Stop the Press!
Just hours after I wrote the plea below to build a hospital first then condos on the St. John’s Terminal site, I got a call from Barbara Chacour that the Times had run a piece by Joyce Wadler—a West Village resident and a veteran Times writer—who discovered the hard way that the Lenox Hill Hospital receiving facility on 7th Avenue and 13th Street is not a real hospital with a working operating room, but instead a place you wait 12 hours for an ambulance to take you 70 bumpy blocks to a financially recovering real hospital with an operating room.
Take a look, it’s “funny.”
Times Jan.29, 2016 “Look! Up Over the Hospital! It’s Super Proxy!” http://www.nytimes.com/2016/01/31/nyregion/look-up-over-the-hospital-its-super-proxy.html
The city has started the approval process for a massive condo project while WestView argues for a new hospital and medical research center as shown above.
As you read this, bureaucratic wheels are turning to permit a towering three-block-long complex of 1,586 apartments to arise in front of Pier 40 at West Houston Street.
Just a very few men, the principals of two real estate investment firms, have eased this project into existence and in doing so they never asked you or me what we wanted—they were simply guided by their planners and accountants to achieve maximum profitability.
But wait, we taxpayers do have an investment in this.
In order to build more condos than allowed they are buying the air rights to pier 40—owned by our city and our state to whom we pay taxes.
So I ask you, taxpayer, what do you want built with your money?
“Affordable apartments” I hear and, yes, a third of the apartments have been negotiated as affordable. They will be made available through a raffle with hundreds of thousands of participants, so you may have to hang on to your tiny rent stabilized apartment a little longer.
But what does the whole community need?
A hospital with a 24-hour trauma one emergency room to save our lives when our hearts stop beating and we have minutes to live.
For 161 years we had this in St. Vincent’s, which was torn down to, build—yes—luxury condos.
But hospitals are expensive—I can still hear North Shore LIJ hospital head Michael J. Dowling with his Limerick accent intoning on the stage of PS 41 “it will cost a billion dollars”
Just 400 Americans are now worth over $2 trillion and New York has the greatest number of these billionaires as seen on 60 Minutes.Many are dedicated to giving away half their fortune—witness the $200 million gift to New York Hospital by Kenneth Langone, who decried the loss of the St. Vincent’s emergency room in a Times article.
But who will be our billionaire to write the first check to restore a hospital to the West Village? Just walk over to 15th Street and 8th Avenue and ask for Larry Page or Sergey Brin of Google as their company passes the $400 billion mark.
Elected voices should demand what is needed—not negotiate for raffle tickets for a few. —George Capsis.