Expansion of Coney Island Hospital slated to finish by 2023, builders say

coney island hospital
Coney Island Hospital is one of three medical facilities that will treat uninsured Brooklynites under the new scheme.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

They’re ready to build this wall — and a new tower, too!

Contractors are laying the foundations for a new flood wall and 10-story tower at Coney Island Hospital, as part of an ongoing expansion of the medical center that will take roughly five years to complete, the builders told residents at a recent meeting about the project.

The four-foot wall rising around the perimeter of the city hospital’s existing Sheepshead Bay campus will go a long way to protect the facility as it continues to rebuild after being ravaged by superstorm Sandy, according to a local leader.

“We need to make sure it’s resilient, so this is a good thing,” said Community Board 13 District Manager Eddie Mark.

Hospital honchos earlier this year announced construction of the tower and wall, both of which will be built using funds from a $923-million grant that leaders of the Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded the medical center back in 2014, roughly two years after the storm struck.

Workers intend to finish erecting the tower and part of the wall in early 2022, before starting some demolition work at the site in order to finish the wall by the middle of 2023, according engineer Fuad Adib, whose Manhattan-based firm Applemon is overseeing the hospital’s expansion along with bigwigs at Turner Construction, which is also headquartered on the distant isle.

The demolition work includes razing the hospital’s 110-year-old, six-story Hammett Pavilion, whose current inpatient and outpatient facilities — which include some beds and the medical center’s Behavioral Health Clinic — would be relocated to spaces within the existing complex and the new tower, according to a 2016 environmental assessment required as part of the job.

The 10-story tower will rise at 2619 Ocean Pkwy. on land formerly used as a hospital parking lot, and will include new parking spaces outside its ground-floor lobby. Its second-through-tenth floors will house services including a new emergency department, an X-ray facility, computerized tomography and magnetic-resonance-imaging scanners, a pharmacy, and labs, according to a Coney Island Hospital spokesman.

But before the firms can erect the new building, leaders of the state’s Department of Environmental Conservation must sign off on a permit allowing contractors to drain groundwater at the development site in order to dig an elevator pit for the tower, according to Adib, who revealed the timeline to locals at a Dec. 17 meeting he hosted with Turner Construction bigwig Elvis Karlic.

The builders plan to dump the groundwater — which will be treated and filtered — into nearby Coney Island Creek, according to a draft permit published by the department, which required the public meeting as part of its State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, a program that ensures the purity of water discharged in such projects.

The recent forum was the first public meeting held since hospital leaders filed plans for the expansion in February, and there are no further sessions scheduled, according to the spokesman.

But locals can submit their comments about the draft permit to the state environmental agency in writing, on the phone, or via e-mail through Jan. 11, according to its spokeswoman Erica Ringewald.

Weigh in on the draft permit requested for the expansion of Coney Island Hospital by e-mailing DEP.R2@dec.ny.gov, calling (718) 482–4997, or mailing thoughts to NYSDEC Region 2 Headquarters c/o Caitlyn P. Nichols, 47-40 21st St., Long Island City, NY 11101.

Reach reporter Kevin Duggan at (718) 260–2511 or by e-mail at kduggan@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter @kduggan16.