MAYOR INTERVENES IN CONTROVERSIAL UWS NURSING HOME PROJECT

jewish home rendering2

Mayor de Blasio said he was “disappointed” in Jewish Home Lifecare’s current proposal to build a nursing home on West 97th Street over the objection of parents at nearby PS 163 and some neighbors, according to the Daily News. Opponents say construction of the 20-story nursing home will cause too much disruption and release toxic material into the air just feet from the school playground.

De Blasio wants to broker some sort of deal between the parties, who have clashed at public meetings and in court.

“I instructed my team to help facilitate a fair outcome that would ease the genuine concerns of PS 163 parents and I am disappointed that JHL has made a proposal that falls well short of accomplishing that,” he said.

“We remain ready to work productively with both sides and will explore all options available to us in achieving an optimal resolution,” de Blasio added.

The mayor had previously been criticized when the city’s Law Department sided with the nursing home in an appeal of a ruling that said the state’s environmental review was inadequate. The city had said at the time that their decision was based on concerns about setting precedent for overturning reviews.

Ethan Geto, a spokesman for JHL, said that the nursing home is going above and beyond to mitigate the construction impacts and told the Daily News that they’ll continue discussions.

“Jewish Home reached out to the school and the parents at the inception of its plan to ensure that the children would not only be safe during construction but that the construction would not be disruptive to their learning,” Geto stated. “JHL remains ready and willing to continue discussions.”

NEWS, REAL ESTATE | 39 comments | permalink
    1. DogMom says:

      And a new luxury high rise would not cause disruption and release toxic material into the air just get from the school playground?

    2. Elizabeth says:

      Interesting…as the Mayor has shown no signs of “disappointment” about the City building a large garbage facility right next to Asphalt Green where thousands of NYC children play everyday!

    3. Gretchen says:

      Well then, what is Mr. DeBlasio going to do about mitigating the construction of the new mega-tower to be built on the site of the old Lincoln Sq. temple, which happens to abut the playground and open space of PS 199 on W. 71st St.?

    4. 9d8b7988045e4953a882 says:

      It never ceases to amaze me how many NYC residents love to stop things from being built. A nursing home would be a nice addition to the UWS in my view, and no doubt it would help a lot of senior citizens.

      • B.B. says:

        Think you’ll find many New York City residents have no problems with things “being built”, long as it does not happen in their street.

        Local residents fought Saint Vincent’s plans for a new hospital building on all sorts of grounds (not that in hindsight it was likely to happen anyway), not believing the place needed a modern structure in order to survive. Well it closed and people are still wondering “what happened?”

        As for the mayor, pity he wasn’t more involved with Rivington House in the East Village. Might have saved him from all these investigations. Extraordinary how this mayor picks and chooses what he wants to be involved with or not.

        The mayor’s sudden and unexpected interest in this issue likely has more to do with his tanking poll numbers and the looming 2017 election than anything else.

      • JB says:

        That nursing home already exists on the UWS. Building a facility of that magnitude on 97th Street is dangerous and ludicrous. That is a main thoroughfare from the east side towards the west side highway. The traffic congestion has already become more dangerous and unmanageable there. How many more traffic fatalities and injuries will it take for our mayor to realize human life should trump real estate interests.

    5. Irving Polsky, P.E. says:

      Once again I am disappointed in Mayor De Blasio’s dealings. JHL does not fit in, nor belong on arterial West 97th Street. JHL is not in keeping with the Manhattantown (Central Park West) Slum Clearance Development Plan to serve not only the families on the site but the surrounding neighhood as well.

    6. JT says:

      Okay Mayor de Blasio, a 51 story skyscraper is scheduled to be built on 69th St. & Amsterdam Ave. A synagogue is being demolished now. Not only to I live in this area but there’s a school playground, PS 199, right next to the demolition and building site. This will be a luxury high rise. I suppose it’s okay for a building for the rich to be erected near a school but not one for the elderly! Typical!!!!

    7. dannyboy says:

      “the city’s Law Department sided with the nursing home in an appeal of a ruling that said the state’s environmental review was inadequate. The city had said at the time that their decision was based on concerns about setting precedent for overturning reviews.”

      THAT’S A FRIGGIN’ STRETCH! How’s about the Merits of arguement?

    8. js says:

      If there is going to be development – and sadly there is – would rather have a nursing home than high-rise luxury apartment

    9. Reed says:

      The socio-economic wall still exists between Manhattan Valley and the lower Upper West Side. It’s ok to build on West 108 Street Street for ‘affordable housing…hmmm next to a school and to remove 3 much needed garages, but not at West 97 Street. Both projects are next to schools. and a playground. Manhattan Valley is an impoverished community and Park West Village is a a solid middle class community. This proves the point that anything above the mid-90s has no voice and that Park West Village has a chorus of voices.

    10. Paul RL says:

      JHL already exists on West 106th Street, where its proposed new building was approved in 2008. It should remain there. Alternatively, JHL’s second proposed location on West 100th Street should be rezoned to allow it to be built there. That street can handle the additional ambulances and such, as it is wider and far less congested than West 97th Street, a major (yet narrow) East-West artery that feeds into an one of the most dangerous and congested intersections on the Upper West Side.

    11. EricaC says:

      We have a real shortage of nursing homes in the city. Is he going to address that issue too? Surely this site won’t stay empty forever, so isn’t the question how to make sure that peoples’ health is protected while construction proceeds?

      • formerColSqtenant says:

        The nursing home is for Jewish Sr Citizens. Most likely serving families of the hassidic population that lives in the buildings in area. They are the ones that built Columbus Square and own that giant parcel of land that the modern and the older high rises sit on just west of CPW. What I am saying is that this is not an open community senior home.

      • B.B. says:

        Straight nursing homes are becoming a dying business model in many parts of the USA. Between declining reimbursement rates and the whole “aging in place” movement it often just doesn’t work out financially.

        If you’ve noticed many places in the City have become a mix of nursing homes and “skilled nursing/rehabilitation” facilities.

        Don’t know about you, but I would vastly prefer (and intend) on remaining in my own home long as it is possible.

    12. Jay says:

      I’ve yet to hear what the actual “toxins” that could be exposed during construction actually are. The NIMBY group is noticeably silent on the actual facts.

      • dannyboy says:

        “NIMBY” again!

        P.S. Did you skip reading the Environmental Impact Assessment Report?

        • Jay says:

          Do us all a favor, danny. Do not respond to anything I post. If I want your ‘opinion’, I’ll ask for it.

          I’m not interested in, nor do I have the time, to educate you on all the things you don’t know.

          • dannyboy says:

            Jay, do us “a favor” and don’t post anything.

            Then you can be certain that there won’t be any responses.

    13. Chrigid says:

      This is nothing but a big fat real-estate deal.

      If JHL really cared about its patients, it would stay on West 106 St, a wide, 2-way boulevard with speedy access to any number of hospitals.

      This new location is on Amsterdam Ave, a known traffic log jam recently aggravated by a bike lane, and West 97 St., a direct route from the Central Park transverse to the West Side Highway that bottlenecks at Amsterdam Ave.

      I can’t think of a worse location for nursing home patients who could need emergency hospital care.

      Like I said, it’s all about real estate, not about care.

    14. JJS says:

      Right on Gretchen! Thanks.

    15. but the children says:

      Note to parents: Your children go to school in NYC…they’re already breathing less than ideal air. Move to Montana if you’re concerned about dirty air.

    16. cMa says:

      See, http://www.westsidespirit.com/local-news/20160119/jhl-to-appeal-court-ruling

      Jewish Home Lifecare will appeal a state Supreme Court ruling that in December found the nonprofit and the state Department of Health had failed to take the “requisite hard look at specific environmental issues” surrounding the construction of a 20-story nursing home on West 97th Street.

      “Jewish Home remains deeply committed to moving forward with this innovative and pioneering model of elder care. Our intention is to commence construction as soon as the ligation is concluded,” JHL said in a statement announcing the appeal.

      In her ruling, Justice Joan Lobis referred to noise mitigation measures at the job site, which is surrounded by residential developments and an elementary school, and the presence of hazardous materials at the site, which would be kicked up into the air during construction.

    17. Kenneth says:

      Mayor de BlahBlah has his fingers in way too many real-estate projects for general comfort. He should concentrate more on getting to the office on time and/or getting the garbage off the streets. The streets and the sidewalks in front of City-owned property and housing haven’t been this dirty since Dinkins.

    18. Nathan says:

      A little disappointed WSR just repeated opponents’ claims about “toxins” without questioning their validity. What toxins, specifically? And how are they worse than any other construction project in the city?

      • West Sider says:

        We’ve covered this story pretty extensively and included links to the environmental review. http://www.health.ny.gov/facilities/cons/environmental_quality_review/jewish_home_lifecare/docs/feis.pdf

        There’s lead and barium in the soil. The environmental review says JHL is doing enough to mitigate the impact of digging that up, but opponents say they’re not.

        WSR

        • Jay says:

          The issue is that the opponents’ arguments are without merit. The project already agreed to watering the soil while excavation occurs so that there would be no inhaleable dust. So, unless they expect kids to break into the construction site and eat the soil then the lead and barium is a red herring.

          I haven’t heard any argument of any “toxins” that are actually a threat. I asked a few of these opponents what data they had and they never answered.