Beep: Red Hook nursing home plan doesn’t float

Beep: Red Hook nursing home plan doesn’t float
Oxford Nursing Home

This plan doesn’t swim.

Borough President Adams took a hard line against a proposal to build a nursing home in Superstorm Sandy-ravaged Red Hook, recommending the city not approve it because it would put too many seniors in harms way and doesn’t provide an adequate emergency evacuation plan.

The Beep’s report, dated March 8, says Oxford Nursing Home’s plan to build a $65-million facility with an urgent care center on Conover Street between Sullivan and King streets needs to take a hard look at how tough it would be to move dozens of senior citizens out of harm’s way when another storm the likes of Sandy arrives.

“This proposal has the potential to result in devastating impacts on the 200 elderly who are likely to require substantial assistance in the even of an evacuation,” the report states.

Additionally, Adams claimed that right now more than 1,400 nursing home beds in Brooklyn sit inside flood zones — 11 percent of all beds — and Oxford, whose new facility would replace one located outside a flood zone on South Oxford Street in Fort Greene, should consider a new site that is not threatened by rising tides.

Adams also pointed out that the zoning change required to get the building constructed would open the door to massive, out-of-context high-rise development in low-rise Red Hook, allowing buildings to go as tall as 110 feet in an area where none are nearly that tall.

“Such possible height on the properties that are not in the applicant’s ownership, as well as the eight- to nine-stories proposed for the combined skilled nursing facility and ambulatory diagnostic facility are out of context with the existing structures,” the Beep wrote.

In response to concerns raised at a public hearing in December about the influx of traffic the center would bring to the area, Adams said developers must nix plans to include an urgent care center since it is located too far away from public transportation and would only be accessible by people with vehicles.

Additionally, the 52- car parking garage on Sullivan Street — a one-way stretch located across from newly built residential buildings — must be relocated to King Street to increase traffic flow.

Adams made his determination on the project after Community Board 6 approved it with certain provisions, including the agreement that the developer not flip the property after being granted a zoning change, and neighborhood residents get first crack at the opportunity to work or use the facility.

Oxford estimates the facility will employ at least 100 people, and house up to 200.

The Beep’s opinion is only advisory, and may be considered by the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals before going to the Council for approval.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill
Just say 'No': Borough President Adams says a plan to put a senior facility in Red Hook may put lives in danger.
Photo by Jason Speakman