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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Montefiore developers face hostile crowd at meeting

By Maya Rajamani
Posted

After skipping the last few Community Board (CB) 8 Land Use Committee meetings, Montefiore Medical Center and the Simone Healthcare Development Group sent representatives to a Monday night gathering at The Riverdale Y to field questions and address simmering outrage over a controversial new medical facility proposed for south Riverdale.

Montefiore Senior Vice President Lynn Richmond and lawyer Jeffrey Moerdler, who is with the Simone Group, said they are on track to build a multi-use center on 3751 Riverdale Ave. and neighboring lots.

But prompting what was likely the first time Montefiore has drawn claps of approval from Riverdale residents opposed to its use of the site, Ms. Richmond appeared to provide hope that Montefiore would consider moving to an alternate location. 

“We are looking and considering other options,” she said.

However, the vice president appeared to backtrack when asked to clarify why the site of a former Loehmann’s at 5740 Broadway — which activists have suggested as an alternative location for the medical center — would not work out. 

“We’re not actively looking for other sites,” Ms. Richmond later said, prompting an audience member to shout that the representative should have “stopped while she was ahead.” 

While Ms. Richmond said Montefiore has taken community suggestions for alternate locations into consideration, the organization plans to move forward at the Riverdale location after Simone returns from the drawing board with plans that take into account community concerns. Those include objections that the proposed 11-story, 56,000-foot site will increase traffic and pollution as well as harm the character of the neighborhood. “It just means that we don’t have a closed mind about everything,” Ms. Richmond said of the process.

 

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