FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 19, 2014
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CONTACT: Lyn Hill, 718-780-3301
Board of Standards and Appeals Unanimously Approves Variances for New York Methodist Hospital’s Center for Community Health
The New York City Board of Standards and Appeals has unanimously approved variances requested by New York Methodist Hospital needed to build a new outpatient care center. This followed the approval by Community Board 6 earlier this year.
The Center for Community Health will be constructed on the block bounded by Seventh Avenue, Sixth Street, Eighth Avenue and Fifth Street, in the Park Slope neighborhood of Brooklyn. It will consolidate a number of New York Methodist Hospital’s (NYM) outpatient treatment facilities, now scattered among multiple buildings, into one state-of-the-art, efficient structure designed to provide the best possible patient experience.
The Center will be built within the existing permissible zoning square footage—the variances were not requested to allow for a larger building than zoning would permit. Instead, the variances granted will allow the modification of the height, setback and rear yard regulations to allow the Center to have the efficient floor plates required for a modern facility of this type.
The Hospital has been a neighborhood institution since 1881 and its current buildings, ranging from four to nine stories, were built in the years between 1924 and 2006. Through the community review process, the building was shaped to focus bulk and height on Sixth Street—opposite the existing Hospital buildings—and to have multiple setbacks and a lower height on both Eighth Avenue and Fifth Street. The facade and exterior design will continue to be reviewed by the Community Board and Park Slope Civic Council.
“We were most gratified by the unanimous decision of the NYC Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) to grant the variances needed for New York Methodist Hospital's Center for Community Health,” said Lyn Hill, the Hospital’s vice president for communication and external affairs. “For nearly a year, the Hospital has worked with our community to advance this project, which will enhance outpatient healthcare for Brooklyn residents, and we have incorporated numerous suggestions and revisions as a result of community input. Community Board 6, elected officials, and others have been diligent in their review and worked hard to ensure that the Center fits into the neighborhood.”
New York Methodist Hospital already maintains outpatient satellite facilities and physician offices, providing primary and secondary medical care, in nearly every Brooklyn neighborhood. However, for a hospital-based outpatient center to function efficiently and appropriately, it must be on, or immediately adjacent to, the hospital campus. This allows physicians and other medical providers to move freely and easily between the outpatient and inpatient settings and also allows patients to access shared services at both sites in a seamless and convenient manner.
The services to be offered in the Hospital-based Center will include procedures such as same-day surgery, endoscopy, chemotherapy, radiation oncology and specialty consultations.
Most of the Hospital-owned buildings to be demolished in order to make way for the Center are currently occupied by medical facilities or back office space, used to house resident physicians, or are vacant. Occupants of the 12 dwelling units rented to members of the community are being offered comparable or better units in other Hospital housing, located within a one-block radius of their current apartments.
In response to community requests, NYM redesigned the building to move traffic away from Fifth Street, so that Fifth Street residents and schoolchildren would not be exposed to significant additional traffic. Two separate traffic studies were undertaken to analyze the impact of the Center on traffic in the area surrounding the Hospital. The studies noted that most of the outpatient activity was already occurring in existing facilities in the neighborhood and neither study found adverse traffic impacts from the Center.
In addition to the Hospital’s current underground parking garage, an extension garage will be built beneath the new Center to adhere to zoning guidelines and to accommodate the needs of patients and visitors using the new facility. However, to avoid attracting more cars to the neighborhood and in accordance with an agreement reached with Community Board 6, the Hospital received a variance to reduce the size of the current garage by nearly 200 spaces. The Center will have no ambulance service, so it will not generate any additional ambulance traffic.
The Hospital also committed to continued work with a Traffic Task Force convened by Council member Brad Lander to resolve traffic and parking issues in the area surrounding the Hospital.
“We are especially grateful for the help and support of our elected officials, particularly City Councilmember Brad Lander and Community Board 6, chaired by Daniel Kummer, ” Lyn Hill said. “We look forward to continued engagement with the community as we move forward to complete the exterior design and begin construction.”
Center for Community Health; North side of Sixth Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues
New York Methodist Hospital (NYM), a voluntary, acute-care teaching facility located in Brooklyn’s Park Slope, houses 651 inpatient beds (including bassinets) and provides services to about 40,000 inpatients each year. An additional 350,000 outpatient visits and services are logged annually. The Hospital, founded in 1881, has undergone extensive renovation and modernization over the years. NYM has Institutes in the following areas: Advanced and Minimally Invasive Surgery, Asthma and Lung Disease; Cancer Care; Cardiology and Cardiac Surgery; Digestive and Liver Disorders; Diabetes and Other Endocrine Disorders; Vascular Medicine and Surgery; Family Care; Neurosciences; Orthopedic Medicine and Surgery and Women’s Health. New York Methodist Hospital is affiliated with the Weill Cornell Medical College and is a member of the NewYork-Presbyterian Healthcare System.
On June 16, 2014, New York Methodist Hospital filed the following previously submitted proposed plans, re-dated and reissued at the request of the BSA.
On April 23, 2014, New York Methodist Hospital filed the following documents in support of an application to amend the special permit for the existing garage. The application would allow some required parking for the new building to be accommodated within the existing garage.
On April 22, 2014, New York Methodist Hospital sent the following documents to the Board of Standards and Appeals.
On April 3, 2014, New York Methodist Hospital sent the following document to the Board of Standards and Appeals.
On March 20, 2014, New York Methodist Hospital filed documents to amend the special permit for the existing garage to allow required parking for the new building to be located within the existing garage. The documents are available below.
New York Methodist Hospital filed additional documents with the Board of Standards and Appeals on March 4, 2014. The documents are available below.
Transcripts of the Board of Standards and Appeals Hearing, February 11, 2014.
Presentation given at Board of Standards and Appeals, February 11, 2014.
New York Methodist Hospital filed additional documents with the Board of Standards and Appeals on January, 28 2014. The documents are available below.
Presentation Given at Landmarks/Land Use Committee Meeting, January 6, 2014.
Additional images and information, posted January 2, 2014.
New York Methodist Hospital filed additional documents with the Board of Standards and Appeals on December 20, 2013. The documents are available below.
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New York Methodist Hospital filed an application for several variances with the Board of Standards and Appeals on October 16, 2013. The documents are available below.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 13, 2013
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CONTACT: Media Relations
Community Board Six Public Hearing to be Held on New York Methodist Hospital Variance Application for Outpatient Care Facility Construction
BROOKLYN, NY— New York Methodist Hospital (NYM) will make a presentation about its application for land use variances to construct a new building at a public hearing of the Landmarks/Land Use Committee of Community Board 6 on Thursday, November 21 at 6 p.m. The meeting will be held in the auditorium of the John Jay Educational Campus, 237 Seventh Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, 11215.
The Center for Community Health is expected to house an outpatient surgery center with 12 operating rooms for same-day surgery; a new endoscopy suite with six special procedure rooms; a cancer center of excellence that will include both radiation oncology and chemotherapy; Institutes for Neurosciences, Orthopedics and Women’s Health; physicians’ offices; an after-hours urgent care center and conference rooms.
The Hospital presented preliminary plans for construction of the new outpatient care facility at public meetings held in June and July. NYM’s development team then worked over the summer to address issues raised by community members in response to these initial proposals, and presented revised plans at public meetings held in September.
However, in order to fit the programmatic needs of the proposed facility, modifications (i.e. variances) of zoning resolutions governing lot coverage, rear yard equivalents, height and setback, rear yard setbacks, distribution of floor area across zoning district boundaries, and number and surface area of signs are required. The application for these variances was filed with the NYC Board of Standards and Appeals in October.
“The current plans for NYM’s Center for Community Health are largely the result of months of direct input from Park Slope residents,” said Lyn Hill, vice president for communication and external affairs at NYM. “We look forward to the November 21 public hearing, and encourage all community members who wish to hear more about the project, and make their voices heard, to attend.”
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 1, 2013
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CONTACT: Media Relations
New York Methodist Hospital Unveils Updated Plans for Outpatient Care Facility at Community Meetings
New York Methodist Hospital (NYM) presented revised plans and an initial design for a new outpatient care center at community meetings on September 26 and September 30. The meetings were held at John Jay Educational Campus and Congregation Beth Elohim, respectively.
NYM had presented preliminary plans for the new building earlier this summer to solicit the input of Park Slope residents and community leaders. The Hospital’s goal is to create a modern 21st century outpatient care facility, including a 12-operating room ambulatory surgery suite, a cancer center of excellence, a new endoscopy suite with six special procedure rooms, and physician offices, among other programs and services. While developing a facility that meets the Hospital’s present and future needs remains paramount, NYM has continually prioritized an open dialogue with Park Slope community members regarding the building's design, its expression and relationship to Park Slope.
The new building represents the Hospital’s response to a rapidly changing healthcare environment. Modern technology has enabled many medical procedures that previously required long hospital stays to be performed on an outpatient basis. Because ambulatory care is considered more efficient and cost-effective, as well as more convenient for patients, the government and private insurers are expecting that more and more services will be offered on an outpatient basis and the State of New York is currently encouraging hospitals to build outpatient care centers. The new healthcare delivery system assumes that such centers will be incorporated into hospitals. Nearly every major hospital in Manhattan is currently planning, building or has just completed an outpatient care center.
Following meetings held in June and July, NYM’s development team for the project found five major areas of concern that were expressed by community members at the meetings and in follow-up email messages. These areas included the traffic circulation pattern, the shape of the building, the design, incorporation of green space, and construction plans. The team worked to address each of these issues and presented revisions to the original plans at its September meetings.
After the September presentations, many members of the community still expressed reservations about the plan; especially with regard to its impact on traffic and parking around the Hospital. In response to the questions and comments, Councilman Brad Lander has created a Traffic Task Force that will identify and examine the various traffic and parking issues in the blocks surrounding the Hospital and will consider possible solutions to these problems. Along with Hospital representatives, the Task Force will include participants from the NYC Department of Transportation, Community Board Six, Park Slope Neighbors and the Park Slope Civic Council.
- The initial proposal was revised so that all traffic to the new building will enter and exit on Sixth Street, instead of entering on Sixth Street and exiting on Fifth Street as was originally contemplated. To alleviate traffic congestion on Sixth Street, drop-off space was added for cars and ambulettes discharging patients.
- To the greatest extent possible, the architects moved the bulk of the building away from residential areas and onto Sixth Street, across from the current Hospital inpatient buildings.
- Comments made and principles suggested for development of a design that would fit the Park Slope context were incorporated into the proposed design for the building.
- Green roofs and small gardens were incorporated into the design of the building. Trees will surround it.
- Most of the construction activities will be accessed from Sixth Street, with minimal activity on Eighth Avenue and Fifth Street. State-of-the-art equipment will be used to minimize noise and dust. Regular communication, via print and electronic media, will be used to inform near neighbors about any changes in construction activity. In addition, off-site parking will be established for and made available to the construction workers.
"New York Methodist Hospital has called Park Slope its home for over 130 years," said Mark J. Mundy, president and CEO of NYM. "We were founded in response to concerns about a lack of hospitals in our borough. As Brooklyn evolved, and medicine evolved, New York Methodist Hospital evolved as well. Now, as health care delivery shifts to outpatient settings, and NYM’s patient population continues to grow, our new outpatient care center will help ensure that New York Methodist Hospital has the facilities it needs to provide our community with a quality health care institution now and in the years ahead.”
Community members are encouraged to continue providing suggestions in input for the facility by emailing email@example.com.