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Group Drops Legal Battle to Stop Sale of St. Vincent's, Report Says

By Andrea Swalec | June 30, 2011 10:54am

By Andrea Swalec

DNAinfo Reporter/Producer

GREENWICH VILLAGE — A group trying to prevent the former St. Vincent's Hospital site from being converted to apartments and a smaller medical center has reportedly ended their court battle, but plan to continue their battle on other fronts.

Local activists have dropped their court appeal to stop the sale of the main campus of St. Vincent's Hospital, moving the project one step closer to approval in bankruptcy court, The Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

Activists led by former City Council member Alan Gerson filed papers to withdraw the appeal on June 24, the Journal reports. But the group isn't relenting, Gerson told the paper.

"We made a decision to pursue our efforts though regulatory or political channels because it's more cost effective," he said. "The appeal would have dragged on for a long time and cost a lot of money and legal fees."

The group had filed an appeal on April 18 to delay a proposed $260 million real estate deal brokered between St. Vincent's, North Shore-Long Island Jewish Health System and Rudin Management Company.

The activists wanted the land sold to someone willing to keep a hospital open on the property. Gerson's group said previously it was talking to an unnamed real estate developer and an unnamed medical center and medical school that could buy the campus for the same price as the Rudins, Crain's New York Business reported.

The group had cited one possible collaborator, Crain's reported: the National Football League Alumni Association.

North Shore-LIJ plans to convert the O'Toole Building on Seventh Avenue into a medical complex containing a 24/7 emergency department, full-service imaging center and outpatient surgery facility.

Other buildings on the old St. Vincent's campus are slated to be developed into apartment complexes.