New York City board rejects Northwell Health's $2B hospital revamp

An Upper East Side community board voted against Northwell Health's proposed $2 billion revamp of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City by a 36-3 vote, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Since New Hyde Park, N.Y.-based Northwell Health announced the revitalization project in March, it has faced significant pushback from the community. Complaints include concerns about traffic congestion and the shadow two proposed towers would cast over ritzy Park Avenue.

The project, announced by Northwell in March, would make all patient rooms private, expand and update operating rooms, improve the hospital's emergency department and create a new hospital that offers maternity services. It also includes a proposed 41-story, 200-bed residential building would provide ongoing funding for the hospital. 

Northwell, which acquired the Lenox Hill Hospital about a decade ago, claims the hospital is in need of a revamp because it is a jumble of connected, outdated buildings and its ED is too small. 

Joshua Strugatz, Northwell's vice president of Manhattan Redevelopment, told residents during the board meeting that the hospital hears the neighborhood's concerns and is still in the very early stages of the application and design process. But to maintain the future viability of the hospital, "we need to make the necessary investments to meet your needs," he said, according to The Wall Street Journal. 

Although the community board has some sway over development projects, the vote against the proposal was more of a symbolic move, The Wall Street Journal reported. But early disapproval can complicate development, the newspaper said.   

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