St. Vincent’s redevelopment plans include, you guessed it, luxury condos. Whodathunkit? What were you expecting, a mall?
Which is great if you’re interested in buying a West Village apartment in a few years. After all, some of the most lovely blocks in all of New York City can be found tucked away in this historic district, especially once the famed Manhattan grid goes haywire and these tree-lined streets twist and loop around until even veteran New Yorkers can lose their bearings (if you’ve ever found yourself at the corner of West 4th and West 10th–streets that by all rights should be six blocks apart AND should never intersect!–you know what I mean).
Plus, in addition to the neighborhood’s relentless charm, West Village apartments are also never more than a few blocks away from many of New York City’s best restaurants (personal favorites, for different moods, include The Spotted Pig, Little Owl, Malatesta, Joseph Leonard, Morandi, Empellon, Red Farm, Fatty Crab, Hakata Tonton… ok that’s enough for now).
And it’s great place to raise a family, the West Village. And to shop. And the Hudson River Park is right there, and that’s really nice, too. The only thing NOT so great about looking for an apartment in the West Village is that everyone else would like to live there too, and the prices (high) and availability (low) are reflected accordingly.
Anyway, if a West Village apartment is in your budget–or, of course, if you can’t afford to live there but, like me, spend plenty of time in the neighborhood, which, by the way, is one of the best things about living in almost ANY NYC rental apartment, the easy access that you have to all other parts of town–here’s some news from the neighborhood that I found interesting recently, and so maybe will you.
One of the most contentious projects in recent memory for West Village residents has been the shutting down, and subsequent plans to redevelop, the sprawling St. Vincent’s Hospital complex. Late last month the City Planning Commission unanimously approved the Rudin Management’s proposal to build luxury condos and retail space in the space, as well as a public park–including an AIDS Memorial–on the St. Vincent’s triangle, a parcel of land bounded by 12th Street and Seventh and Greenwich Avenues.
Despite months of criticism for the Rudin Management redevelopment plan by West Village residents, and the opposition of Community Board 2, who feel that luxury housing–450 units!–is the last thing the neighborhood needs, and despite the fact that there is still the city Council vote to come, it seems that St. Vincents Hospital, which closed in 2010, will, in fact, never be used for community healthcare again.
As if the dispute over the St Vincent’s redevelopment plan haven’t been enough, the fight over the design of the AIDS Memorial in Triangle Park is sure to be equally emotionally charged. So far Rudin has refused to consider the winner of the grassroots AIDS Memorial Park coalition design contest, a unique, powerful piece called Infinite Forest by Brooklyn studio a+i, chosen by a star-studded panel of architects, activists, and planners from among 475 entries.
Infinite Forest is elegant in its simplicity: basically, it’s a walled-off triangle filled with trees, the interior of which is lined with mirrors (hence the Infinite effect), the exterior of which is covered in slate, so rather than etching into the memorial the names of the some 100,000 New Yorkers who have died of AIDS, visitors will be able to write the names, in chalk, of loved ones lost, all of which will be washed away naturally with each rainfall. We’ll see what Rudin counters with, but since Infinite Forest has already garnered a lot of support, I can’t imagine it won’t be met with controversy.
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