By Al Barbarino
In a deal orchestrated by City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, the city has reached agreement with the Rudin organization to bring a revised West Village redevelopment project to life after receiving approval from the City Council’s Zoning and Franchises subcommittee.
As part of the deal, St. Vincent’s — the historic hospital that was shuttered almost two years ago and sold last year to Rudin Management in bankruptcy court — will be turned into a 24-hour walk-in emergency facility run by the North-Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System, according to a statement from the City Council.
In addition, a new school will be opened at 75 Morton Street and Rudin Management has made a number of modifications to its development plan, which will include 590,000 s/f of residential mixed-use development. Community activists have long held that the former St. Vincent’s facility should be turned into a full-service hospital, but with a new school and historic preservation agreements being included to sweeten the deal, nobody seems to be complaining.
The community lost a “long and valiant fight” to keep St. Vincent’s open, Quinn said in a statement. But, she added, “While we continue to advocate for a full service hospital, I welcome the outstanding emergency, primary, and specialty health care services that this project will bring.”
The acquisition of 75 Morton has long been a goal of community leaders and parents who argue the public school system in the neighborhood is overstretched. The Mayor and the Department of Education have agreed to purchase a 7-Story, 177,000 s/f building owned by the state.
“After four long years of meetings and conversations, we are thrilled that we finally have an opportunity to see 75 Morton Street become a school like it always should have been,” said Assembly Member Deborah Glick, in a statement.
Rudin has 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, according to statements from the City Council and Rudin Management.
A new park will also be created opposite the former St. Vincent’s building; Rudin will deed the park to the city, guaranteeing that it will not be open to further development, and ensuring that an AIDS memorial will become a primary feature of the park.
“Today’s vote puts us one step closer to bringing not only these benefits to fruition, but returning quality healthcare to the Village, creating more than 1,600 jobs and revitalizing the small businesses that were negatively impacted by St. Vincent’s closing,” said Bill Rudin, managing partner at Rudin Management Co.
The plan is up for a full City Council vote on March 28.
*this article appeared in the March 21, 2012 print edition of Real Estate Weekly