What ever happened to Greenpoint Hospital and other shut-down Brooklyn healthcare institutions?

Eye On Real Estate

October 29, 2014 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
This renovated building housed the outpatient department at now-closed Greenpoint Hospital. Eagle photos by Lore Croghan
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The afterlife of a closed-down hospital can be complicated.

Bureaucracy, bankruptcy and bad financial markets can all slow down the process of putting the real estate that’s left behind to new uses.

Take Greenpoint Hospital, for instance. It was shut down by the city THREE DECADES ago (that number’s in large letters for readers who have aged since then and now need reading glasses) and is still only partially repurposed and redeveloped.

While waiting to see what comes next for much fought-over Long Island College Hospital (LICH), take a look at what has become of Greenpoint Hospital — and see related stories for tales of other shuttered Brooklyn hospital’s buildings.

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With the former Greenpoint Hospital complex, the contrast is kinda crazy.

At one end of the Maspeth Avenue block, on the corner of Kingsland Avenue, a handsome building that housed the outpatient department has been overhauled and is in superb shape. It houses a community services and arts facility called the Greenpoint Renaissance Center.

At the other end of the block, on the corner of Debevoise Avenue, a once-handsome building that was a nurses’ residence sits vacant and graffiti-covered, with smashed-up windows.

Until the city shut it down in 1982, this complex on the border of Williamsburg and Greenpoint was a major healthcare institution. (The debate about which side of which street is in which neighborhood is too complicated to deal with while we’re focusing on healthcare.)

An address that’s often used for the former hospital property is 300 Skillman Ave.

Despite years of friction with then-Mayor Koch and other public officials, Greenpoint Renaissance Enterprise Corp. and other community groups were eventually allowed to renovate several buildings on the city-owned site. In addition to the community services center, they created affordable housing plus a 200-bed transitional housing and job-training facility for unemployed men and women.

Housing construction in the nurses’ residence and on the land next to it came to a dead stop after an executive at Great American Construction Corp., which the city had tapped for the job, was indicted on an unrelated matter. The builder dropped out of the project.

St. Nicks Alliance had been the runner-up in the original bidding with a proposal for affordable housing for seniors and families. The non-profit asked the Bloomberg Administration to be awarded the project rather than have the bidding process re-start from square one.   

That was two years ago.

The city Department of  Housing Preservation and Development, which is in charge of the project, is now doing “a thorough assessment of potential strategies for moving forward in refining parameters of a redevelopment plan,” an agency source said.

Meanwhile, the nurses’ residence continues to sit, forlorn and silent as a tomb, behind a padlocked fence.

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