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.”

NEWS, REAL ESTATE | 21 comments | permalink
    1. JanLevy says:

      This proposal is an egregious example of cruel and unusualplanning punishment. Nursing homes are usually low rise with horizontal floor plans. If there is an emergency, residents in the high rise rooms furthest from the elevators will be at risk. The JHL facility on 106th St. is well-sited on a residnetial, tree-lined two-way street. There is a garden, a large auditorium, and other amenities for residents. It makes no sense, except for the prime consideration of the BOTTOM LINE to squeeze a 25-story building into a postage stamp site on a one-way street with two schools, other residential buildings, and the 18-wheelers delivering to Whole Foods market and the Associated Mrket on the E corner of 97th & Amsterdam. 97th St. is also a continuation of the westbound 97th St. crosstown transverse through Cral Park. If the CPC tried, I’m sure they could find another project that would totally destroy the little that is left of the quality of life for Park West Village and other residents, and the school children attending the public and religious schools. I doubt the frail elederly residents of JHL will really enjoy their surroundings to the extent posible on 106 St. What kind of planning is this???

    2. fran handman says:

      It is dismaying to see how easily the wellbeing of ordinary citizens can be ignored and overriden in favor of special interests who’s only interest is in amassing money without any concern for the common good.

    3. Catherine Unsino says:

      On March 26, 2012 the City Planning Commission’s unusual process was as disturbing as its vote. Commissioner Amanda Burden by-passed the usual procedure of allowing members to read and discuss relevant material before they vote. What happened to democracy in New York City? What is the honest citizen’s recourse to a system rigged to benefit corporations? Amanda Burden is helping Jewish Home place frail elderly New Yorkers in a high rise, disconnected from streetscapes and neighbors. This plan, not only serves far fewer elderly than is needed, but it would also severely reduce direct-care staff and clinical competence. Jewish Home’s present site on 106th St would permit them to better serve elderly people in a low-rise building with adequate staffing on a quiet residential street. The Mayor needs to reverse this travesty and potential tragedy for elderly in Manhattan and for the people who live in both neighborhoods.

    4. milton mankoff says:

      Maybe we should have pickets at Geto’s home and other Jewish Home decisionmakers and mess their quiet lives up and see if they gives up this awful idea. Do the same for the PWV owners.

    5. Phillipa says:

      What about green open space for our kids? That parking lot has the most beautiful trees – their leaves are spectacular in the fall and in the spring the blossoms bring joy to all. Instead now our kids going to ps163 right next door will be breathing in dirt and dust with the intense construction and the road will become even more impassable than it is now. What a shame that greed for money is always prioritized.

    6. Building this huge facility will be a disaster for our neighborhood. The last thing we need is more population density, more traffic, more parking problems, more pollution because of these. This is a hugely stupid decision, especially since there are many areas of the city where there are open areas, blighted areas, which could really sustain and benefit from this project. This project will harm our area, but could help less populated areas.
      Ellen Rixford and family

    7. Chalres J. Sirey says:

      The site for the proposed JHL high-rise nursing home is in the center of one of the city’s more densely populated areas (roughly W96th to W100th by B’way to CPW) adjoining other densely populated areas to the north and south. There are many stores and several supermarkets in the area…with consequential voluminous commercial traffic, school busses for two grammer schools on W97th St., a fire station and a police station (with double and triple parking) on 100th St. as well as a great deal of non-commercial traffic.
      Unlike many of the city’s other, better planned, dense population neighborhoods, there are few open spaces to relieve this concrete jungle. With the erection of JHL…a file cabinet for the convenient storage of the elderly…we can definitely expect noise, air and garbage pollution to increase.
      There is no question that the JHL proposal is a severe threat to the quality of life for the citizens living in this area. To deny them a voice in this matter violates the spirit of our city’s democratic process.
      Furthermore, since the developers already have a waiver of some kind allowing them to expand their facilities on 106th St., I fail to understand why JHL doesn’t make use of it to build a structure where it would do far less damage to the surrounding neighborhood.

    8. Marina I. Mercado, PhD. says:

      Words cannot express my outrage at the CPC blatantly ignoring the will of the Community and its elected officials. We have to do all in our power to not allow these Special Interest and their limitless funds to walk all over our Westside Community. o

    9. Harv says:

      Is the City Plannig commission interested in the hugh increase in air polution that will certainly worsen asthmatic attacks and in some cases threaten the lives of children attending the schools on the block?

      There are many at-risk elderly living in the immediate vicinity. On average, how much in time can these people expect their lives to be shortened by this Jewish Home venture?

      Has anyone asked for a pulminologist opinion?

    10. Stay on 106th, JHL says:

      Here is a partial list of those who, vocally and on paper, supported the community’s right to a ULURP. Does the support of our elected officials and 37 members of our community board mean nothing to Amanda Burden? How can the CPC be allowed to ignore the 99% and cut a deal for JHL and the developer Chetrit at our expense?

      Senator Perkins
      Melissa Mark-Viverito
      Daniel O’Donnell
      CB 7 – 37 members plus Chair Diller

    11. Batya Lewton says:

      I have an excellent Traffic Analysis of the impact on traffic on West 97th Street if Jewish Home builds on the site. Send email to and put PDF of West 97th Study in the subject heading.

      The building will be 26 stories not 20. 260 feet translates into a 26 story building. How will residents be safely evacuated if the need arises.

      This is a horrible plan. Jewish Home should stay on 106th Street. This is not a NIMBY issue. It should have been required to go through ULURP, ULURP would have revealed how descructive this project would on the neighboring community, the air and traffic pollution, the inability to evacuate the nursing home residents etc.

      Batya Lewton
      Coalition for a Livable West Side

      Batya Lewton
      Coalition for a Livable West Side

    12. Mort Cohen says:

      The agenda of the CPC had us at number 7. The first took over an hour and, having had a chance to review the large amount of proposal documents, the commissioners asked many questions.

      The most intelligent, in my opinion, was by Commissioner Levin who pointed out that in plan for a development of Seward and Delancey Street the City was having the Commission cede most of their power to the developers.

      Although I could not stick around for the Jewish Home issue, I understand that it was this same Commissioner Levin who raised objections in as much as the materials for this issue were not distributed until the last minute.

      I think that will give you the sense that I had; this was a ramrod that the Chair did not want discussed.

      So much for “democracy” in action!

    13. John Gill says:

      As a neighbor to the North of Park West Village I have been following with dismay the succession of efforts to turn that splendid residential community into another pointless and poisonous real estate adventure to disfigure a well planned and civilized community. Dont be misled by the benevolent aura generated by the vision of a new Jewish Home. That Jewish Home already has a home, a few blocks uptown; it is just being moved, to give real estate opportunists an excuse for tearing down, tearing up, and devastating a liveable area for profit. It is bait and switch, a familiar brand of fraud. It must be stopped.

    14. joe ramaglia says:

      It’s amazing. I used to be so naive. But it’s true…you can’t fight city hall. This is so wrong. This project screams for a ULURP. without it, the cause is lsot. We’re going to be stuck with more congestion, more pollution, more noise, more trouble finding parking space.

      What a shame. All because of $$$.

      But, we don’t own the land and I guess that is what matters in the end.

    15. shirley freedman says:

      Why can’t they build on their 106th st facility. What’s happening to that property/
      Who’s making the money re the new building on 97th street and who now owns 106th street.
      Interesting that money is the object of both

    16. Peggy says:

      This is a shameful example of ignoring the needs and wishes of the community. The elected officials who put these people in a position to make decisions without taking into consideration the people affected by them should be held accountable. Where is the due process and why is money-grabbing the reason that families and communities must suffer?

    17. Linda Edgerly says:

      What has transpired this past week? A complete sell-out by the Planning Commission of the community and taxpayers of our Upper West Side community! Have the NYC Planning Commission members learned nothing about the importance of protecting the physical setting, quality, and fabric of residential life in our City? These are fundamental to accomplishing ‘The Livable City’! The serious congestion in the West 90’s right up through through Columbia University’s new development already jeopardizes residential life in our part of Manhattan. It is evident again that the Planning Commission discarded the civic process this past week and powerful influence-pedaling prevailed well in advance of the meeting. We as citizens, voters, and taxpayers must and will be heard!

    18. walter says:

      As a senior citizen (80 yrs), I write this without prejudice. The well being of the children attending PS 163 surely deserve equal consideration with the residents of JHL. The long period of disruption due to noise and construction will surely take its toll. The school can not be moved, but JHL can be improved at it’s present location.

    19. elsie price says:

      let me take a few minutes to get over the
      shock. in this already (over)crowded site,
      a huge building is being proposed -a
      project that would bring danger to our
      schoolchildren as having a site on top
      of p.s.# 163 with all its attendant
      dangers of any big construction project.
      it may seem to those who plan this that
      our precious airspace is a plum just ripe
      for the picking. we were promised decent
      homes in an airy space as part of a
      vertical project, on land which had held many small buildings,some of which were no longer habitable. since then, much more
      building has occurred here.

      i’ve lived here since 1966 and seen many
      changes take place. this planned project
      would be disastrous to the security,
      peace and habitability to folks who live
      here already.

      i’d suggest the proposed builders try
      finding a place on riverside drive where
      the proposed new residents would have a
      charming vista.

      elsie nprice

    20. Anne Marie says:

      The City Planning commission chaired by Amanda Burden did not considered the impact and the lacked of quality of life to the residents on 97th street from Columbus to Amsterdam avenues. The designated site is NOT nearly large enough to construct a 22 story building (Nursing Home)within a residential parking lot, with Public School 163 and Park West Village building entance less than 50 feet apart from the proposed contruction site. We the residents are still recovering from the development of the Columbus Avenue strip mall. The City Planning FAILED the residents on West 97th. “SHAME ON EACH ONE OF YOU”

    21. levine says:

      How are PS 163 students going to concentrate during construction???