Public Hearing on St. Vincent’s / Rudin Plans
On January 22 there will be a very important public hearing on the plan by St. Vincent’s Hospital and the Rudin Company to build 1.3 million sq. ft. of luxury condos and new hospital facilities on the site of the current St. Vincent’s hospital. This is the largest proposed development in Greenwich Village in more than 50 years, since Robert Moses’ superblock urban renewal projects south of Washington Square in the 1950s.
The Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation (GVSHP) has very serious concerns about the current plan. The proposal would include: wholesale demolition of all the current buildings on St. Vincent’s campus, although they are all within the Greenwich Village Historic District (and some are as much as 85 years old); increasing the overall density of development on these sites by 22%; and construction of two of the largest buildings ever in Greenwich Village (one 265 feet tall and the other 321 feet tall, each about ½ million square feet; for comparison to St. Vincent’s current largest building, see here). In addition to our concerns about the appropriateness of the development for this location, we also have very serious concerns about the precedents it would set regarding the demolition of landmarked buildings in historic districts like Greenwich Village, and using institutions to leverage ever-larger high-rise developments in our neighborhood.
Fortunately, this plan must be reviewed and voted upon by several government bodies before it can move ahead, and public hearings, with testimony from the public, must take place before any decisions can be made. Because the sites in question are within the Greenwich Village Historic District, the proposal must be approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, and because St. Vincent’s and Rudin are seeking special zoning changes to allow larger development, the City Planning Commission and the City Council must also approve this plan.
GVSHP recognizes the importance of St. Vincent’s plans to modernize its hospital. We are therefore seeking to find ways to address both the very strong concerns about neighborhood preservation shared by many in the community and the concerns about the need of the hospital to modernize. We have been working with a coalition of neighborhood groups which have put forward a “Community Alternative Plan” which we believe would balance these concerns – allowing construction of a new hospital building, while preserving and re-using the historic buildings on the St. Vincent’s campus, and not increasing the overall density of development on the campus (see here and here).
The upcoming public hearing is a critical opportunity to voice your concerns about the current plan, and support reasonable alternatives that can work for the neighborhood and the hospital. Please join us:
Public Hearing on St. Vincent’s/Rudin Luxury Condo & New Hospital Development Plan
at PS 41 (116 West 11th Street, west of 6th Avenue)
Tuesday, January 22 at 6:30 pm
(due to large expected turnout, we recommend you arrive and sign into speak at 6 pm, to ensure you get a chance to testify)
The hearing is the first of several being held by Community Board #2 and our local elected officials. The Community Board will vote on the plan after its public hearings; the Borough President and Council Speaker will also eventually vote on the plan; and the other elected officials’ positions will affect the approval process. Therefore it is very important that they hear from you, starting with this hearing.