Politicians join locals to oppose UES cancer center

A rendering of a planned health care complex on the Upper East Side
A rendering of a planned health care complex on the Upper East Side

Upper East Siders are organizing in the wake of plans for a 750,000-square-foot cancer center in their coveted neighborhood. On Friday, area activists and politicians met to protest the City Planning Commission’s approval of the 23-story Memorial Sloan Kettering facility, calling the plan a “vanity project.”

As The Real Deal previously reported, many Upper East Side residents have opposed the plan from the start — with one source quipping that the massive project is “the equivalent of trying to squeeze a fat lady into a too small girdle.”

But on Friday, politicians, such as Manhattan Borough President hopeful Gale Brewer and City Council District 5 candidate Ed Hartzog, came to show their opposition, indicating that the struggle is gaining momentum, according to DNAinfo.

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“Sloan-Kettering wants everything near their 68th Street campus,” Terry Grace, a UES resident at the protest told DNAinfo. “In my opinion, it’s vanity.”

Mayor Michael Bloomberg awarded Sloan Kettering and CUNY the bid to develop the site — currently a garage on York Avenue — in September 2012. In August the City Planning Commission approved a “bulk variance” for the proposal allowing it to go before a City Council vote, the final step before the project can break ground. [DNAinfo]Christopher Cameron