New York City’s hospitals are struggling. St. Vincent’s Hospital in the West Village shut its doors in 2010 and sold most of its property to condo developers. Beth Israel Hospital is planning to close and sell off some of its buildings in the East Village, eventually demolishing the 825-bed hospital and developing a newer, smaller facility.
Now, Metropolitan Hospital Center, a public hospital in East Harlem, has filed plans to build a 16-story apartment building on its large parking lot at 1880 First Avenue. We suspect the project will be affordable housing, but we haven’t been able to confirm that yet. New building applications reveal that the development will rise 163 feet into the air between 97th and 99th streets, a block west of the FDR Drive. It will also grow next to Draper Hall, a former dormitory for nurses that’s being converted to subsidized senior housing.
Dattner Architects will design the building. The firm is responsible for dozens of affordable and supportive housing projects, from low-income rentals in the South Bronx to the affordable portions of massive, mixed-use projects like Essex Crossing.
1880 First Avenue will hold 153 apartments across 131,316 square feet of residential space, for a typical unit measuring 853 square feet. The ground floor will include a lobby, bike parking, and a 650-square-foot community facility, and the upper floors will hold anywhere from five to 12 units apiece.
New York City’s Health and Hospitals Corporation (HHC) is the owner and developer. The corporation operates 11 public hospitals across the city and serves 1.4 million patients.
The project doesn’t include any parking, but Draper Hall will offer 156 parking spots next door.