Concerned staff in the Mount Sinai Health System and have their eyes and ears on the future of an East Village medical building.
The New York Eye and Ear Infirmary at 218 Second Avenue is in talks to be sold and demolished, the New York Post reported. Since merging with its former owner in 2013, Mount Sinai has increasingly moved surgery, clinical and ambulatory departments to other locations with its system.
“Mount Sinai is going to close this building and make whatever they can on it,” an anonymous doctor told the Post.
A source told the outlet the number of operating rooms is already being halved from 18 to nine. In a video conference with senior staff, Infirmary president Dr. James Tsai talked about relocating the surgery department, faculty practice, emergency room, research facilities and other departments to different Mount Sinai sites.
There’s a strong development opportunity for the land, which may make it appealing for Mount Sinai to market to the highest bidder. The infirmary buildings — which includes 310 East 14th Street — span 35,000 square feet of land. Residential zoning in place could allow for a 210,000-square-foot building.
The land could fetch around $70 million, source told the Post, citing an average of recent Manhattan sales of residential air space of $250-350 per square foot.
Mount Sinai did not respond to the outlet’s requests for comment on the future of the Infirmary buildings.
There is a grassroots effort underway to try and save the building via the city landmarking process. Last month, Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation director Andrew Berman wrote to both Mayor Eric Adams and Landmarks Preservation Commission chair Sarah Carroll about designating the building as a landmark, which would prevent demolishment or alterations without LPC approval.
State Sen. Brad Hoylman and Assembly member Harvey Shapiro are among those supporting the designation.
Doctors and staff at the Infirmary have bemoaned the possible loss of an important medical institution.
“The inter-departmental synergy that the Infirmary has always provided will be lost,” Joseph Burkart, a former Infirmary board chairman, told the Post.
[NYP] — Holden Walter-Warner