E.R. is on the way: The pain of the loss of St. Vincent’s is still sharp. It seems like just yesterday that the community was desperately fighting to save the historic, 161-year-old hospital from closing. But, four years later, the new 24/7 emergency room at the former St. Vincent’s O’Toole Building is not far off from opening. We hear that it will actually begin operating in late June, which will restore a full-service emergency room to the neighborhood for the first time since the St. Vincent’s E.R. closed in April 2010. One activist we know likes to quip that this new facility — from North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System — will be a “two-and-a-half-bed hospital.” (Actually, it will only have two beds.) But, in an era where the state wants to slash the number of hospital beds, this new facility isn’t about hospital stays: People will be able to receive emergency treatment, but if they need further care or an overnight stay, will be transported by ambulance to a nearby full-service hospital. This will be the first time that this “stand-alone E.R.” model — an E.R. not attached to a hospital — will be seen in New York City, though they do exist Upstate and in other states around the country. We’re told, in fact, that embattled Long Island College Hospital may also be moving toward a future as only a freestanding E.R., so it seems to be a growing trend. The North Shore-L.I.J. facility is also slated to contain a Comprehensive Care Center, but word is that it could potentially be up to another year before that part of the project is completed. A name has been chosen for the W. 12th St. E.R./healthcare center, and a press conference is coming up at which the place’s new logo will be unveiled on the side of the building.
Pumping up over Pastis: A-listers like Beyoncé, Jay-Z, David Bowie and Katie Holmes will need to find a fallback spot to dine in the Meatpacking District now that fave Pastis is set for a renovation. A vertical expansion is planned for the two-story building that houses Keith McNally’s Gallic gustatory hot spot at 9 Ninth Ave. The Daily News recently reported that Pastis would be closing for 15 months for a “massive renovation,” after which it would reopen with a 15-year lease. An October job filing with the Department of Buildings calls for “Interior rehabilitation, renovation and vertical enlargement of building. Work on floor(s) CEL 001 thru 005.” It appears D.O.B. may not actually have approved the work yet. But, assuming “CEL 001” means the cellar, we assume “thru 005,” means the plan is currently to top out at four stories. McNally opened the pioneering Pastis in 1999 when the Meat Market still was one. The property is owned by the Gottlieb real estate company, but the vertical expansion is reportedly being done by an outside private developer. It’s not clear that McNally would get any additional space in the beefed-up building. Ultimately, the project would need approval by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, since the site is in the landmarked Gansevoort Market Historic District. Andrew Berman, executive director of the Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation, said his group and others will be watching the Pastis site carefully. An earlier version of the plan, he said, called for a six-story addition, which would make it an eight-story building, which would be too large, in their view. “We think a modestly scaled addition with an appropriate design would be appropriate there,” he told us. If the design is too big or doesn’t fit in, Berman said, “I think it’s going to bump up against some significant resistance — and not just from G.V.S.H.P.” … Meanwhile, Berman and fellow preservationists were celebrating a victory involving another Gottlieb property this week. A developer had been seeking a variance from the Board of Standards and Appeals for an office building project on the empty lot along 10th Ave. between 13th and 14th Sts., which is outside the landmarked district. Specifically, the developer — claiming economic hardship caused by the closeness of the High Line, which is affecting the project’s design — wanted a one-third increase in allowable bulk for the new building. But the B.S.A. was giving clear signals that it wasn’t buying the argument, and this week the developer pulled the application. Berman said this is an area of the High Line with open views and it’s important that any new building on the site not be too massive, so as not to block the vista. Admittedly, the developer is also seeking variances to set back the building a bit more to the north than normally allowable, and Berman approves that part of the plan, since it would open up a view corridor south of the building.
A pier for Pete? The Hudson River Park Advisory Council, at their Monday night meeting, raised the idea of honoring the late Pete Seeger in some way in Hudson River Park. The folk-singing activist, of course, was a dedicated environmentalist, who through the sloop Clearwater, brought attention to the need to clean up and safeguard the Hudson River, leading to G.E.’s cleanup of toxic PCB’s it had dumped for years in the waterway.
ill communication: The proposal to co-name the intersection of Ludlow and Rivington Sts. “Beastie Boys Square” is now BACK on the agenda for March at Community Board 3. There was much hoopla after the application was deep-sixed at last month’s full-board meeting — even though the applicant, LeRoy McCarthy, had previously withdrawn it, meaning it technically couldn’t be denied. In addition, along with the denial by C.B. 3 came the prohibition that McCarthy couldn’t even reapply to the board for the co-naming street sign for several years. It was particularly whack — i.e. confusing — for the hip-hop advocate since he had previously been instructed by the board’s Transportation Committee to go out and collect more petition signatures to show greater neighborhood support for the initiative — which he had already started doing. After the full-board meeting, Chad Marlow, an outspoken C.B. 3 dissident, fired off a letter to new Borough President Gale Brewer, voicing his concern that the board had not followed proper procedure. A staffer from the B.P.’s Office subsequently called C.B. 3 District Manager Susan Stetzer to discuss the matter. “We’ve reached out to the parties involved and are hopeful for a resolution,” Stephanie Hoo, Brewer’s press secretary, told us. After getting the call, Stetzer forwarded the relevant committee and full-board resolutions to Brewer’s Office, and also reported to them that she had already spoken to Gigi Li, C.B. 3’s chairperson, about the matter. We’re told that Li and Stetzer had already been discussing restoring the item to the agenda, and that Li “was leaning toward putting it on the March agenda.” Li then reportedly spoke to David Crane, the Transportation Committee chairperson, and made the final decision to do so. This is what weʼre told. At any rate, Marlow said the Beastie Boys need to be given their fair shake. Yes, it’s true, the application might not meet all of the board’s requirements — for starters,two of the Beastie Boys are still alive. (Itʼs generally recommended that the people honored on the co-naming signs be deceased.) However, Marlow said, the Ramones, who made “white rebellious music,” have Joey Ramone Place in the East Village, but the Beastie Boys, who made “black rebellious music” — although they were white, they were working in a black musical genre — deserve recognition, too.