Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Developer’s ‘Immaculate’ Concept for Closed Jamaica Hospital

A proposal is in the works to revitalize the former Mary Immaculate Hospital complex in Downtown Jamaica, which has been vacant since the facility was closed in 2009. The project plans to completely rebuild the two main structures of the hospital, located at 150-13 89th Avenue, into a new 16-story luxury rental with 324 apartments. A nearby four-story historic building, the Townhouse, which is also part of the rundown complex, would be converted into 15 apartments. The new 298,000-square-foot development will span an entire city block, facing Rufus King Park.

The Chetrit Group, which is developing the property, purchased the bankrupt hospital in 2009 for a mere $4.8 million, or less than $12 per buildable square foot.

The former hospital complex will be “completely redone,” according architects Goldstein, Hill & West.

The plans come on the heels of several other projects planned for the neighborhood which has been undergoing a number of changes in recent years, attracting new retailers and developers.

Two of the two main hospital buildings, which are currently seven stories and 94 feet tall, would be transformed into a 16-story apartment building that would be 196 feet tall.

The original hospital building, which fell into disrepair over the years, will have its limestone and brick facade restored, while the new structures will be clad in a contemporary metal and glass skin.

The complex will also include a 237-space underground parking garage. The project is the first phase of a master plan for the block that will later expand to include four other buildings.

The 298,000-square-foot complex, which spans an entire city block directly north of Rufus King Park, is zoned as an R6 residential area, so no commercial space can be built on the land.

Demolition of the interior of the main buildings started in 2013.

The buildings have been deteriorating ever since the 1980s, and community leaders hope that after years of neglect, the site will eventually become an asset.

“It’s a beautiful space right near the park,” said Rhonda Binda, executive director of the Jamaica Center Business Improvement District.

"And it’s sitting there just wasting away.”

This is the second major hospital conversion happening around Jamaica, the other being the T Building at the Queens Hospital Center. That one includes 205 units, 75 of which will be reserved for Queens Hospital Center patients transitioning out of care.

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