NYHQ expansion approved on new wing

The new wing being built at New York Hospital Queens (NYHQ) will rise an additional two stories over Main Street and the Kissena Park Corridor, now that the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has approved the revised expansion plans.
The new wing was designed to add 80 beds and the project includes a three-level parking garage adjacent to the main campus.
In 2006, the hospital submitted plans to add a five-story wing to the facility, located at Main Street and Booth Memorial Avenue in Flushing, which were reviewed by Community Board 7 (CB7) and approved by the Department of Buildings.
However since then, New York State increased the minimum size of hospital rooms, reportedly in the face of concerns about the transmission of bacterial infections. As a result, two more floors were required to maintain a total of 80 additional beds in the wing, according to a source familiar with the project.
“The change came before us for review in February,” said Marilyn Bitterman, CB7 District Manager. “It was strictly as notification - because the ‘footprint’ of the construction hadn’t changed, there was nothing for us to vote on,” she said.
The addition is expected to open in 2010.
“The new wing will add capacity to this thriving community teaching hospital to serve the fast-growing population of the surrounding community, and continue to provide residents with access to high-quality healthcare close to home,” said Cynthia Bacon, Director of Public Affairs for NYHQ.
“The new wing will enable the hospital to aggregate and expand high-demand services, such as cardiovascular and ambulatory surgery facilities,” she continued.
The completion of the project will also bring to a close a contentious issue between the hospital and nearby residents.
In advance of construction, an agreement was reached between NYHQ and city, whereby a section of the Kissena Park Corridor along Booth Street, was asphalted-over, to replace parking spaces temporarily lost to the project.
The agreement became a cause c/lbre for local environmentalists, outraged that Parks Department land had been handed over for private use.
Citing the temporary nature of the parking area, the community benefit from the expanded hospital and an agreement by NYHQ to not only remediate, but improve Kissena Park Corridor in the area around the parking area, the plan prevailed.

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