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St. Vincent’s Approved by CPC, What Will the City Council Do?

st vincents hospital concept new yorkOn January 23, 2012, the City Planning Commission (CPC) voted to approve the application submitted by the Rudin Management Company to redevelop the site of the former St. Vincent’s Hospital on West 12th Street and Seventh Avenue. The development includes 450 apartments with retail on the East Site and new open space on the Triangle Site (see map below). For more background information on the project, including MAS’ previous work, click here. st vincents hospital nyc redevelopment site map aerial view With the approval by the CPC, the St. Vincent’s redevelopment project is now being presented to the City Council for review, MAS strongly urges both Council Speaker Christine Quinn, whose district St. Vincent’s lies in, and the entire City Council, to modify the application to address the concerns laid out in MAS’ position. The concerns expressed by MAS were also expressed by many others, including Manhattan Community Board 2. MAS’ testimony made three primary points:
  1. Given the significant increase in residential density on this site, a portion of this new housing should be set aside as affordable housing;
  2. The AIDS Memorial Park Campaign has lead a community driven conversation about the potential for the Triangle site to be developed as an AIDS Memorial Park, and the project needs to reflect the energy and creativity of this approach;
  3. The applicant is proposing a new 152 space parking garage, but the applicant’s EIS indicates that there are more than enough existing spaces in the surrounding area. MAS believes that the size of the parking facility is inappropriate and will only create additional congestion on West 12th Street.
For the full testimony, click here. The CPC concluded that the lack of affordable housing in the project site was acceptable, as the new housing included in the project would not change the character of the surrounding neighborhood, which is primarily residential. Moreover, the Commission stated that the 152-space accessory parking garage would not have an adverse effect on traffic in the area, and therefore is appropriate. However, while the report did not recommend that the Triangle Site be developed as an AIDS Memorial Park, it did encourage the leaders of the AIDS Memorial Park Campaign to work with Rudin Management. The CPC report, and their suggestion for Rudin to work with the AIDS Memorial Park Campaign, comes at an opportune time. In November 2011, a design competition was launched by the Campaign, which yielded almost 500 proposals. On January 29, 2012, the AIDS Memorial Park Campaign announced a winner of the design competition, studio a+i. Click here to see renderings and read about the winning design. The announcement of the winner of the design competition has garnered widespread media attention from outlets ranging from New York Magazine to NY1. MAS is excited about the potential of this creative design and urges the Rudin Management team to work with members of the AIDS Memorial Park Campaign to create a park that seizes on this energy.