GVSHP Responds to Big New Development Plans by St. Vincent’s Hospital
St. Vincent’s Hospital has been working on plans for big changes to its properties on 7th Avenue, and 11th, 12th, and 13th Streets in the West Village. The hospital has announced their intention to modernize and consolidate all of their facilities into one building of as much as 600-650,000 sq. ft. building on the current site of their O’Toole Building (west side of 7th Avenue between 12th and 13th Streets) and sell off their remaining buildings on the east side of 7th Avenue to be demolished and redeveloped as housing by developers the Rudin Family. Because their entire campus falls within the Greenwich Village Historic District, any plans to demolish or build anew must go through public hearings and be approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission. Because St. Vincent’s Hospital is also governed by special zoning regulations, any such changes must also be approved by the City Planning Commission and the City Council after extensive public hearings.
St. Vincent’s plans would be by far the largest development ever in the Greenwich Village Historic District since it’s designation, and the largest development anywhere in Greenwich Village in at least 50 years. Under their current thinking, St. Vincent’s new building on the site of the O’Toole building could be two or more times the size of the Coleman Pavilion (click here for Villager article), their largest current building (and about three and a half times the size of the O’Toole building, which it would replace). The residential development which would replace the current hospital facilities east of 7th Avenue would be somewhat smaller than the overall mass of the existing buildings on those sites.
GVSHP has been participating in a “Community Working Group” formed by St. Vincent’s consisting of elected officials, community groups, and other interested parties to discuss St. Vincent’s plans. GVSHP has also been working with neighbors of St. Vincent’s to come up with “guiding principles” which we are urging the hospital to adopt to ensure that their new development plans are compatible with the character of the West Village (click here for GVSHP’s letter to St. Vincent and their repsonse). GVSHP and several neighboring block associations, buildings, and residents have expressed some substantial concerns about St. Vincent’s current conceptual plans, and are hoping that at this early stage of the process the hospital will integrate these concerns into their planning. The Villager, in a recent editorial, echoed many of these concerns.
Greenwich Village Block Associations (GVBA) will be hosting a meeting with St. Vincent’s officials on their plans, which will be open to the public. St. Vincent’s will make a presentation, and the GVBA will allow some members of the public to ask questions. GVSHP urges you to attend this meeting to try to find out more and to express your thoughts or concerns about the project. We especially urge you to raise concerns about the possibility of the hospital building a single very large building on the O’Toole site, an increase in overall density in the area from the new residential development, and the demolition of all of the hospital’s buildings, including its older, more contextual and historic buildings.
How to Help:
Attend the public meeting with St. Vincent’s on their early-stage planning for a new hospital and new residential development on their campus — Wednesday, June 13 at Cronin Auditorium, St. Vincent’s Hospital (enter at 170 West 12th Street). The presentation begins at 7 pm, but you can sign in to speak starting at 6:30 pm.