CONTROVERSIAL NURSING HOME GETS GO-AHEAD FROM STATE

jewish home rendering2
Rendering via JHL.

The state Department of Health published a 504-page review of a proposed nursing home on West 97th street that has faced strong opposition. The review gives the nursing home a green light to move ahead, while placing some restrictions on construction and noise.

Jewish Home Lifecare, a nursing home now on 106th street, proposes to move to 97th street next to PS 163 and build a 20-story state-of-the art nursing home. The current location is outdated, the management contends.

The state review is voluminous — it details the project, its possible environmental impacts and alternatives. A 16-foot noise barrier will be erected to minimize the impact on the school next door. But the decision to allow the project to move forward is almost certain to disappoint opponents, who say the nursing home will severely disrupt instruction at the school next door, and add to a very congested area that’s already dangerous for pedestrians. A group of parents at PS 163 who have opposed the project said their initial reaction was to be “appalled, but unsurprised.”

Councilman Mark Levine’s office sent the following statement:

“We are profoundly disappointed the state has published an EIS that underplays and disregards so many of the harmful impacts of this project. Nevertheless, our fight continues in the legal and legislative arena to protect the community from this harmful project.”

Construction was set to start this year, but is now slated to start in the first quarter of 2015, according to a spokesman for JHL. He wrote that the organization had already planned to take safety measures above and beyond state requirements.

“While Jewish Home has been deeply committed to these kinds of measures all along, it is now obligated to implement them to lessen the impact of construction on its neighbors. These measures will be carried out to shield P.S. 163 and community residents from noise, dust, pollution and to enhance safety. One measure of particular interest since it has been a key focus of community concern is the requirement embodied in the FEIS to install sound-attenuating windows and new air conditioning units for the eastern façade of P.S. 163, the side of the school that faces the construction site.”

The full review is here. We’ll update this post if/when we learn more.

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NEWS | 36 comments | permalink
    1. Lisa says:

      I am not familiar with the details of this issue so wonder – If for some reason the nursing home did not get built, wouldn’t the site be developed with a luxury high-rise apartment building anyway?
      Wouldn’t another luxury high-rise (including street level commercial) generate the same traffic and congestion as well?
      There is sadly overdevelopment throughout the West Side and of course throughout NYC.

      • Citizen says:

        That property is not zoned for residential or commercial use, so no, it would not.

        • webot says:

          not residential, not commercial. Then zoned for what? manufacturing?

          Honestly what is wrong with a nursing home? I do not have a problem with the use at this location.

          I do wish it was architecturally more distinct.

          and perhaps less bulky and more slender.

        • Harriet says:

          I’m not a lawyer but something about that doesn’t make sense. Everything is zoned for either residential, commercial or light manufacturing (although the latter doesn’t exist in Manhattan any more). This certainly would have become hi-end condos after the powers-that-be got through with it.
          I’d much rather have a nice nursing home, for my old age !!!

      • Amy says:

        Lisa, it is believed that this nursing home will have multiple ambulances idling outside (as the current JHS does on West 106th), causing a ton of congestion on what is already a very busy crosstown block. Not to mention the congestion caused by the construction, which will be considerable of course. I walked by two weeks ago and some work has clearly already begun.

        • Harriet says:

          No matter what gets built there, there will be construction for some finite period of time. Has anyone looked recently at Riverside Blvd (high end housing). It’s full of black car limousines idling at the curb. Personally, I’d much rather have ambulances than black cars. At least ambulances help the community somewhat. I live 2 blocks from a fire station (for 22 years) and no longer notice the sirens going out to help the people. That’s just City living.

      • Hillel Hoffman says:

        Under the zoning law, only a community facility can be built on the site, not an apartment building.

      • adina obler says:

        A luxury apartment can not be built at the spot since there is a law protecting residential areas by limiting the approved density. The area reached it max, however nursing homes are allowed to go beyond the limits.
        There are objections to the project: 97th street is a heavy traveled crosstown street servicing few hospitals on the east and the west side, Metropolitan, Mt.Sinai, Mt. Sinai/St. Lukes. In addition to 20th precinct and fire department coming from 100th st.

    2. John Gibson says:

      Devastating news for that area of the UWS.

      • Nathan says:

        Yes, it certainly is horrible that an ugly surface parking lot—that’s probably subsidized by your tax dollars so poor people can drive cars in a city where cars are completely unnecessary—will be destroyed in favor of a more productive building.

    3. Elsie Price says:

      EEEEK!

    4. Kate says:

      Al of this outrage over this project is ridiculous. If not a nursing home, another high-rise development would be built there, bringing in the same congestion. This is New York City- building is inevitable. Jewish Home Lifecare is a nonprofit that does great work for the community. I would be proud to have this organization in my neighborhood. All of the complainers sound like unreasonable whiners with a giant case of NIMBY.

    5. Crawdad says:

      Great news! Nice to see this will finally be built after endless NIMBY delays, who even find housing for seniors an objectionable use.

      Too bad a few selfish NIMBYs are always anti-everything and try and make everyone else miserable.

      • Paul RL says:

        NIMBYs? You’re obviously quite unfamiliar with this area, or you’d know that we already have a huge number of various types of supportive facilities here. FYI, this nursing home already exists – 9 blocks north.

        • Raymond says:

          “this nursing home already exists – 9 blocks north.”

          And as I said in another comment, it’s an outdated facility inadequate for the needs of the residents and staff.

          And further, what does it matter if there are more facilities? Is there some sort of quota on the number of senior housing facilities that our neighborhood can have? Look at the population demographics, there is clearly a need.

          I find much of the opposition to this to be grounded in an astounding lack of understanding of the needs of the full population of the neighborhood, including seniors and families with seniors.

          Nowhere in these comments have I read a single coherent objection to this facility other than “we don’t want it there” or “there already are senior facilities”.

          And yes, as Crawdad says, it’s hard not to see much of the opposition as simply NIMBY.

          • Paul RL says:

            Something tells me that you’d be NIMBYing yourself if this were a luxury condo or commercial development. This site is a lousy place for any kind of project, as it will funnel more traffic into an extremely dangerous and congested intersection. Have you seen what’s doing on the southbound Broadway lanes lately? Nothing – because traffic is at a standstill.

            I would have supported this if the City had allowed a zoning variance for it to be built on the 100th Street side of the PWV parking lot (which is still my back yard) as that street is much less congested. Perhaps they’ll put the driveway there and give 97th Street a break.

            The bottom line for myself, residents of Park West Village, hundreds of PS 163 parents, and many others in the neighborhood is that JHL already had their current site approved for rebuilding on 106th Street, and that’s exactly it should have stayed.

            It’s a moot point I guess. On to the next.

    6. zeus says:

      Move the seniors to Florida. Will be cheaper than building this high rise and charging them an arm and a leg.

      There is already a senior home for then a few blocks up.

      How about more housing for the middle and lower middle class?

      • Raymond says:

        “Move the seniors to Florida”

        What nonsense. Why not move the young people to Williamsburg? Move the wealthier people to Connecticut? Move Zeus to Detroit?

        “There is already a senior home for then a few blocks up.”

        An outdated facility, inadequate for the needs of the residents and staff, that will be replaced by this new one. And so what if the old one wasn’t closing, are you suggesting that seniors do not deserve more than one facility of there is the need?

        “How about more housing for the middle and lower middle class?”

        Well, why not both? And frankly, what class do you think most of these seniors fall in to? Are they not lower and middle class as well?

        • zeus says:

          Raymond,
          Are you psychic?
          I AM in Detroit now.
          Visiting an old friend who is in an old age home, in much worse condition than the one the seniors are in now in NYC.
          No one is complaining here. Just a roof over the head, some hot meals and good company.
          Nothing is as it seems on paper.
          Wait until the new one is built, at twice the cost.

    7. Jo says:

      Does anyone know who the architect and developer is?

    8. Joan S says:

      I’m all for this. I’ve lived in the area for over 35 years (since I was a child) and I really don’t think it’ll be an issue. And FYI, on 106th Street, yeah, there might be a few ambulettes idling in front from time to time during the day, but it certainly doesn’t impede traffic there much. I’m really perplexed that people are upset about this.

    9. Tom D says:

      I wonder how many of the people bitching about this have tried to find space in a nursing home lately. I have and its a mess. Very little availability. And with the aging UWS population that is visible to anyone who will someday need this type of facility, I’m happy to see it. And although it won’t help any time soon, this will somewhat replace the lost residences at the Salvation Army property on WEA

    10. Dr Dave says:

      I don’t see any information about what will happen to the existing facility on 106? It is a very good example of neighborhood integration. Example: the medical care facility is linked by block-internal passages to actual regular architected apartment buildings (revised to offer elder access to all floors). These facilities should not fall to the condo Rats! More facilities are needed. We should not obliterate the “good” for the “excellent”!

      • Paul RL says:

        The Chetrit Group, who traded the land at the 97th St. site for the current JHL location on 106 street, will be building luxury condos there. JH L already had approval to rebuild their current facility there before deciding to do a land swap with the developer.

      • Paul RL says:

        I believe they also threw in $35 million to JHL to do the swap.

    11. Bruce Bernstein says:

      we can save spaces for affordable and supportive senior housing by supporting the seniors at the Williams, who are being thrown out of their homes to make way for luxury condos.

      • bb says:

        If you knew the difference between assisted living and nursing you would not make that statement. Williams is largely independent assisted living. JHL is a nursing home. They are completely different in the level of care and who they service.

    12. jill says:

      It is terrible. It comes down to who had money.

    13. Wendy says:

      The UWS is one of the largest naturally occurring NORCs in the country. We need better places for seniors to get care, go to short-term rehab etc. This seems like a good idea for the neighborhood. I believe that’s a parking lot now? There’s not really much on that block that’s particularly beautiful or old or in such substantial character that putting a new building up is going to make a difference. And they have absolutely huge pavement areas. They could easily put a semi circular driveway in to accommodate the ambulettes. And you won’t have to worry about the citizens from the nursing home going out into the street and getting run over:). NIMBY indeed.

    14. bb says:

      Are you people all nuts? The UWS has an aging population that needs supportive housing. Having just had my 91 year old mother in the facility at 106th Street I was disappointed to find the facility old and out of date. We need more state of the art facilities. Doesn’t anyone have a parent that might benefit? Those kids at PS 163 might find themselves back on the same block a few years down the road. Just makes me sick to hear this ranting about something that is GOOD. Traffic? Stop driving your kids to school and start walking. I am outraged by the moms and black cars that double and triple park on Columbus Avenue at pickup time for Trinity and other schools. Selfish people abound.

    15. 9d8b7988045e4953a882 says:

      I see nothing wrong with having a nursing home in the area. What is wrong with that? I like elderly people.

    16. Anni says:

      I wish more things in NYC were built with green, pre-fab modular construction to minimize disruption, airborne toxins and noise. Seems like a no-brainer in tight, sensitive areas like this. I feel for that poor school it abuts – it will be a rough few years.

    17. Cato says:

      This is terrible, absolutely terrible.

      The increased population brought into this new expanded facility will be the ones donning Spandex racing suits and careening around the bicycle paths in nearby Central Park, ignoring speed limits, ignoring traffic lights, running roughshod over innocent pedestrians, maiming, injuring, even killing. Horrible! How can we allow this to happen??

      Wait —
      Oh….
      OK —

      Sorry – never mind.

    18. robert says:

      Enough with this already
      IT IS AN AS OF RIGHT BUILDING
      Nothing any of these NIBMY’s could do about it, period full stop. A lot of time, effort and money has been wasted, fighting it when you could have worked with JHL to get possible changes to things you didn’t like. Now they will do what they want to and take no input from you. They may give you lip service but nothing will come of it.

      As for the lead in pavement that has accumulated over time from car exoust,all I can say is ?????? There are higher amounts in the pavement of most NYC streets. If digging up the pavement in this parking lot would lead to an environmental lead hazard, what do you think happens everyday when Con Ed digs up the street? The levels for the planned work are well within NYC, NYS and Federal EPA guidelines for construction.
      Get real folks we live in a CITY, things get built, things get changed. If it doesn’t change, for better or worse, it stagnates and dies. Take look at Detroit or Philly or Baltimore.

    19. Herb Freeman says:

      I, too, favor construction of facilities that help people. I think that those who believe that there will not be construction on land for sale in NYC are naïve. I also note that they are not the least perturbed by the sale of the Salvation Army’s Williams senior residence for luxury conversion, just 3 blocks away, displacing 100 seniors from a residence that use to house 300. I guess that NIMBY means not in my back yard, and I am ashamed that residents in my building have
      fallen for this anti-social malarkey.
      Herb Freeman