Jewish Home Lifecare, a nursing home on West 106th Street, won a big vote on Monday that will give it a much faster approval process on a new 20-story facility it plans to build on 97th Street (rendering above shows Jewish Home building on the left).
Community Board 7 and local politicians had tried to slow down the process and give locals more time to study the project’s impact and object, but the city planning commission denied their requests. Because of the vote, the nursing home won’t have to go through ULURP, a review process that can drag on for months. Jewish Home is now applying for its foundation permit, which it expects to be issued in the coming weeks. Groundbreaking is expected in early 2014, and the project should be completed by 2017.
Ethan Geto, a Jewish Home spokesman, told us that the nursing home is also seeking a state permit, which it expects to receive.
“We are also going through a State review process – we have applied for a Certificate of Need (CON) from the New York State Department of Health. Whenever a new hospital, nursing home or other medical facility is slated to be built, the State must certify that a need exists for the services/beds to be provided. Since Community District 7, the official catchment area for the planned new nursing home, has a lower rate of nursing home beds to the district’s population than the citywide ratio, we are hopeful that a CON will be forthcoming; we had been granted a CON when the project was intended to be built at 106th Street, the site of our present campus, and the only major difference now is that the new facility will have fewer beds and will be built on the Green House model, both of which are pluses in this context.”
Nick Prigo, co-chair of Community Board 7’s housing committee and a Democratic district leader, wrote to us that the commission’s vote was very disappointing:
“On Monday, the Department of City Planning ignored the wishes of our community. They granted permission for Jewish Home Lifecare’s proposed
high-rise nursing home on West 97th Street to skip a formal land use review process. This process, called ULURP (stands for uniform land use review process), was created explicitly to give neighborhoods like ours an opportunity to have a voice in what gets built in our backyards.
Prior to this ruling at the Department of City Planning, Community Board 7 voted 37-0 (I was one of the 37) to recommend that this proposed facility go through ULURP. Subsequent to the CB7 vote, both City Council Member Melissa Mark-Viverito and State Senator Bill Perkins asked the Department of City Planning to send this proposed facility through ULURP.
This proposed facility would have a negative impact on West 97th Street and the seven buildings of the Park West Village community. This area has already undergone tremendous change over the last few years. Since 2009, five new high-rises with 710 apartments have been opened on Columbus and Amsterdam Avenues as part of Columbus Square. JHL’s proposed nursing home aims to add a sixth new high-rise to the community in the space between PS 163 and two Park West Village buildings.”