To the editor:
The Hebrew Home at Riverdale’s planned expansion of 388 units with garages (525 parking spaces) to accommodate elderly persons of means will disrupt an important portion of the Riverdale community, and destroy this countrified oasis in New York City.
The generalized community protests speaks to this.
This expansion is not to provide affordable housing for the well elderly, which it does not. It is also to help manage the Hebrew Home balance sheet, which has a two-year deficit of $24 million.
The river view already is blocked by the existing structures from West 261st Street to Sigma Place, and no efforts in the last 50 years have been taken to modify this. (Palisade Avenue from West 251st to West 254th Street now serves about 40 homes).
With the planned increased traffic, we will lose our tree-lined passage (Palisade Avenue) with its stone walls, which have been a distinguishing mark enjoyed by all in our community. And West 261st may have to be modified as well to accommodate significantly increased use.
The character of this section of Riverdale will be changed forever.
Well elderly do not need to live contiguous to the Hebrew Home to receive services.
The Hyatt on Broadway is a good example of alternative options.
This is, in part, an economic move to protect and benefit an institution with other options. Should the country roads, river views, Palisade embankment all be compromised so they can remain solvent?
Who is putting Riverdale first, and why cannot this incredible site be spared and protected? For a “not for profit” organization, this is exacting a priceless cost for it to remain solvent when other affordable choices for the well elderly and the Hebrew Home are available.