NEWS AND ISSUES


DUANE, NADLER, COMMUNITY BOARD TWO RELEASE RESULTS OF ST. VINCENTfS REDEVELOPMENT SURVEY

***Click Here to Download the Survey Results***

***Click Here to Read Senator Duane's Testimony before Landmarks Preservation Commission on St. Vincent's Proposal***

March 31, 2008

New York State Senator Tom Duane, Representative Jerry Nadler and Manhattan Community Board 2 (CB2) today released the results of their community survey on St. Vincent's Hospital Manhattan and Rudin Development LLC's proposed new hospital and residential redevelopment on the footprint of the existing St. Vincentfs Hospital in the Greenwich Village Historic District. Tomorrow, April 1, the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) will hold the first hearing on St. Vincent's applications for Certificates of Appropriateness for the redevelopment.

Conducted online from January 24 to March 19, 2008, the unscientific survey drew 1,559 responses, more than two-thirds of which came from the two zip codes that straddle the development site.

Senator Duane noted that while the survey found that 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.

Senator Duane added, however, that there was no clear consensus among respondents regarding their top priorities for revising the redevelopment plan. Pushed to choose a top priority, the most common responses of people in the 10011 and 10014 zip codes were "Retaining current Smith-Raskob, Nurses Residence, Reiss and Spellman buildings for reuse," (20.5%); "Accommodating increased demand for public schools to serve the community" (17.5%); and "Having a state-of-the-art hospital facility in the Village" (17.2%). Overall respondents had the same three top choices but in a different order, with having a state-of-the-art hospital first (22.65); followed by retaining current buildings for reuse (19.6%); and then accommodating demand for public schools (18.5%).

"Certainly the hospital has support and there were even respondents who indicated in open-ended comments that nothing should stand in the way of the current proposal," Senator Duane said. "However, it is clear that many more respondents want me and other community representatives to advocate on their behalf for changes and concessions."

CB2 Chair Brad Hoylman noted that "this survey is only one tool that we will be using to inform our negotiations with St. Vincent's and Rudin moving forward. Since St. Vincent's and Rudin first announced their plans last fall, we've heard tremendous community feedback through numerous community meetings convened by local elected officials, the community board and St. Vincent's, as well as in correspondence and conversations."

"The survey shows that the community surrounding St. Vincent's views this institution as having a long and important history in Greenwich Village, and as having admirably served the West Side. The respondents also understand that it is clear that the hospital will need to modernize to continue that excellent service and that that will take additional revenue" said Representative Nadler. "However, the survey participants also voiced clearly a number of key concerns that we as elected officials must ensure are integrated fully into the ongoing discussions of the proposed revenue-generating development plan."

Senator Duane commented that the focus of tomorrow's LPC will be on whether any of the buildings slated for demolition are worthy of preservation, and whether the buildings proposed to replace them are appropriate for the Greenwich Village Historic District. "Many of the concerns expressed in the survey won't be on the agenda at LPC, but winning LPC approval is only the first hurdle for the redevelopment plan," Senator Duane said. "Should it be awarded the requested Certificates of Appropriateness from LPC, the project still must go through New York City's Uniform Land Use Review Procedure in order to proceed, so there will be many more opportunities for community residents and representatives to be heard and impact the proposal."


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