Queens Hospital expansion approved by BSA

New York Hospital Queens will add 80 beds, a new entrance and expanded cardiology and surgery facilities. New York Hospital applied for rear-yard, setback and bulkhead variances as part of a large-scale modernization and expansion of its 6.4-acre facility at 56-45 Main Street in Flushing, Queens. The 439-bed, acute care teaching hospital, occupies two blocks along Booth Memorial Avenue, employs 3,000 people and receives approximately 400 patients and 250 visitors per day.

five-story, 97,219-square-foot addition and a 122,368-square-foot, 372-space garage. The proposed addition would connect to the existing buildings, permitting expanded cardiology and surgery services, 80 additional beds and a new 2,098- square-foot lobby and entrance at the corner of Main Street and Booth Memorial Avenue. The proposed garage would be located on the corner of Booth Memorial Avenue and 141st Street with two below-ground levels and one above-ground level, requiring demolition of five existing two-story hospital buildings.

The hospital argued that without the larger floor plates and flexibility permitted by the variances, the new entrance could not be built and the addition would lose 18 beds, three treatment rooms and one-third of the required mechanical equipment.

On October 11, 2006, the Planning Commission rezoned a portion of the site (R4 to R6) to permit additional floor space, granted a special permit for the garage, and allowed accessory parking anywhere on the site. The City Council approved on October 25, 2006.

At the October 24, 2006 BSA hearing, the Coalition to Preserve Queensboro Hill and other locals opposed the plan, arguing that nearby homes would be negatively affected by ambulance and pedestrian traffic. One neighbor argued that oxygen tanks in the proposed addition would be dangerously close to a nearby gas station.

On November 14, 2006, BSA granted variances for the five-story addition, allowing 20-foot and 15- foot encroachments. BSA noted that the variance would not affect essential neighborhood character and the neighbor’s concern regarding the location of oxygen tanks was unfounded. BSA also granted a variance to allow stairway bulkhead encroachments in the proposed garage after the hospital reduced the garage’s size by three levels in response to community concerns. BSA did not address traffic impacts in detail, noting that the Planning Commission had done so in its approval.

BSA: 56-45 Main Street (42-06-BZ) (Nov. 14, 2006); 139-24 Booth Memorial Avenue (41-06-BZ) (Nov. 14, 2006). CITYADMIN

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