A health facility with emergency care will open in Greenwich Village after a deal was struck among Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers, the North Shore-LIJ Health System and the Rudin family. Plans call for a neighborhood medical complex as part of a proposed redevelopment project, the organizations announced March 10, 2011, according to an article at crainsnewyork.com by Barbara Benson.

"St. Vincent's is seeking court approval to sell its most significant real estate asset, the Manhattan campus, for $260 million to the Rudin family. But it will transfer the O'Toole Building to North Shore-LIJ, which will invest $110 million in a project to create a comprehensive health care center there with a freestanding emergency department. The facility is expected to treat more than 72,000 patients annually and employ 300 people.
The O'Toole Building is located on the west side of Seventh Avenue between West 12th and West 13th streets. North Shore-LIJ plans to invest $110 million to renovate and develop the building to create the North Shore-LIJ Center for Comprehensive Care. The Rudin family is providing $10 million to partially offset North Shore-LIJ's costs," the article said.

"The proposed center would provide round-the-clock emergency care," the article said, adding that "if approvals are granted, it would open in the fall of 2013. North Shore-LIJ said in the announcement that the facility would be the first freestanding, 24-hour emergency department in the New York area. It would feature a diagnostic imaging center with digital x-ray, computed tomography, magnetic resonance imaging and ultrasound services. There also would be a specialized ambulatory surgery facility to focus on interventional treatments for the sick and elderly. 'The Center for Comprehensive Care proposal is an innovative solution to the health care dilemma facing residents of Greenwich Village and other local neighborhoods, who have been without a nearby emergency room and other critical health care services since the closure of St. Vincent's Hospital,' said Michael Dowling, North Shore-LIJ's president and chief executive, in a statement. 'Making this facility a reality, however, will require city, state and federal approvals, all of which are needed for us to move forward with this project,' he added.

North Shore-LIJ opened an Urgent Care Center on Tuesday at 121A W. 20th St. and is exploring other proposals to strengthen health care access in lower Manhattan.

St. Vincent's said its board of trustees and creditors approved the deal, which will be brought before the bankruptcy court at a hearing to approve the sale on April 7.

In 2007, the Rudins had entered into a contract to develop the hospitals properties on the east side of Seventh Avenue between 11th and 12th Streets for $300 million so that the hospital could demolish the low-rise O'Toole Center on the west side of the avenue into a new hospital with a curbed setback tower on a rectangular base.

"The original Rudin contract and all previous proposals involving the Manhattan campus were contingent on obtaining zoning approval," the article said, 'so SVCMC pursued an amended transaction with Rudin, which had made extensive progress in navigating its plans 'through the uncertain, often contested and costly zoning, landmark and community approval process,' the hospital wrote in court papers, concluding the Rudin group had the best chance at completing a transaction."

Last fall, the article continued, SVCMC said it received an initial proposal from Rudin that did not include a health care transaction, remained conditioned upon zoning approval and whose purchase price, payment and other terms were “deemed inadequate even in the current market.”

The deal for a new medical facility is linked to a Rudin family residential development on West 12th Street between Sixth and Seventh avenues, previously approved by the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission. That project includes about 300 apartments and five brownstones. It would reuse four buildings that were part of the St. Vincent's campus. The project meets previous Landmarks decisions by preserving five key buildings: O'Toole, Spellman, Smith, Raskob and Nurses'.

The proposed sale includes lots, pieces or parcels of land located at 1 Seventh Ave., 133 W. 11th St., 143 W. 11th St., 148 W. 12th St., 158 W. 12th St., 170 W. 12th St. (collectively referred to as the East Campus); 76 Greenwich Ave. (the Triangle Site); and 20 Seventh Ave. (the O'Toole Building), the article said, adding that "the Rudin family said in the announcement that its project team would work with the local community and elected officials to design new park space at the St. Vincent's triangle. A new 564-seat elementary school at the Foundling Hospital at West 17th Street and Sixth Avenue is also proposed. The Rudin family said it will build the park on the triangle, in addition to providing financial backing for the new elementary school."

SVCMC disclosed that in January it received a significant offer from another developer in New York City that had partnered with a major New York health care provider, which it didn't name, the article said, adding that "the health care provider, according to one source, is Continuum Health Partners. In January 2010, Continuum had made an offer to take over St. Vincent's and turn the hospital into an ambulatory care facility. The plan was poorly received by the local community. In a Jan. 29, 2010, letter to St. Vincent's, Continuum President Stanley Brezenoff explained that he was withdrawing the offer that included ending inpatient services 'given the reaction of the Department of Health to our proposal for an ambulatory care facility,' adding that he was ready to resume discussions 'at any time' that would be 'productive.'”

"The competing offer," the article continued, "did not have a higher purchase price than the Rudin deal. It did, however, remove all zoning contingencies - a factor that was a material concern for SVCMC's creditors. During negotiations with both sets of potential purchasers, Rudin increased its purchase price offer by $40 million, eliminated the zoning and other conditions, and improved other key parts of its offer. Rudin gave SVCMC a $22 million deposit. The deal in its current form is not conditional on zoning approvals for the the East Campus, nor is it dependent on state Department of Health and related regulatory approvals for the North Shore-LIJ transaction at the O'Toole Building. 'The significance of this component cannot be minimized, as a very limited amount of developers would be willing to entertain such a condition-free transaction without a significant discount to price,' SVCMC wrote in court documents filed Wednesday [March 9, 2011]. 'By eliminating the condition of zoning, DOH and related regulatory approval,' the closing time for the deal was cut by six to 12 months. The final deal, added SVCMC, made the purchase price offered by the Rudin family nearly comparable to that of the original contract that 'was entered into during mid-2007 at what was considered the height of the real estate and financial market in New York.'”