First the anger, now the lawsuit over Greenpoint Hospital

First the anger, now the lawsuit over Greenpoint Hospital
File photo by Aaron Short

The city gave a chosen developer an unfair advantage over its rival when it awarded development rights to the former Greenpoint Hospital to a Queens construction company last year, a bombshell lawsuit charges.

The suit by Greenpoint Renaissance Enterprise Corporation and its nonprofit partner, St. Nicks Alliance will be heard this month, nearly one year after they lost a hotly contested bid to redevelop the former hospital site on Kingsland Avenue.

The suit alleges that city acted “arbitrarily and capriciously” in awarding the proposal to TNS-Great American Construction, which plaintiffs claim substantially altered its proposal after the city’s initial review and strengthened their bid.

“When the Department of Housing and Preservation Development accepted and reviewed TNS’ updated proposal, TNS received an unfair advantage in the competitive process,” said the suit. “This deprived other applicants of the opportunity to change and improve their proposals, thereby diminishing the fairness of the competition to the detriment of the public.”

A spokesman for the Department of Housing Preservation and Development declined to comment because litigation is pending.

The suit is the latest frustrating chapter in a 30-year campaign to redevelop the former medical center into senior housing.

The Greenpoint Renaissance Enterprise Corporation and St. Nicks Alliance pressed the city for decades to begin development on the site only to lose out when the city went with the Queens group’s plan to build 240 units of below market-rate housing on the site.

The local groups met with city officials after that decision, believing that Commissioner Rafael Cestero would reverse it. But talks broke down, and city officials stood firmly behind TNS-Great American, which prompted Greenpoint Renaissance and St. Nicks to file the suit.

“We wanted to give the city an opportunity to review its decision before taking this to court, but the city has refused to communicate with us in the interim,” Greenpoint Renaissance President Jan Petersen told Greenline, a St. Nicks publication.