Area Advocates Caught Unawares by Mount Sinai’s Proposed Behavioral Health Facility at Rivington House

Posted on: January 9th, 2019 at 5:02 am by

Rivington House sheltering the homeless, April 2017

Rivington House is returning, not as condos, but a new health care facility.

If all goes to plan, the Mount Sinai hospital network is to sign a 30-year lease for roughly 130,000 square-feet in the former school building. It’ll reportedly be an integrated behavioral health center serving a variety of mental health and addiction service needs, both in-patient and out-patient.

Apparently, 45 Rivington Street is the potential silver bullet solution to a “host of problems” the hospital reportedly faces in its current facilities. Yet, some locals argue that those problems are not necessarily the only or key problems of this Lower East Side community.

Perhaps this is a play to remove this program from Beth Israel’s downsized Bernstein Building in the East Village?

Moreover, Mount Sinai brass claimed at the CB3 Health and Human Services Committee meeting this week that they had no awareness of Neighbors to Save Rivington House or the struggle to reclaim the building for this community, nor that negotiations were ongoing with elected officials.

Neighbors to Save Rivington House remains at the forefront of the issue, and has been advocating for its return as a nursing home for the last three-and-half years. The group takes issue with the allegedly secret “letter of intent” that owner-developer Slate Property Group forged with Mount Sinai. They welcome the additional resources In the community, but hope for a sharing arrangement with nursing home beds.

“If Mount Sinai succeeds this could have differing impacts here: some potentially good, some potentially troubling,” Kathleen Webster noted on the group’s blog. “We don’t know enough yet what this means for this park. It is not clear that Mount Sinai thought about their desired new location in terms of the current challenges within this park.”

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