Persistence pays off for Greenpoint Campus!
In 1983 community residents came together to redevelop the former Greenpoint Hospital in a way that could benefit the neighborhood. They formed a coalition, Greenpoint Renaissance Enterprise Corp (GREC), to develop a comprehensive plan and pursued that plan for 35 years overcoming one obstacle after another. Last month, the City of New York recognized the community plan and designated St. Nicks Alliance and Hudson Companies as a joint venture team to develop the remaining vacant land and long neglected properties.
“We are so thankful that Mayor de Blasio listened to the community and designated our community developer St. Nicks Alliance to build on the Greenpoint Hospital site,” Teresa Cianciotta President Concerned Citizens of Withers Street one of the key organizations in GREC’s long campaign. Neighborhood Women of Williamsburg/Greenpoint, Cooper Park Residents Council, Conselyea Street Block Association, United Neighborhood Organization, 37 Kingsland HDFC, St. John’s Lutheran Church Community Action Committee, and Cooper Park Neighbors complete this key group.
The final plan will create over 500 new affordable rental apartments, maintain a 200-bed shelter on the campus, and include new community facilities. The project will balance the preservation of critical historic structures while introducing efficient new buildings to the campus. Honoring the integrity of the existing architecture while adapting them for future use as mixed use buildings and integrating the buildings with those already preserved on the campus was of utmost importance to the GREC Plan. The Development Plan will also introduce two towers to the site, which will preserve green space for resident and wider neighborhood use.
“St. Nicks Alliance is delighted to partner with Hudson Companies and Project Renewal and the City of New York to realize the community vision begun by local residents in completing development of the Greenpoint Hospital campus, open scores of skilled jobs for neighborhood residents, and create a long sought senior heath center with NYU Langone Family Health Centers,” said Joseph Robles, Chairman of the Board of St. Nicks Alliance.
The Barbara S. Kleiman homeless shelter will be in continuous operation throughout the project development. The Nurses Residence building will become its new home once it’s ready for occupation. Its preserved exterior will maintain neighborhood character, and its interior, modernized to the highest standard of operations will be overseen by Project Renewal. A one-floor addition will be added to the ground level, which will fill the courtyard that faces Debevoise Avenue.
268 affordable rental apartments underwritten by NYC HPD, will occupy the vacant land along Maspeth Avenue. A café on the ground level will animate the street life along Maspeth Avenue and attract neighbors in Cooper Park to interact with the campus. A health clinic located on the ground level will be operated by Family Health Centers at NYU Langone.
The Greenpoint Hospital main building will be renovated to house 110 units of affordable housing for senior citizens, after its current shelter is operational in its new home. The majority of the structure will be preserved and refurbished. The entryway will remain along Skillman Avenue and will include a “front porch” platform for senior citizens to gather, interact socially, and observe the street life along the pedestrian-only corridor.
The Laundry Building facing Jackson Street will be demolished and replaced with a 12-story building consisting of 136 apartments affordable to low-income households. A ground floor community center for senior citizens can be included with an entrance along Jackson Street, which could integrate the NYCHA Cooper Park Houses and Cooper Park Commons and create a space that encourages activity and social interaction for seniors.
The project will be in its planning phase over the coming months with a great deal of site investigation, building ,and landscape design to be finished before the plan proceeds for public review. The GREC Community plan has received consistent support from numerous community organizations, Community Planning Board #1 and local elected officials.
“We celebrate the local grassroots leadership who kept their eyes on the prize through the ups and downs and the step by step victories along the way. It makes the best sense to keep the site together as a whole under a cohesive leadership structure like St. Nicks Alliance, which has knowledge of the community and the community’s interest in mind,” said Jan Peterson, founder and director of the National Congress of Neighborhood Women (NCNW) and Chair and founding member of Greenpoint Renaissance Enterprise Corporation (GREC).