In 2009, the Mary Immaculate Hospital, at 150-13 89th Avenue in downtown Jamaica, shut down and was sold to the Chetrit Group, with Meyer Chetrit saying he would redevelop the property – which sits on nearly a full block site just to the north of Rufus King Park in downtown Jamaica – into housing.
Now, YIMBY has a first look at the redesign, for which a new building permit application was filed last September. The plan features what appear to be four new buildings, the highest clocking in at 16 stories and 196 feet. The 94-foot-tall main pre-war building would be preserved, while the clunky garage at the corner of 89th Avenue and 150th Street and the bunker-like post-war addition to the hospital would be razed, or at least altered beyond recognition. (We aren’t sure if any of the façade of the handsome 1940s brick building at 88th Avenue and 153rd Street would be saved, but judging by the rendering, we’d guess not.)
The new buildings (the application doesn’t specify how many) will hold 324 apartments across their 298,000 square feet of residential space, for an average unit size of 920 square feet, which could mean either condos or rentals. Goldstein, Hill & West Architects filed for the permit.
Despite the relatively high-density mixed-use zoning on Sutphin Boulevard and in the commercial heart of downtown Jamaica, the blocks around Rufus King Park are zoned exclusively for residential use, ruling out any ground-floor retail. The building will, however, contain a 237-space underground parking garage – about 10 more than required by code.
At $4.8 million, the old hospital traded for less than $12 per buildable square foot back in 2009. Given that very low price, Chetrit can afford to not use all the site’s available development rights, which total nearly 416,000 square feet.
All in all, despite some handwringing about the closure of the old hospital, the development will be a positive addition to the neighborhood, where an influx of South Asian immigrants has brought fresh blood to a once-declining area. It will also restore some dignity to the northern edge of Rufus King Park, reactivating the property and replacing the clunky parking garage with some more welcoming architecture.
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