BP Brewer to host task force meetings on Lenox Hill hospital revitalization

BY ALEJANDRA O’CONNELL-DOMENECH  | The new year might bring some new developments on Northwell Health’s Lenox Hill Hospital revitalization plan.

Manhattan Borough President Brewer will host four Lenox Hill Hospital task force meetings beginning in January of 2020 to help bring community members and developers to a consensus on the project. Currently, the meetings are scheduled for January through April.

The meetings come after community outcry, particularly from the group the Committee to Protect Our Lenox Hill Neighborhood, over the plan’s call to erect a 490-foot-tall apartment building next to a rebuilt 516-foot-tall hospital, several hundred feet taller than what is permitted under the area’s current zoning law. The hospital, which was bought by Northwell in 2010, sits on the block between Park Avenue and Lexington Avenue from 76th to 77th Streets.

Community members argue that by allowing Northwell Health to proceed with receiving zoning variances to create the two towers, the residential neighborhood will quickly transform into an extension of Midtown.

“We appreciate that Borough President Brewer and Council Member Powers have responded to the community’s serious concerns by taking this initial step to push Northwell to reconsider its disastrous proposal,” wrote the Committee to Protect Our Lenox Hill Neighborhood in a statement earlier this month. BP Brewer and Councilmember Keith Powers hosted a first task force meeting with representatives from Lenox Hill and Northwell Health on Dec. 10.

“We look forward to attending future meetings and working collaboratively with our elected officials to ensure that Northwell is held to his crucial and sensible standard.”

The Upper East Side’s Community Board 8 voted in October to reject Northwell Health’s Lenox Hill Hospital revitalization plan. Besides allowing for the residential tower to be built next to the new hospital, the plan calls for a new emergency room, mother and baby center, a new diagnostic and treatment center and transitioning from double-patient rooms to solely having single-patient rooms. Developers would widen the street in front of the emergency room to accommodate a new ambulance bay. As the hospital currently is, a line of patients on stretchers will form outside of the emergency room’s door given the small amount of space ambulances have to park and the ER’s small size.

Although the community board is an advisory entity, the vote represented community opinion to the plan. During the meeting, it was suggested that Northwell and Lenox Hill go back to the drawing board and resubmit a revitalization plan in keeping with the neighborhood’s 210 foot height cap on Park Avenue and 170 feet on Lexington Avenue.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *