Bay Ridge

UPDATE: Drug treatment center backs out of Bay Ridge

ACI program would have been housed at old Victory Memorial Hospital site

May 12, 2015 By Paula Katinas Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The proposal calls for the chemical dependency treatment program to take up three floors of the building. Eagle photo by Paula Katinas

State Sen. Marty Golden said Tuesday that he has learned that ACI, the non-profit group seeking to open a drug addiction treatment clinic at the site of the former Victory Memorial Hospital in Bay Ridge, has backed off the plan.

John Quaglione, Golden’s deputy chief of staff, said the senator has been told that ACI officials “are going to be looking for a new location.”

Golden had been talking to officials at “state licensing agencies” about the drug clinic proposal, according to Quaglione.

Representatives of ACI did not return phone calls.

The plan to open an in-patient drug addiction treatment center at the site of the former Victory Memorial Hospital raised eyebrows in Bay Ridge.

Representatives of ACI, a non-profit firm that operates a chemical dependency treatment program at 500 West 57th St. in Manhattan, was negotiating to lease three floors of a building at 9036 Seventh Ave., where Victory Memorial Hospital used to be, to open a 95-bed, in-patient facility, according to Community Board 10 officials, who were briefed on the plan last week.

The building, located near the corner of Seventh Avenue and 92nd Street, sits across the street on from the Dyker Beach Golf Course on Seventh Avenue. Poly Prep Country Day School is located across street from the 92nd Street side of the proposed drug clinic.

Community Board 10 had planned to hold a public hearing on the proposal. The potential impact the facility would have had on the surrounding community is not known, but the proposal raised concerns among community board members.

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“What they are proposing is big,” Josephine Beckmann, the community board’s district manager, told the Brooklyn Eagle last week.

The ACI reps revealed their plans at a meeting of the community board’s Senior Issues, Housing, Health and Welfare Committee on May 4. “There is no lease yet, but they are negotiating,” Beckmann said on May 8.

The New York State Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASIS) requires that sponsors of drug and alcohol treatment programs notify a local community board when they are planning to move into a neighborhood.

The building at 9036 Seventh Ave. is owned by an entity called Sunset LG Realty LLC, according to New York City Department of Finance records. Sunset LG Realty purchased the building from Victory Memorial Hospital in 2008, the same year the hospital closed.

The State University of New York (SUNY) Downstate Medical Center rents space in the building and runs SUNY Downstate Bay Ridge, an urgent care center, at the location.

There is another building attached to 9036 Seventh Ave. That building, with a front door at 691 92nd St., houses the Hamilton Park Rehabilitation and Health Center, a nursing home.

ACI had been looking to rent the fourth, fifth and sixth floors of the Seventh Avenue building and open a drug unit containing 26 rehabilitation beds designed for short stays for patients, usually a couple of days, and 69 medical detox beds for patients requiring longer stays, Beckmann said.

ACI is unable to renew its lease at its current site at West 57th Street, representatives told the committee. That building is owned by Carl J. Ekblom, Dept. of Finance records show. The New York Observer reported on May 6 that the owner plans to sell the building. The site could fetch as much as $12 million, according to the Observer.

The Victory Memorial Hospital site came on ACI’s radar because they have a large number of clients from Brooklyn and were looking for potential sites in the borough, Beckmann said.

One community board member who attended the May 4 committee meeting said she is dead set against the drug program moving in. “It’s not the detox center itself I object to. It’s the location,” she told the Eagle. “It’s right next to a nursing home. Poly Prep is right across the street and another school, P.S. 104, is a couple of blocks away. I don’t like the idea of this thing being located so close to schools.”

***UPDATED***

Article was updated after it was learned that ACI was no longer interested in the Seventh Avenue property.

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