Rudin Wins Major Condo Plan Victory

Published February 2012

On January 23rd, the City Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve a proposal by Rudin Management Company Inc. to rezone the shuttered St. Vincent’s Hospital East Campus to allow condo development of that site. This follows a recommendation by Borough President Scott Stringer in November to approve the rezoning, with minor modifications.

The Rudin rezoning plan, if approved, will result in St. Vincent’s entire East Campus being converted to residential use. Four of the buildings—Spellman, Smith, Raskob and Nurse’s Residence—will be converted to condos, while another four—Coleman, Link, Cronin and Reiss—will be demolished to make way for a 200-plus-foot-tall luxury condo high-rise on Seventh Avenue, two mid-rise residential buildings (one on 11th Street and one on 12th Street) and a row of new townhouses on 11th Street.

The Planning Commission’s swift unanimous vote to approve the rezoning application sends it to the City Council, which must hold public hearings and vote upon the proposed zoning changes within 60 days of the Planning Commission’s vote. These hearings were not yet scheduled as WestView went to press, but readers can check www.gvshp.org for updates.

The proposed rezoning cannot happen, and Rudin’s proposed St. Vincent luxury condo development cannot move ahead, unless the rezoning is approved by the City Council. The St. Vincent’s campus site lies in City Council Speaker Christine Quinn’s district, and thus the Council will likely follow her lead in deciding whether or not to approve this application.

GVSHP continues to oppose the rezoning application. This site was rezoned in 1979 to allow the construction of larger than normally allowable buildings for the purpose of constructing a hospital, which provides a public service. The Rudin rezoning application is asking, in essence, that the additional bulk and extra zoning considerations granted to St. Vincent’s now be given to Rudin Management to allow it to construct larger than currently (or normally) allowable private, for-profit, market-rate condos in the Greenwich Village Historic District.

We believe that allowing construction of these buildings is not only bad planning and a bad principle, but is also inappropriate in terms of size and scale and the loss of historic buildings for this site. We also believe that approving this rezoning, or “upzoning,” application sets a terrible precedent that could pave the way for the special privileges afforded institutions serving a public purpose, of which there are many in our neighborhood, to be exploited by private developers. GVSHP will continue to push for the rezoning of the site to allow for luxury condo development to be rejected.
If you want to make your feelings known about the proposal, you have just a short period of time to contact City Council Speaker Quinn. Go to www.gvshp.org/stvincltr for contact information and sample letters you can send.

Andrew Berman,
Executive Director Greenwich Village
Society for Historic Preservation

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One Response to “Rudin Wins Major Condo Plan Victory”

  1. Vicki Margolis

    Mar 31st, 2012

    Mr. Berman,
    Thank you for all you have done, and all you continue to do for your fellow Villagers. It’s not easy to continue the enormous commitment you have made, but I promise, there are many who benefit from, and appreciate, your efforts on our behalf.
    Now that the Rudin/St. Vincent’s project is finalized, I was wondering if anyone knows what (if any) final disposition has been made regarding the proposed Mulry Fan Plant to possibly be constructed just south of the Rudin/St. Vincent’s project? We live across from the MTA’s ventilation project that took place at 13th St. & 6th Ave. And, spent 5 miserable years under quasi-attack, assaulted by the noises and daily dodging of heavy machinery, construction, and irate traffic, constantly foiled by street closures and slowdowns. There was even a debris fire, which brought out the brigade in full force. It is my (sketchy) understanding that this MTA project will take place at the same time as the development/construction of the Rudin properties, and the North Shore/LIJ Emergency Care facility.
    Please let us know (if you know) what the plan is or is not, for this facility, and if you have any information about where and how large the final project will sit.
    Sincerely,
    Vicki Margolis
    101 W. 12th St.

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