties in 2008 and later filed for bankruptcy in the summer of 2009.
MSKCC reportedly planned to renovate and convert the Cabrini Medical Center property into an outpatient cancer center prior to striking the UES deal with the city last month.
The UES center will provide outpatient treatment programs for patients with lung, head, neck and hematological cancers and will include state-of-the-art outpatient bone marrow transplantation services.
It’s plausible that the Cabrini property will be an opportunity for a developer to move in with residential development plans.
In March, the city granted the Rudin family’s West Village Residences final approval to build a residential development at the former St. Vincent’s Hospital site in the West Village after years of negotiations.
The developer made several concessions in order to meet the city and the public’s approval.
The company agreed to reduce the number of residential units at the proposed development from 450 to 350; reduce the number of parking spaces in the parking garage from 152 to 95; provide $1 million funding for arts programs at local schools P.S. 41, P.S. 3 and the Foundling School; and $1 million to help community residents retain affordable housing, statements from the City Council and Rudin Management stated at the time.
Mark Weiss, the broker at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank who is marketing the Cabrini site (part of the team that represented MSKCC in the deal with the city), did not return calls seeking comment.