‘Cash-strapped’ Prospect Park West nursing home to shutter in three months

‘Cash-strapped’ Prospect Park West nursing home to shutter in three months
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

A high-end assisted living facility on Prospect Park West will shutter in three months, forcing more than 100 elderly residents to find new digs.

Financial woes forced the 134-unit Prospect Park Residence to close, according to managers, who say taxes on the center increased by about $1 million this year.

“Today, despite its best efforts, Prospect Park Residence is no longer viable,” said Prospect Park Residence director David Pomerantz in a statement on Wednesday night. “This was not an easy decision.”

A closure plan was approved by the state Department of Health last week. The facility at One Prospect Park West has pledged to help tenants locate new homes and aid employees in finding new work.

Some dejected residents said they are not sure where they will lay their heads come June.

“What can I say? There’s nothing I can do,” said Eleanor Greif, 94.

The nine-story building was built in 1931 in place of a public garage and was used as a fraternal clubhouse — complete with ballrooms and bowling alleys — before it became a nursing home in 1962. Current management took over in the late 1990s and put in medical offices below floors of assisted living apartments.

The building occupies a block-long chunk of prime real estate at the corner of Prospect Park West and Plaza Street West, on Grand Army Plaza. It sits across President Street from 9 Prospect Park West, where Sen. Charles Schumer (D–New York) owns and apartment with his wife City University of New York vice chancellor Iris Weinshall and where actor Chloe Sevigny bought a pad for $2 million in December.

Some residents railed against the closing at a closed-door, Wednesday night meeting announcing the plan and said no tenants were consulted, according to a source who attended the meeting.

Councilman Brad Lander (D–Park Slope), Assemblywoman Joan Millman (D–Park Slope), and Assemblyman James Brennan (D–Park Slope, called on building owner Haysha Deitsch to stop the closure, saying that the sudden move could be “traumatic” for the seniors.

The nursing home has seen its share of controversies. Former civil Judge John Phillips suffered serious neglect there, according to a wrongful death suit filed by Philips’s nephew, Samuel Boykin, in 2011. Another lawsuit alleged that the facility operated for years without a license and that its negligence led to the death of at least one dementia patient, according to the New York Daily News.

Reach reporter Megan Riesz at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her on Twitter @meganriesz.