April 1, 2014
By Marc Bussanich
New York, NY—William Rudin spoke on Monday morning about how his real estate company navigated the prolonged public approval process to redevelop the former St. Vincent’s Hospital property in Greenwich Village. A New York Times reporter asked Mr. Rudin how could private developers build affordable housing in the city. He said a lot depends on Mayor Bill de Blasio’s affordable housing plan. Video
Mr. Rudin was joined by Seymour Lachman at a forum at The Steven L. Newman Real Institute at Baruch College, who just published a book on Rudin’s late father, Lew Rudin.
Mayor de Blasio is expected to release soon details about his affordable housing plan. His deputy mayor on housing and economic development, Alicia Glen, will be speaking at an Association for a Better New York breakfast on Wednesday where she might spell out some more details.
Jack Nyman, the Real Estate Institute’s executive director, asked Rudin what projects is his company currently focused on. Rudin discussed how, after seven years of trying to win City approval for redeveloping the St. Vincent’s Hospital property, a new emergency room will open there this summer, and residential closings will continue until the fourth quarter of 2015.
“St. Vincent’s was trying to adapt and build a new state-of-the-art hospital. The intent was to try to help this institution reimagine itself. The infrastructure they had was obsolete and they couldn’t compete in the new healthcare world. Unfortunately, they didn’t make it,” said Rudin.
But he noted he reached out to North Shore hospital to preserve a healthcare component for the project.
“They came up with a very innovative plan which is to create a hospital emergency department and all the ancillary services that are associated with that,” Rudin said.
He also noted that the project didn’t include hospital beds because it would have cost $800,000 to $1 billion to build a full-scale hospital rather than the $150 million to build just the emergency department.
The redevelopment plan finally approved by the City Council in 2012 reflected the modifications sought by the community, such as reducing the number of condo units from 450 to 350 and the building of a public school in the state-owned building at 75 Morton Street.
But the new project doesn’t include affordable housing. The New York Times’ real estate reporter, Matt Chaban, asked Rudin what would have to change to include affordable housing in the project and, if not, what is the solution.
“We’ll have to see what the mayor and deputy mayor propose,” said Rudin.
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