Neighborhood Activists Drop St. Vincent’s Appeal
Source: Wall Street Journal
By Eric Morath
Even before a district-court judge could hear their case, community activists demanding that a new trauma center be built in Greenwich Village dropped their legal protest to the sale of the former St. Vincent’s Hospital’s main campus, court papers show.
The activists, led by former New York City Council Member Alan J. Gerson, had appealed a bankruptcy judge’s ruling approving the $260 million sale to a development company tied to the Rudin family. The prominent developer will mostly build housing on the site.
The group said St. Vincent’s should have sold its most valuable asset to a buyer that would reopen the hospital.
Gerson insists his group is not giving up the fight, just pursing different avenues.
“We made a decision to pursue our efforts though regulatory or political channels because it’s more cost effective,” he said in an interview this week. “The appeal would have dragged on for a long time and cost a lot of money and legal fees.”
The group filed papers to voluntarily dismiss the appeal on June 24.
While Gerson said the battle to bring back a hospital to the Greenwich Village neighborhood will continue, without the pending appeal the sale has cleared all necessary hurdles in bankruptcy court.
St. Vincent’s officials have said that the approved sale represented the best possible recovery for the hospital’s creditors. What’s more, the Rudins have struck a deal with North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health Care System to invest $110 million to create a health-care center that will include a free-standing emergency department in one of the former hospital’s buildings.