The hospital on the Ridgewood/Bushwick border in Brooklyn is planning to transform 64-25 Central Ave., formerly Central Auto Collision, into a two-story “ambulatory diagnostic and treatment facility” serving local residents, according to Community Board 5 District Manager Gary Giordano.
In reviewing the plans, Giordano told QNS that the hospital plans to create an indoor parking garage on the first floor with examination rooms and a patient waiting room on the second floor. The building’s footprint wouldn’t change, but the second floor addition would bring its total height up to 30 feet.
Nonetheless, Giordano noted, Wyckoff Heights representatives submitted an application to the city’s Board of Standards and Appeals (BSA) asking for a special permit to allow for a parking garage with fewer spots than required under current zoning rules. Plans call for the first-floor garage to have 21 parking spaces, but the existing rules call for twice as many spots given the size of the building, which is about 12,600 square feet.
The proposed facility in Glendale would be similar to two other outpatient centers that Wyckoff Heights operates in Bushwick and Middle Village, according to Community Board 5 Chairperson Vincent Arcuri, who also serves on the hospital’s board of trustees.
Those facilities offer an array of services from care providers based at Wyckoff. The Bushwick center includes gastroenterology, internal medicine, oncology, obstetrics, pulmonary care and family medicine, while the Middle Village center offers similar services as well as audiology, nephrology, pediatric cardiology, podiatry, vascular surgery and urology.
“We have a vast population [in Glendale and neighboring Ridgewood], with a high number of senior citizens living within walking distance” of the proposed facility, Arcuri said. The site is a short walk from bus lines on both Myrtle Avenue and Fresh Pond Road.
Along with better serving the needs of a growing population, the outpatient center is also an economic shot in the arm for Wyckoff Hospital.
“Outpatient services are reimbursed at a better rate than in-hospital services,” Arcuri said. As with most other community hospitals in the city and state, he observed, most of the patients coming directly to Wyckoff Hospital for treatment are covered by Medicare or Medicaid — public programs that have been cut on the state level in recent years and may also be subject to further reductions on the federal level.
“The object is to get out where the insured people are, where the payments are better,” he added. “And you don’t want people coming to the hospital who aren’t really sick.”
Board 5 will hold a public hearing about the plan at its next meeting on Wednesday night, July 12, at 7:30 p.m. at Christ the King High School, 68-02 Metropolitan Ave., Middle Village (enter through Door 10, CNL Center, take elevator or stairs to third floor).