NY Methodist gets BSA approval for new care center

June 25, 2014 Heather Chin
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New York Methodist Hospital’s planned outpatient care center has cleared another hurdle now that the city Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) unanimously approved a requested zoning variance to the planned 500,000-square-foot expansion on a block between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, and Fifth and Sixth Streets.

The variance allows for “height, setback and rear yard [modifications] to have the efficient floor plates required for a modern facility of this type,” according to Methodist.

Dubbed the Center for Community Health (CCH), the building is planned to include doctor’s offices, a new ambulatory surgery center, an endoscopy suite, an urgent care center and a comprehensive cancer center including radiation oncology and chemotherapy services on-site, as well as community education and conference facilities.

“For nearly a year, the hospital has worked with our community to advance this project, which will enhance outpatient healthcare for Brooklyn residents,” said Lyn Hill, vice president for communication and external affairs. “And we have incorporated numerous suggestions and revisions as a result of community input.”

On January 6, Community Board 6 voted to support Methodist’s plan—but with 11 conditions that requested height limits and a long-range plan that “considers the long term needs and objectives of the hospital over the next 20 years at a minimum, and how the hospital intends to meet those needs and objectives in a manner that is both inclusive and respectful of the Park Slope community.”

In response, Methodist redesigned the building to move traffic away from Fifth Street and its flow of walking schoolchildren, and added an extension garage to the planned underground parking garage, which will be reduced by nearly 200 spaces.

Methodist also commissioned two traffic studies to analyze the impact of the CCH on local traffic. Its results found that most outpatient activity was already occurring in existing facilities and the CCH would not have a negative impact.

However, the hospital will continue to work with a traffic task force created by Councilmember Brad Lander, who has also voiced his support for the project.

Methodist’s expansion is coming at a time when it is experienced increased patient flow, following general turmoil in the Brooklyn hospital scene, particularly the closure of Long Island College Hospital roughly two miles away in Cobble Hill.

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