Out with the old: Council rejects Red Hook nursing home

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

The plan is sunk, but the old folks are safe and dry.

City Council on Wednesday rejected a nursing-home operator’s pitch to build a massive new facility on flood-prone Red Hook land, falling in line with objections from the local member, who described the plan as “short-sighted and unsafe” and demanded the company find a different location in a different neighborhood.

“It must not go forward at this location and we must find an alternative and safe site,” said Councilman Carlos Menchaca (D–Red Hook) in a statement before the vote.

Members voted 47–2 to nix Oxford Nursing Home’s proposal to rezone a Conover Street manufacturing site, between King and Sullivan streets, to make way for a $65-million, 200-bed facility to replace its current one in Fort Greene.

Menchaca’s objections echoed those of Borough President Adams, who also rejected the plan, arguing the proposed location — in a mandatory evacuation zone — would put residents at risk during storms, as moving them would put unneeded stress on their already fragile bodies.

Oxford has rejected this criticism in the past, insisting its building will be flood-resistant and even able to shelter other evacuees during another Sandy.

Menchaca also objected to taking away more of Red Hook’s already diminishing manufacturing space, and claimed the 200 residents and 100 staff would strain the local sewer system and power grid.

“The project will undoubtedly stress Red Hook’s already insufficient infrastructure to a breaking point,” he said.

The local community board approved the plan last year — though its land-use committee did not, after many locals argued the eight-story building would be totally out-of-context with the rest of the low-rise nabe and bring an endless stream of traffic to the sleepy coastal area.

Menchaca promised to help Oxford find another site, but has not yet shared any suggestions.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill