Monday, November 12, 2007

Roosevelt Island Building Boom May Cause Eviction of Elderly and Disabled Hospital Patients

In the November 3 issue of The Main Street Wire (PDF File), one of the resident members of the Roosevelt Island Board of Directors expressed great concern regarding a possible plan by NYC to tear down the 10 acre south campus complex of Coler-Goldwater Hospital, move the patients from its South to North Roosevelt Island campus and replace the hospital with more East River waterfront luxury residential housing. He writes:
For the past few months I have been losing not a little sleep over the City’s plan to move Coler and Goldwater hospitals off-Island and use the land for residential purposes.
These fears are justified since I have been advised that many of the hospital employees have been told that a sale of the property is going to happen.

The hospital, which some describe as dilapidated, offers many elderly and disabled patients quality comprehensive long term and rehabilitative care which many believe will not be available elsewhere, if as feared, the hospital is closed. Last July, New York 1 reported that NYC was considering consolidating the South Campus of Coler-Goldwater with its northern Roosevelt Island campus.
But now there are rumors that the city plans to merge the two campuses and sell the southside location to make room for luxury apartments. ....Patients are not the only ones concerned about a possible merger. City Councilwoman Jessica Lappin says she worries about the stress new residents would put on the island's already taxed transportation options – the F train and the tramway.

"Commuting is already a nightmare for the people who live here, forget the people who are planning to come,” said Lappin. “So I'm very concerned about how we'd accommodate 3,500 additional units on this site."

There's recently been a building boom on Roosevelt Island, with nine new buildings finished or in the works, all renting or selling at market rate. Residents say they must start working to prevent more apartment buildings from going up where the south complex stands.
Coler-Goldwater Hospital's East River waterfront location, just south of the Roosevelt Island Tram, is a site that any real estate developer with a pulse would love to get his or her hands on. However, this site is owned by New York City and is not controlled by RIOC or a private sector owner. It may be possible to persuade NYC officials that the removal of essential health services to the elderly and disabled hospital patients together with the additional burdens on an already breaking Roosevelt Island transportation infrastructure is sufficient reason to forego any plans for converting Coler-Goldwater to yet another luxury residential housing condominium complex. Unfortunately, it is possible that city officials make the political calculation that favors residents of Roosevelt Island and the elderly/disabled patients of Coler-Goldwater hospital, though not likely.

Video link from Truveo is here.
Video link from NY 1 is here.


Anonymous said...

How noble of Kraut to be losing sleep ouver island trannsportation. Maybe he should have though about that when he and his fellow puppets rushed to give away octagon and southtown . Now he's losing sleep. I'm touched.