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Former hospitals make way for luxury condos in NYC

By Mike Wheatley | January 27, 2016

What with so many hospitals in the US shutting down, developers are looking to renovate these vacant spaces and transform them into luxurious homes. In New York City, there's a trend among developers to buy up old hospitals and transform them into luxury condos, making them “hospitable for full-time residents”, as the New York Times puts it.


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The NYT cites the example of a former maternity ward on Manhattan's Second Avenue that's now been transformed into Rutherford Place, with two-bedroom apartments there selling for as high as $2.3 million each.

It also points to the planned $350 million Gramercy Square building, which is currently under-development at the site of the old Cabrini Medical Center, which shut down in 2008. The developer is building a “condo village” at the 1.4 acre site, and has adapted many of the old buildings, and plans to add some new ones too. Ultimately, the site will be home to 223 new apartments when completed.

David Bistricer, founder of Clipper Equity, one of the developers of Gramercy Square, told the NYT it was a very interesting and rewarding experience to develop the former medical center. “I found it very interesting and very rewarding to take something like that and make it work,” he said.

Some of the adapted buildings once housed a psychiatric ward, operating rooms and patient rooms, while the emergency room will be transformed into a place for gardens.

“From the standpoint of an architectural project, it was extraordinary, the range of disciplines involved,” Jeremy Singer, managing principal of Woods Bagot, told the NYT.

Once completed, Gramercy Square units will sell for around $2,200 per square foot, with studio apartments starting at $995,000 and top-end penthouse suites going for a cool $33 million. The project is scheduled for completion by the end of the year, with the sales office having opened this winter.

Mike Wheatley is the senior editor at Realty Biz News. Got a real estate related news article you wish to share, contact Mike at [email protected].
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