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City green-lights controversial New York Methodist Hospital expansion, Park Slope residents vow fight isn’t over

The city Board of Standards and Appeals voted unanimously on Tuesday to grant the Fifth St. hospital the zoning variances it sought to build an eight-story, U-shaped outpatient center in the brownstone neighborhood.

BY NATALIE MUSUMECI
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Tuesday, June 17, 2014, 6:34 PM

NEW YORK METHODIST HOSPITAL

New York Methodist Hospital got the go-ahead to move forward with its ambitious plan to expand its footprint in Park Slope.

The city Board of Standards and Appeals voted unanimously on Tuesday to grant the Sixth St. hospital the zoning variances it sought to build an eight-story, U-shaped outpatient center in the brownstone neighborhood.

The hospital expansion, which has been a controversial issue among residents since the plan was unveiled last July, calls for the demolition of 16 hospital-owned buildings — including some 19th century brownstones — to make way for the 300,000-square-foot Center for Community Health.

Park Slope residents who have been fighting the hospital plan said the fight isn’t over.

“Because this project has the potential to forever alter the essential character of Park Slope, we will continue to challenge (the hospital’s) efforts and hope to work with elected officials and community leaders to modify the current plan,” said Bennett Kleinberg, a Fifth St. resident who heads up the anti-expansion group Preserve Park Slope.

Critics have charged that the new building will overshadow neighboring homes and complained about added traffic from the 100,000 patients who would visit the center each year.

Eighth Ave. resident Marvin Ciporen, 70, called the board’s decision “a big mistake.”

“The BSA refused to press them on any concrete information on why they need such a disruptive building,” he said.

Hospital honchos have made several tweaks to the building’s design since last year, but those design changes were not good enough for some Park Slope residents.

“This is going to have a detrimental effect on the quality of life for people living in Park Slope,” said Fifth St. resident Philipa Garson, 48. “We’re not giving up.”

The 150-foot-tall facility, which will be built on a portion of Fifth St., Eighth Ave., and Sixth St., will include a surgery center, an endoscopy suite, and cancer center that will offer radiation oncology, chemotherapy and urgent care services. It will also have a 300-car underground parking garage.

“We were most gratified by the unanimous decision of the (BSA) to grant the variances needed for (the facility),” said hospital spokeswoman Lyn Hill in a statement. “For nearly a year, the hospital has worked with our community to advance this project, which will enhance outpatient healthcare for Brooklyn residents, and we have incorporated numerous suggestions and revisions as a result of community input.”

Construction is slated to begin later this year.

NATALIE MUSUMECI/NEW YORK DAILY