Hospital Site’s Plan Advances
The New York Times 1/24/2012
By JOSEPH DE AVILA
Plans to remake the St. Vincent’s Hospital site in the West Village into an $800 million residential project were approved on Monday by the City Planning Commission.
The Rudin family, one of the city’s largest landowners, proposes to build up to 450 luxury units at the site of the now-defunct St. Vincent’s Hospital, which closed in 2010. Also planned for the site are an elementary school and a 16,500-square-foot park.
In addition, the developers are working with the North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System to open a new 24-hour medical emergency department at the O’Toole building on Seventh Avenue, which was part of the closed St. Vincent’s complex.
With the planning board approval, the Rudins next will have to win over the City Council, including Speaker Christine Quinn, who represents the West Village. Ms. Quinn will soon begin reviewing the proposal, after which she will take a public position, according to City Council spokesman Justin Goodman.
In a statement, William Rudin, chief executive of Rudin Management said the family-run real-estate company looked forward “to working with Speaker Quinn and the rest of the City Council to gain final passage.”
The Rudins began discussions in 2007 to acquire the hospital, which in recent years had faced severe financial troubles. A federal bankruptcy judge approved the sale of St. Vincent’s to the Rudins for $260 million in 2011. The family hopes to complete the project by 2015.
The development plans are among the most ambitious new projects planned in Manhattan and have been met with opposition from community groups. The local community board voted unanimously to disapprove the project in October
Mr. Rudin says his family’s plan will result in the “significant revitalization of the St. Vincent’s campus and its surrounding area.”