A hospital in East Harlem will receive $52 million from the city so it can update equipment and fix leaks at NYC Health + Hospitals/Metropolitan, the municipal hospital in East Harlem, according to Crain’s, citing an announcement from Mayor Bill de Blasio last week.
Power is important, and replacing the emergency power system so a blackout doesn’t wipe out the patients will cost $25 million. Some other improvements include shatterproof windows in some units, safety and maintenance improvements, and addressing leaking problems in the roof and updating the fire system of sprinklers.
Vos Iz Neais News explains that “the investment is significant because Metropolitan had been one of the city’s hospitals considered for potential closure because of a declining occupancy rate,” adding that “the health system has projected a $1.8 billion deficit in fiscal 2020, which starts July 1, 2019.”
De Blasio was forward and frank at the press conference. “Let me say what everyone knows—there’s been rumors that this hospital might close.” De Blasio had a defiant message. “I am here in the flesh, with microphones, with cameras to say to you, this hospital is going strong, we’re investing in this hospital. This hospital will not close, not on my watch.”
Dr. Mitchell Katz, who became CEO of NYC Health + Hospitals in January, said at a Crain’s forum a few months ago that the hospital wouldn’t close.
“We see this $52 million not only as the needed infrastructure, but as the city’s commitment to Metropolitan’s future, and that’s what makes it so sweet, because we all believe in Metropolitan and we want to see it flourish and go into the future,” Katz said last week.
The Jewish Voice reported about how last year, the City Council gave its important approval to a proposal to redevelop the Bedford-Union Armory in Crown Heights. It also gave the go-ahead to a rezoning of East Harlem, which is now expected to pass despite all the opposition by locals. These combined deals could add over $200 million in cost to taxpayers.
After making compromises with local representatives Councilwoman Laurie Cumbo and council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito, the council’s Committee on Land Use approved both measures.
According to Crain’s News, “The armory, which developer BFC Partners is proposing to transform into a recreation center and housing complex, will have market-rate rentals and more affordable housing added to the mix in lieu of luxury condos. Nixing the market-rate homes and lowering the rents will likely require city taxpayers to contribute tens of millions of dollars in subsidies to make the project economically viable.
In East Harlem the proposal was changed to lower building heights and density in certain areas, and the city committed to investing $178.2 million in the area for public-space improvements and job programs.”
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