City Planning Approves St. Vincent's Redevelopment; Advocates Push for AIDS Memorial

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Nearly two years ago, St. Vincent's Hospital in Greenwich Village shut its doors in the face of millions of dollars of debt. The closure strained other hospitals in the city and also paved the way for a large rezoning and redevelopment process on the site.

Today, that development project took a big step forward, earning the approval of the City Planning Commission -- the second to last step in the lengthy public review process required in New York City for projects like this.

The project, under Rudin Management, is a proposed mixed-use development on 7th Ave. between 11th and 12th streets. The buildings, according to City Planning, would contain approximately 450 residential units, around 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space, 20,000 square feet of medical offices, and, notably, 17,000 square feet of public open space on the triangular parcel of land located west of the East Side.

It's that triangular parcel that a group of advocates have their eyes on.

As the process for redeveloping this site has moved forward, a group called the New York City AIDS Memorial Park Campaign has been pushing to build a memorial on that triangle. In New York City, more people have died from AIDS than anywhere else in the country, yet there is no significant AIDS memorial, the backers of this project argue. So they're hosting a pretty large design competition to come up with a plan for a memorial on the site. The competition closed over the weekend, and a panel of judges -- which includes Whoopi Goldberg and Kenneth Cole -- will start reviewing hundreds of ideas this week.

These proposals were not included in the development approved today, but organizers hope that they can bring the memorial concept into the project at the final stop of approval: City Council. And they've already built up some momentum today with City Planning Commissioner Amanda Burden asking the developer to consider the interests of an AIDS memorial. "Given the past efforts of the applicant on this proposal, I am confident they will continue to work with the community in the future, including those interested in creating the AIDS memorial. I am very pleased to vote yes," she said, according to remarks provided by City Planning.

Burden also praised the project for integrating new and historic buildings into a site plan and respecting the existing context of the neighborhood.

"New York City still has nothing to memorialize what happened," Paul Kelterborn, co-founder of the AIDS Memorial Park project, told Runnin' Scared today, referring to the AIDS crisis. "St. Vincent's Hospital was really the epicenter of the epidemic, and with the demolition of the buildings, that means there's going to be no standing reminder of what happened."

Christopher Tepper, another co-founder, attended City Planning's meeting today, and told Runnin' Scared he was glad to hear the commissioner voice her support for a memorial.

"It's so hard for people to visualize something when they don't have a plan in front of them," he said, referring to the fact that the winner of the competition hasn't been selected yet. "To continue to get strong support before we have an image is exciting."

The group plans to announce winners next Monday.

[SamTLevin / @SamTLevin]

Go to Runnin' Scared for all our latest news coverage.


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4 comments
Guest
Guest

I write the following respectfully in regard to all the hard work of all the entrants as well as the jury.

Nevertheless, The Aids Memorial should be re-juried. The choices for winners (and to a large extent the runners up) are highly questionable. The winning entry is clumsy urbanistically, creating a 200' long slate wall completely closing the park off completely from the street (except for corner entries) .

This will create dead and dangerous sidewalk situations and a true heaven for graffiti artists. In addition the interior boasts mirrored walls that may very well be damaged and broken and stained within a few years time..

Mirror is also, arguably, one of the more questionable finish materials - one would have thought those lessons were learned in the 60's and 70's..... The jury should be replaced and the competition re-viewed. The project should not be built as it stands.     

Handsoffstvincents
Handsoffstvincents

What is totally amazing from Socialite Amanda Burden to Brad Holyman to the young tweeks who showed up at the 11th Hour is that all they want is a MEMORIAL FOR THE DEAD and don't GIVE A DAMN ABOUT THE LIVING. The health of 1.5 million west side Manhattan residents, workers, and tourists are at risk without a hospital.  To get Whoopie and Kenneth and others on a judging contest it shows by their silence, they join the other wealthy oppressors, including our Mayor and all the Democratic elected dips@#$'s, and those appointed (CB2) that they will be marked with BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS.   The Rudin's, their family, employees, and support (lawyers) are included in this attack on the community with BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS and the HANDS of FUTURE GENERATIONS of their family for this transgression.   AIDS GARDEN ON THE HUDSON RIVER.  WHY DO WE NEED A SECOND ONE?  The secret is RUDIN kept a rider that shows at a later date he can tear down anything in the Triangle and build a TOWER there.  450 apartments = more than a $BILLION PROFIT.  Why could RUDIN not provide and the others DEMAND A HOSPITAL? That will be an additional 1,000 people living on the west side without a HOSPITAL.  "Let them eat Cake"  When does the REVOLUTION FOR HEALTHCARE START? SILENCE = DEATH

Hands-off-st-vincents
Hands-off-st-vincents

What is totally amazing from Socialite Amanda Burden to Brad Holyman to the young tweeks who showed up at the 11th Hour is that all they want is a MEMORIAL FOR THE DEAD and don't GIVE A DAMN ABOUT THE LIVING. The health of 1.5 million west side Manhattan residents, workers, and tourists are at risk without a hospital.  To get Whoopie and Kenneth and others on a judging contest it shows by their silence, they join the other wealthy oppressors, including our Mayor and all the Democratic elected dips@#$'s, and those appointed (CB2) that they will be marked with BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS.   The Rudin's, their family, employees, and support (lawyers) are included in this attack on the community with BLOOD ON THEIR HANDS and the HANDS of FUTURE GENERATIONS of their family for this transgression.   AIDS GARDEN ON THE HUDSON RIVER.  WHY DO WE NEED A SECOND ONE?  The secret is RUDIN kept a rider that shows at a later date he can tear down anything in the Triangle and build a TOWER there.  450 apartments = more than a $BILLION PROFIT.  Why could RUDIN not provide and the others DEMAND A HOSPITAL? That will be an additional 1,000 people living on the west side without a HOSPITAL.  "Let them eat Cake"  When does the REVOLUTION FOR HEALTHCARE START? SILENCE = DEATH

Suzannah Troy
Suzannah Troy

Amanda the People's Burden never met a zoning deal she did not approve for her rich friends at the expense of the community.  What good is an AIDS park when we don't have a full service hospital.  We will need a park next to the AIDS park for all the people that died because Amanda Burden did not give us zoning protection for St. Vincent's so only a hospital could be built there.  Bill Rudin's luxury condos can't do CPR.  Rudin is offering a Duane Reade with 2 cots as compensation for his, the People's Burden Amanda, Bloomberg and Scott Stringer's greed and stupidity.

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