De Blasio to lead ‘Hospitals Not Condos’ rally at former St. Vincent’s site, with Belafonte, Sarandon, Cynthia Nixon, others

Bill de Blasio being arrested last month during a protest to keep Brooklyn's Long Island College Hospital from closing.

Public Advocate Bill de Blasio being arrested last month during a protest to keep Brooklyn’s Long Island College Hospital from closing.

BY LINCOLN ANDERSON | At noon on Mon., Aug. 19, mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio will lead a “Hospitals Not Condos” rally at the site of the former St. Vincent’s Hospital, at the northwest corner of Seventh and Greenwich Aves.

De Blasio, who is currently the city’s public advocate, will be joined by legendary singer / activist Harry Belafonte, “Sex and the City” star Cynthia Nixon, actresses Rosie Perez and Susan Sarandon and de Blasio’s wife, author / speechwriter Chirlane McCray.

According to a source close to the de Blasio campaign, the candidate will not call for a restoration of a full-service hospital on the Lower West Side — but will call for a comprehensive restoration of healthcare citywide wherever it is needed.

In a recent interview with The Villager, de Blasio declared that St. Vincent’s “absolutely could have been saved,” but that there was simply a lack of political will.

The bankrupt hospital closed in 2010 under the crushing weight of a $1 billion debt.

Today, a gaping space is all that remains where some of the largest towers of the former historic Catholic hospital, on Seventh Ave. between 11th and 12th Sts., once stood, following the demolition of a huge swath of the medical complex.

What’s left of the former hospital’s gutted shell — with the addition of new construction — is being developed by The Rudin Organization / Global Holdings into The Greenwich Lane, 200 high-end condo residences, including five buildings, plus five single-family townhouses on 11th St.

The units will sell for prices ranging from $2 million up to $20 milli0n.

In March 2012, the number of the development’s planned units dropped by 100 — from 450 to 350 — and has since dropped by another 150 residences. There will be 10 separate addresses. The buildings will all be connected by a “lush, private, central garden.”

The complex’s name refers to what Greenwich Ave. — one of Manhattan’s oldest streets — was known as until 1843.

ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED Aug 18, 2013

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10 Responses to De Blasio to lead ‘Hospitals Not Condos’ rally at former St. Vincent’s site, with Belafonte, Sarandon, Cynthia Nixon, others

  1. Where was the star power when St. Vincent's really needed it? Yes, healthcare facilities eqidistributed to meet needs and maintain public health codes is vitally important. With so much star power residing in NYC – especially in the West Village – I wish it had been mobilized when it was truly needed and not after the fact. Shame on you Susan Sarandon for even appearing at this rally when you vocally opposed plans for expansion of St. Vincent's in your neighborhood which would have helped to prevent it's closure. Mr. DeBlasio (a good smart guy) should choose his star power wisely. True fighters like Rosie Perez get their hands dirty when it really counts. I hope these folks continue to shine for this cause, especially when Yetta Kurland reinvigorates the fight to restore a hospital in the lower west side when she is elected City Council member for district 3. City Council support from all constituents who work both in Hollywood and Broadway are going to be needed; just as the support from our regular folks who operate the food trucks, local restuarant workers, small business owners, and residents, etc. that actually work or reside in this area. It was St. Vincent's who served the needs of these average and often uninsured people for over a century.

  2. Why Are They Closing St. Vincent's Hospital?
    //watclosingstvincentshospital.blogspot.com/
    A video blog documenting a community's battle to save their beloved hospital from real estate developers.

    • You're a little behind on the tense there, my friend. They are not "closing" St. Vincent's. It's thoroughly CLOSED, and mostly demolished with a few facades remaining in tact. The Rudin Organization worked hand-in-glove with the Mayor AND Chris QWuinn to change the zoning to allow this massive project to go forward. And Chris' people say there was NO quid pro quo? It's insulting to be treated as though we are so dumb as to just swallow that, whole.

  3. Save St. Vincent's

    Why Are They Closing St. Vincent's Hospital? http://watclosingstvincentshospital.blogspot.com/
    A video blog documenting a community's battle to save their beloved hospital from real estate developers.

  4. As I recall Sarandon or Tim Robbins was quoted as saying they wouldn't take their dog to St Vincent's. A little hypocritical now I think.

  5. Both Sarandon and Robbins appeared at the hearing to oppose St. Vincent's expansion plans, because it was a bait and switch. Early on when the tower was on the table, NYU was interested in operating a health facility there. That tower would never have been a hospital. NYU doesn't need two hospitals and would probably have established a facility much like the one that was being built. The upper part of the tower would likely have gone to other uses….as indicated by the fact that NYU hit the road when the tower fell off the table. No one knew until after the fact just how bad St. Vincent's finances were and my guess is that the hospital would have ceased to exist despite what was promised about the tower. By then, of course, the tower would have been built. This was a real estate deal from start to finish. Sarandon said she would not take her children to St. Vincent's because the hospital was such a wreck…and neither would a lot of people.

  6. Ralph Palladino

    the Public Advocate while Public Advocate and as a city council person and as a person NEVER WAS AT A HOSPITL CLOSING RALLY I EVER WAS AT….AND I HAVE BEEN TO HUNDREDS…..QUINN MEANWHILE STOPPED THE CLOSING OF SYDENHAM AND STOPPED THE CLOSINGS OF CHILD HEALTH CLINICS……

    JOHN LIU BELIEVES WE NEED MORE PUBLIC HOSPITALS…

    SO NOW IN AN ELECTION YEAR….GIVE ME A BREAK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    QUINN NEGOTIATED AN EMERGENCY ROOM FOR THE WEST SIDE….NO ONE COULD SAVE ST. VINCENTS…UNLESS DAVE PATERSON GAVE UP SOME STATE MONEY AND HE DIDN'T.

    SO THIS NEW CONDOS VS HOSPITALS CAMPAIGN IS HYPOCRITICAL AND FALSE! WHERE WERE SUSAN SARANDON AND CYNTHIA NIXON WHEN PEOPLE WERE FIGHT TO KEEP ST VINCENTS OPEN.

    DONT BE FOOLED BY PHONEY ELECTION PROPAGANDA!

    i HAVE BEEN ACTIVE IN THESE HOSPITAL BATTLES FOR almost 40 years and NEVER saw Bill at any rallies. In fact he refused to sign on to opposition to the Bloomberg
    deLoitte Plan….that called for privatizing and downsizing of public hospitals….

    so give me a break

    • You want a break? Ask Chris where all that Rudin family money buys? Aside from a change in zoning to allow this behemoth project ONLY for the Uber-Wealthy, who will likely be foreign nationals, or claim residency in another state to avoid NYC's onerous taxes. And, as long as breaks are being requested, I'd like to ask John Liu for several, including his throwing staff members under the bus for his own sloppy and un-ethical fundraising practices. If he had a message worth a shit, he's be getting the campaign donations needed to actually compete, and not be pushed to the back of the pack with Anthony Weiner. As Comptroller, I know he understands the intricacies of fund-raising and ethics rules, and what they are in place for.

      OR.. he could always ask Chris Quinn to get him a little cozier with the Rudins and The Mayor. Then the cash spigot would be open, and he could hang a "For Sale" sign on his back like Chris has done.

  7. Move on people. It was a train wreck of a hospital and you still have great health care another 1.5 miles away. That's closer than 98% of America. Such whiners.

  8. That extra 1.5. miles can add up to an extra hour per round trip on the emergency response time, during which time all you jaded sheeple who seem to hate whiners more than you love your own lives would probably be dead from a serious health emergency. So heres another proposal: We will stop whining when you stop trolling.

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