CityLine: March 5, 2001, Albany, Washington, D.C., Briarcliff Manor, NY
New York Presbyterian Hospital is discussing development approval strategies after its landmark settlement with the City of White Plains, according to its spokesman, Geoffrey Thompson.
Meanwhile, Plan B, a sprawling prototype plan to build 2 biomedical research facilities, 4 new hospital buildings, 5 new parking structures, plus new residence buildings for staff is in the process of being referred out to City of White Plains departments.
Planning Department swings into action.
Mike Graessle, Commissioner of Planning, told WPCNR Friday that the Planning Department would be reviewing the two new biomedical "anchor projects," as the Hospital refers to them, in the context of the entire NYPH Health Science Master Plan, "as we do all projects," were his words. This means that city departments will be analyzing the desirability, zoning correctness, and benefits of a sprawling project, not just two biomedical facilities along Bryant Avenue.
"We have to view the two buildings as part of the Hospital plan, not on an individual basis," Graessle said.
Hospital lines up strategies.
At this time, New York Presbyterian Hospital management is said to be preparing their approaches to the city review process, according to spokesman Geoffrey Thompson. Thompson said Friday that the hospital push in recent weeks was centered on "the big push to get through the legal matter, so we could be eligible for the Center of Excellence grants. Now that that is settled, we find ourselves in the position of saying 'Now what?'"
Thompson said the hospital was currently "mapping out its strategy." WPCNR asked if the overall Plan B as submitted could be expected to be supplemented with new information from the hospital in coming weeks on aspects of the plan, more "details."
Thompson said there would be a "bit of both. The hospital wants (the Plan B referral review) as expeditiously as possible so we can secure the state money (for the biotech facilities)."
Legislators wrangling over Center of Excellence Grants in "The Big A."
Speaking of those Center of Excellence grants, WPCNR has received confirmation from Todd Alhart of the Governor's Press Office in Albany that the biotech Center of Excellence grant money is being negotiated among legislators at this time. Alhart said that approximately $136 Million (of the $283 million) is called for by Governor Pataki to be devoted to establishment of Centers of Excellence in the state budget now being hammered out.
In his January State of the State message, the Governor called for $283 million in New York State funds to be spent in the next five years to be supplemented by $700 million "in federal, university and private funds to spur high-tech and biotech job growth through these three "Centers of Excellence" and other initiatives."
Originally the three Centers of Excellence were to be in Albany, Rochester and Buffalo. Intervention by an organization of New York City hospitals and affiliated medical schools (three of which have teaching releationships with New York Presbyterian Hospital), AMDeC, lead to Governor Pataki's including and establishing a Center of Excellence in the New York City area, too, according to the Westchester County Business Journal. Pataki called for the New York City facility in his budget message.
Now, state senators and assemblypersons are taking up the Governor's Center of Excellence grant requests.
Senator Charles Schumer's Westchester Press Office confirmed Friday to WPCNR that Governor Pataki's Center of Excellence proposal depended on an infusion of federal funding, and that initiative would be a combination of New York State dollars and federal funding.
Mr. Alhart, Budget Press Specialist for the Governor, said "the governor is strongly behind this proposal," but could not provide details at this time on what federal agencies would be tapped for the $700 Million needed on top of the $283 million the governor proposes to spend. He said the legislative consideration of the governor's proposal was continuing, but did not give an indication of how it was being received.
Philippidis on "White Plains Week" estimates hospital could have sued for over $300 Million if city did not settle.
On the Tuesday, March 6 edition of the WPCNR television program, White Plains Week, scheduled for cablecast at 7 PM Tuesday on Channel 71, Alex Philippidis of the Westchester Business Journal, a regular on the newstalk show, revealed the results of his talks with several experts in the cost of biotech laboratory facilities.
Mr. Philippidis said that typical biotech facilities cost $270 a square foot to build. Philippidis said the two facilities the hospital planned were to consist of 185,000 square feet each, which would amount to well over $300 million which is almost four times the City of White Plains budget, confirming that the hospital could conceivably have mounted a damages suit well in access of the city budget. His remarks can be seen and heard on the Tuesday evening cablecast at 7 PM.