Two St. Vincent’s sites enter public review 

By Katherine Clarke | August 22, 2011 04:35PM

Just this morning, it was reported that St. Vincent’s Hospital is the subject of an investigation by the Manhattan district attorney’s fraud unit over accusations that it purposely allowed its finances to slip so it could be sold to a private developer. Now, that private developer is making strides towards getting a residential project off the ground at the site.

Proposed development plans were certified this afternoon by the City Planning Commission, marking the first step in the public review process for a mixed-use project by the Rudin family.

Rudin, which purchased St. Vincent’s property parcels in an area bound by 11th and 12th streets and Sixth and Seventh avenues for $260 million earlier this year, is proposing a 590,000-square-foot residential development with 450 units, 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, 20,000 square feet of medical offices, 15,000 square feet of public space and a 152-space parking garage at the site.

At a meeting today at the planning commission headquarters, Rudin submitted a request for a zoning map amendment, zoning text amendment and special permits to allow for the development, all necessary for the plans to go through. The application focused only on the St. Vincent’s East Campus, the area east of Seventh Avenue, and the Triangle, an area bounded by Seventh Avenue, Greenwich Street and West 12th Street, and did not involve the O’Toole building, which will proceed as an independent as-of-right development.

Commissioners asked questions pertaining to whether the development would allow for inclusionary housing, which the project manager for the proposal said it would not, and if the open space would be accessible to the general public, which the manager said it would.

A spokesperson for the planning department had no comment on the St. Vincent’s fraud allegations, saying the department had no knowledge of the matter.

The next step is for the project to go before the community board, followed by approval by Borough President, then the City Planning Commission and finally the City Council. The process may take up to seven months, the planning spokesperson said.