State court blocks UWS nursing home over open-space requirements

Judges ruled rooftop amenity area on nearby apartment building doesn’t qualify as public space

TRD New York /
Oct.October 19, 2018 09:30 AM
Jewish Home Lifecare, New York Appellate Court

Rendering of the Jewish Home Lifecare building (Credit: West Side Rag)

A New York appellate court blocked the development of a 20-story nursing home on the Upper West Side over obscure definitions of open space.

New Jewish Home, formerly Jewish Home Lifecare, had planned to construct the nursing home on West 97th Street, and received the green light from the city Department of Buildings and Board of Standards and Appeals.

But in 2010, after a 40-year deed restriction blocking development on open spaces at the site expired four years earlier, the Chetrit Group and Stellar Management build a 30-story apartment building at 808 Columbus Avenue.

The court ruled 3-1 that a rooftop amenity space above the retail portion of that building could not count as open space, because it wasn’t open to residents of older apartments nearby, the Wall Street Journal reported.

That means there wasn’t enough open space on the site for the nursing home to move forward.

New Jewish Home senior vice president Bruce Nathanson said the developer’s calculations of open space went through three independent government reviews.

“While we will consider our options regarding this decision, the New Jewish Home remains 100% committed to serving older adults in New York City with an array of innovative health-care services,” he said.

Attorneys for the project plan to ask for a hearing before the Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court. [WSJ] – Rich Bockmann

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