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New York City Planning Commission New York City Department of City Planning 22 Reade Street New York, NY 10007
COALITION FOR A NEW VILLAGE HOSPITAL COMMENTS IN OPPOSITION TO THE PROPOSED SAINT VINCENT'S CAMPUS REDEVELOPMENT PROJECT
Yetta G. Kurland, Esq. KURLAND, BONICA & ASSOCIATES, P.C. Attorneys for Coalition for a New Village Hospital 304 Park Avenue South, Suite 206 New York, NY 10010 (212) 253-6911 July 11,2011
The Coalition for a New Village Hospital (Coalition) is an umbrella organization comprised of over 50 supporting community groups and approximately 8,000 individual members who live, work and travel to the lower west side of Manhattan and who have been impacted by the sudden closure of St. Vincent's hospital. The Coalition reflects a status and ethnic
wide cross-section of the community including age, socio-economic
make-up, and is strongly opposed to current plans put forward by the Rudin Development Company to develop the non profit hospital facility of condominiums.
Vincent's into private luxury
Such a development and conversion of public facilities would deprive
the community of essential health care, substantially destroy the historic district and put unsustainable demands on the current resources of the community and infrastructure.
The plan also violates land use procedures as it attempts to transfer approvals from the Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) procured by different applicants for a
It is the Coalition's position that LPC approvals are not fungible and Further, under §25-307 of the New York City Administrative
cannot be so transferred.
Code, whether or not a building is contributing to the historic look and feel of an area is dependent on and must be considered in context of the use of the structures and overall application. this project. The Coalition submits these comments in opposition to this plan, along with individual comments from some of the sponsoring community groups, and over 3,500 Furthermore, no Certificate of Appropriateness has ever been granted for
signatures of a petition circulated in the last three weeks asking that the New York City City Planning Commission deny this application submitted by the Rudin Management Company in relation to the St. Vincent's Campus Redevelopment Project. An additional consideration is that, because the current plan does not include a hospital, it substantially differs from the prior plan, and does not comply with the requirements of the 2009 LPC hardship approval, does not comply with the provisions of 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code in that this sale and the proposed Rudin project do not continue the charitable mission of St. Vincent's Catholic Medical Center as it is required to, and does not comply with New York State N-PCL Sections 510 and 511 for the same reason and because it does not offer fair or reasonable consideration to the public stakeholders. The City Planning Commission is responsible for the orderly growth and
development of the City, including adequate and appropriate resources for the health and welfare of its population. This application lacks the required landmarks preservation
approvals, lacks relevant lawful permission to proceed and does not include adequate resources for the health and welfare of New York City's population. It would also cause unsustainable and irresponsible taxing on the infrastructure of current resources. As
such, the Coalition calls upon the City Planning Commission to deny all applications associated with the currently proposed St. Vincent's Campus Redevelopment Project by the Rudin Development Company.
STATEMENT OF FACTS
St. Vincent's was the only inpatient, outpatient, Level One trauma center and acute care facility serving Manhattan from Battery Park to Midtown, and has served as a
unique health care facility for over 160 years, including but not limited to its critical role in treating those injured in the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, as well as its work with the LGBT community and specifically its world renowned HlV/AIDS clinic. The Rudins are statutorily required to continue these unique health care services to meet the needs of the community. In 2007, Rudin Management Company (hereinafter "Rudin") entered into a formal agreement to purchase the property comprising the St. Vincent's Catholic Medical Center located in and around W 12th Street and 7th A venue (hereinafter "St. Vincent's"). Thereafter, the Rudins went through protracted land use applications to gain permission to develop a large scale, state of the art hospital on the West side of the campus and develop luxury condominiums on the East side of the campus. This development ensured the continuation of the charitable mission of St. Vincent's, namely "to provide in a non-profit basis hospital, nursing home and other health care facilities and services for the care and treatment of persons who are acutel y ill." In its 2009 Strategic Plan, St. Vincent's disclosed the substantial need for the hospital services and predicted that this need would increase in the coming years requiring that a larger hospital be built. Suddenly, in 2010, claiming that it had acquired almost $1 billion of debt, St. Vincent's filed for bankruptcy. Without proper notice, and in violation of New York
State Public Health Law, St. Vincent's Hospital, a 160 year old institution serving millions of New Yorkers and visitors on the Lower West Side, was shut down in a matter of days. This closure has left the community in a health crisis and without a level one trauma center on the Lower West Side.
On April 7, 2011, The Bankruptcy Court approved the sale of St. Vincent's to the Rudins with an amended provision that the Rudins no longer be required to develop a hospital, but instead would be allowed to use the campus to build luxury residential condominiums and provide only a portion of the O'Toole building to create a "free standing emergency room". The Rudins, upon information and belief, have not submitted a strategic plan to show how the charitable mission would be continued, or a fairness opinion, under § 13 of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. There has also been significant data collected establishing that a "free standing emergency room" would not only fail to meet the health care needs of the community but could pose significant problems. As such, this deal lacks fair valuation to the public as required, improperly monetizes the value of St. Vincent's, and reduces the hospital to the underlying real estate, which is further reduced by its depreciated value in bankruptcy, even though the Rudins initiated this deal in 2007. LAND USE ISSUES i,
Rudin Management Company has already begun demolition for the St. Vincent's Campus Redevelopment Project, even though the project lacks Landmarks Preservation Commission approval for demolition.
Under §25-305 of the New York City Administrative Code, it is unlawful to
or demolish a building in a historic district unless the Landmarks
Preservation Commission (LPC) has issued a Certificate of Appropriateness, Certificate of No Effect or a Notice to Proceed. Although the Rudins claim to have received
approval from the LPC, in actuality, no certificate or notice has been issued for the current plan, or for the east campus in the prior plan.
Despite lacking the proper documentation, upon information and belief, the Rudins have already begun preparation for and/or actual demolition of the O'Toole building. If such work is currently underway it would be a violation of the law, and must be stopped immediately. Further, the City Planning Commision should deny any
approval of the St. Vincent's Campus Redevelopment Project until the work is stopped and the Rudins can prove that they have obtained all necessary landmark certificates.
Saint Vincent's Catholic Medical Centers obtained preliminary approval for the St. Vincent's Campus Redevelopment Project from the Landmarks Preservation Commission on the condition that a full service hospital be constructed on the campus. In their Draft Scope of Work, the Rudins claim that they have obtained LPC
approval for the East Site, although they admit no certificate of appropriateness has been issued. This LPC approval is based on a hardship application made by St. Vincent's As such, the approval is no longer
Catholic Medical Centers to the LPC in 2009. applicable to the current redevelopment project.
In 2009, due to extreme financial hardship,
Centers submitted a "hardship application" to the LPC to obtain approval to demolish buildings on its campus. A hardship application, if granted, allows a not-for-profit to
demolish buildings in a historic district if the not- for-profit can prove that a denial of its application would "physically or financially prevent or seriously interfere with the The Rectors, Wardens and
carrying out of the charitable purposes" of the organization.
Members of the Vestry of St. Bartholomew's Church v. City of New York 914 F. 2d 348 (1990).
Noting that the Commission on Health Care Facilities in the 21st Century (the Berger Commission) identified St. Vincent's as "an essential facility" for delivery of hardship application on one Further, the old
heath care to the city, the LPC granted St. Vincent's
condition: St. Vincent's was to build a new hospital on the campus.
hospital, including all of its emergency services, was to remain in operation until the new hospital was fully constructed. Since 2009, the Rudins have changed the plan for the St. Vincent's site. The
current plan includes a freestanding emergency room instead of a hospital, and therefore does not further St. Vincent's charitable purpose. St. Vincent's charitable purpose, as
written in the company's certificate of incorporation, is: "To provide in a non-profit basis hospital, nursing home and other health care facilities and services for the care and treatment of persons who are acutely ill or who otherwise require medical care, skilled nursing care, continuous care or related services of the kind customarily furnished most effectively by hospitals or furnished by nursing homes or other health care facilities, pursuant to section two hundred thirty-two or section two hundred forty-two of the National Housing Act." (emphasis added) At a community board meeting on May 31, 2011, Michael J. Dowling, President and CEO of North-Shore LIJ Health System (North-Shore), stated that the proposed
freestanding emergency room was not a hospital, and would not be able to offer the services customaril y furnished by hospitals. The free standing emergency room proposed by the redevelopment plan would lack the equipment and staff necessary to treat persons who are acutely ill. North-Shore has admitted that any patient requiring immediate as well as any patient with severe trauma, (gunshot
surgical or cardiac intervention,
wounds, motor vehicle accidents, open fractures) could not be treated at their facility, St. Vincent's repeatedly accommodated such patients.
The hardship approval granted by the LPC in 2009 required that the purpose of St. Vincent's be continued. For the reasons listed above, it is clear that a freestanding
emergency room cannot carry out the purposes of a full service hospital. Without a fullservice hospital, the charitable purpose of St. Vincent's approval is void. Further, LPC approvals cannot be carried over to new projects. approval allowed demolition so long as a new hospital was constructed. has changed and a hospital is no longer being built, the approval is void. The hardship is lost, and therefore, the
Because the plan
The applicant seeking city approval for the St. Vincent's Campus Redevelopment Project has changed, and therefore any approval granted to the previous applicant is void.
The LPC hardship approval granted in 2009 was granted to St. Vincent's Today, Rudin is the applicant.
Catholic Medical Centers, the applicant at the time.
While S1. Vincent's is listed as a co-applicant on most city forms, it is Rudin who created the new St. Vincent's Campus Redevelopment Project. land use and environmental issues. Rudin hired analysts to review to build a
Rudin negotiated with North-Shore
freestanding emergency room on the property instead of a full -service hospital. Rudin has strategically added St. Vincent's as a co-applicant as a way to side step having to return to the LPC and acquire the proper approvals for its project. However, a new applicant cannot take over property in a historic district, change the redevelopment plans for the property, and not re-apply to the LPC for new approval. As a new applicant, Rudin must resubmit its plans to the LPC.
STATE LAW ISSUES The Sale of St. Vincent's Catholic Medical Centers to Rudin Management Company is in violation of New York State Not-for-Profit Law. Under New York Nat-For-Profit Corporation Law (N-PCL), before a not-for-
profit corporation may sell all or substantially all of its assets, it must prove, to the satisfaction of the New York State Supreme Court and the New York State Attorney General, that "the consideration and the terms of the transaction are fair and reasonable" and that "the purposes of the corporation ... will be promoted." N-PCL §511(d). St. Vincent's and the Rudins have failed to show that the consideration and terms of the proposed sale are fair and reasonable, and they have failed to show that the purposes of St. Vincent's will be promoted by the proposed redevelopment project. First, the consideration Vincent's. and terms of the proposed sale are not fair and reasonable to St.
The terms of the sale must take into account St. Vincent's value as a whole,
and not just the value of the real estate. Manhattan Eye Ear & Throat Hospital v. Spitzer 715 N.Y.S.2d 575 (2nd Dep't 1999). St. Vincent's was a major medical institution on the lower west side of Manhattan, and was the only Level One trauma center and full service hospital in the area. considered. The institution's extremely high value to the public has not been the value of St. Vincent's assets
The parties have instead "monetized"
without taking into account the value of the hospital's medical services to the public. Second, the purpose of St. Vincent's redevelopment plan. will not be promoted by the proposed certificate of
St. Vincent's purpose, as written in the company's
incorporation, is: "To provide in a non-profit basis hospital, nursing home and other health care facilities and services for the care and treatment of persons who are acutely ill or who otherwise require medical care, skilled nursing care, continuous care or
related services of the kind customarily furnished most effectively by hospitals or furnished by nursing homes or other health care facilities, pursuant to section two hundred thirty-two or section two hundred forty-two of the National Housing Act." (emphasis added) At a community board meeting on May 31, 2011, Michael 1. Dowling, President and CEO of North-Shore, stated that the proposed freestanding emergency room was not a hospital, and would not be able to offer the services customarily furnished by hospitals. The free standing emergency room proposed by the redevelopment plan would lack the equipment and staff necessary to treat persons who are acutely ill. North-Shore has admitted that any patient requiring immediate surgical or cardiac intervention, as well as any patient with severe trauma, (gunshot fractures) could not be treated at their facility. such patients. Because S1. Vincent's and the Rudins have yet to submit their proposal to the New York Supreme Court or the New York Attorney General, the state law violations have gone, for the most part, undetected. In the mean time, upon information and bleife wounds, motor vehicle accidents, open
S1. Vincent's repeatedly accommodated
the Rudins may have already begun demolition. A determination as to whether or not such demolition on the S1. Vincent's campus has begun, and if it has, it should be immediately stopped until such sale is properly approved and LPC and CPC approval procured.
PUBLIC HEALTH ISSUES The construction of North Shore LU's Comprehensive Medical Center will be Detrimental to the Public Health.
The proposed redevelopment plan not only violates state and landmark law, but it is also detrimental to public health. Across the country, freestanding emergency rooms,
like North-Shore's risk.
Medical Center", have put public health at to
In some states, Emergency Medical Technicians refuse to take ambulances emergency rooms, even if they are the closest available
a spokeswoman for the Miami-Dade County
Fire and Rescue Department has explained, "If we transport to a stand-alone, and the patient actually needs more than the stand-alone can provide, you're compromising care." Julie Appleby, More Emergency Rooms Open away from Hospitals, USA TODAY (April 28, 2008) http://www.usatoday.comlnews/healthl2008-04stand-alone_N.htm. 24-emergency- rooms-
Other states are experiencing a drastic rise in health care costs as a
result of freestanding emergency rooms, which would make routine doctor's visits almost impossible for those who lack health insurance. There is also a question as to whether
current Emergency Medical Services of New York City could legal transport patients to this facility as it is not a hospital and is not regulated by New York State public health law. The City Planning Commission has a duty to protect the healthcare needs of residents and visitors of the lower west side of Manhattan. The City Planning
Commission should oppose the proposed St. Vincent's Redevelopment Plan unless and until it includes a full-service hospital. CONCLUSION The City Planning Commission is responsible for the orderly growth and
development of the City, including adequate and appropriate resources for the health and welfare of its population. The City Planning Conunission must ensure proper compliance This application lacks the required landmarks
with land use rules and procedures.
preservation approvals, lacks relevant lawful permission to proceed and does not include adequate resources for the health and welfare of New York City's population. It would and
also destroy the historic look and feel of the area, and put an unsustainable unmanageable burden on the areas public resources and infrastructure. it over 50 community
As such, the 8,000
Coalition for a New Village Hospital,
members and the over 3,500 who signed the enclosed petition call upon the City Planning Commission to deny the proposed St. Vincent's Campus Redevelopment Project.
. C¥~~ ../
Kurland, ~~ K and, Bonicajs-Associates, PC A tOrJlg_ysJor-C~alitionfor a New Village Hospital 304 Park Avenue South, Suite 206 New York, NY 10010 (212) 253-6911
]o Hamilton. Ch'lI; eo Riccobol'lo.Fkst Vice Cbair Sheelah Feinberg, SecondVk", Choir Bob Gormley. Dtaric: M.anager
Erin Roeder" Treasurer
Susan Kent. Se(retary Elaine Young, Assistant Seaera,),
-COMMUNITY BOARD No.2, MANHATTAN 3 WASHINGTON SQUARE V1LLAGE
. NEW YORK, NY 10012-1899
• Gansevoort Market
Greenwich Village .. Little Italy .. 50tJo
NoHo .; Hudson Square .. Chinatown
July 23, 2010
At its Full Board meeting on July 22,2010, Community Board 2 (Manhattan) adopted the following resolution:
RESOLUTION STATING CB 2'S SUPPORT FOR THE CONTINUATION HEAL Til CARE SERVICES ON THE FOR..1VffiR VINCENT'S CAMPUS ST. -wHEREAS" the closure of St.Vincent's Hospital has resulted in the community's loss an emergency room, in-patient hospital, Level 1 trauma center and the capacity address a widespread public health emergency such as a natural disaster or act terrorism, creating a significant gap in the health care services available to the residents this community board and the entire Lower West Side of Manhattan; and
OF of to of of .
WHEREAS" as heard by the community board during the June 14 and July 15 2010 public hearings and at previous community meetings; there is widespread public support for the re-establishment of a full-service, acute care hospital on the former St. Vincent's campus,. and the community board reiterates its strong support for such a hospital at such location, as well; and all or part of the current St. Vincent's campus is the most logical, costeffective, and central location for the re-establishment of such a hospital or other health care facility that will adequately address the community's myriad health care needs, and, in fact, may be the only location suitable for such a facility; which compounds the urgency of this resolution.
THEREFORE BElT RESOLVEP that Community Board No.2 opposes all changes in land use laws, zoning rules, landmarks laws" or any other laws that would eliminate hospital uses at the site of the former St. Vincent's; and THEREFORE BE IT RESOVED thatCB2 shall seek to petition the Bankruptcy Court and create a community committee to explore ill a publicly transparent manner" all options
for the St. Vincent's campus and requests assistance from the NYC Corporation Counsel to as~ert such a petition; and . .
- THEREFORE BE IT RESOLYED that CB2 urges our elected _officials to jorn the Community Board in this petition.
Vote: Passed, with 29 Board members in favor. 6 against-t.Ashkinazy, Meadows. Reck. Secunda), and 2 abstentions-Glarnilton, Kent) Cannistraci, Morellet,
Please advise us of any decision or action taken in response to this resolution. Sincerely,
Jo Hamilton Chair Community Board 2, Manhattan
Brad Hoylman, Chair St. Vincent's Omnibus Committee Community Board 2, Manhattan
Hon. Charles E. Schumer, U.S. Senator Hon. Kirsten E. GilIibrand, U.S. Senator Hon. Jerrold L. Nadler, Congressman Hon. Nydia M. Velazquez, Congresswoman Hon, Carolyn B. Maloney, Congresswoman Hon. Andrew M. Cuomo, NYS Attorney General Hon. Thomas P. DiNapOli, NYS Comptroller Hon. Thomas K. Duane. NYS Senator Hon. Daniel Squadron. NYS Senator Hon. Sheldon Silver, Speaker, NYS Assembly Hon. Deborah J. Glick, NYS Assembly Member Hon. Michael R. Bloomberg. Mayor' . Hon. Jolin C. Liu • NYC Comptroller Hen. Bill de Blasio, NYC Public Advocate . Hon. Scott M. Stringer, Manhattan Borough President Hon. Christine C. Quinn, Speaker, City Council Hon, Margaret Chin, City Council Member Hon. Rosie Mendez, City Council Member Thomas Farley, Commissioner, NYC Department of Health & Mental Health Henry J. Amoroso, St. Vincent's President and CEO
Downtown Independent Democrats
Resolution Passed June 2, 2010
"St. Vincent's Hospital provided essential care to all our community, and in particular to seniors, the poor and the uninsured. Its closing is a tragedy, Downtown Independent Democrats calls upon all our elected officials to convene a thorough investigation into st. Vincent's management, bankruptcy and closing. We further call upon our elected officials to ensure that a full service hospital replaces the old st. Vincent's on that site. Specifically, we call upon the City Planning Council, Community Board 2 and the New York City Council to zone the land under the old st. Vincent's Hospital exclusively for community hospital use - and pledge not to allow any variances in the absence of a full service hospital."
Democracy for New York City
"Democracy for New York City adamantly opposes the exclusion of a proper hospital under the Rudin plan for the former site of St. Vincent's Hospital. It is our opinion that the conversion of the O'Toole Building into an emergency room is not sufficient to meet the needs of the community.
It is a sad state of affairs that the hundreds of thousands of residents
who live in Manhattan's Lower West Side are currently without a hospital. The real tragedy, however, would be the continued health care crisis if the Rudin plan is allowed to go through as proposed. The whims of a developer must not be allowed to override the needs of a community. The Rudin Management Company could certainly revise their development plans for the former site of St. Vincent's to include a fully functioning hospital instead of simply adding more high-rise, high-priced residences to our city's skyline. It is our belief that we must work to create a city that is planned in a socially-just manner. Full-service hospitals are needed now more than ever as the density of Manhattan continues to increase. A new hospital must stand in the place where St. Vincent's stood for more than 150 years."
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