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NY Methodist to Unveil Revised Designs for Controversial Expansion

 New York Methodist Hospital released revised renderings of its expansion plan on Jan. 2, 2014.
NY Methodist Releases Revised Renderings
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PARK SLOPE — New York Methodist Hospital will present a reworked plan for its controversial expansion on Monday in yet another bid to appease critics who say the 8-story building will overwhelm residential Park Slope.

The hospital will unveil the revised designs for its new outpatient center at a Community Board 6 meeting.

The hospital posted new renderings on its website last Thursday afternoon, some of which appear similar to renderings released in the fall. Hospital spokeswoman Lyn Hill declined to comment on what had been changed, saying that details of the revisions would be presented at the meeting Monday. Methodist has also posted further documents explaining the project and responding to community criticism.

The expansion project, which requires zoning variances from the Board of Standards and Appeals, has been met with sharp criticism from locals who charge that the building is out of character with the neighborhood and will bring more traffic to already clogged streets around the hospital.

Resident Marvin Ciporen, an opponent of the expansion, said the new explanations didn't do much to justify the project in his eyes.

"They still haven’t made their case," Ciporen said. "It’s still not clear. Their case still boils down to, ‘We need it, so give us everything we’re asking for.’"

Hospital officials say the new development is "consistent with many of the surrounding buildings," according to a new Frequently Asked Questions document on the hospital's website, and representatives insist that opponents who describe the building as "massive" and "overly huge" are using "distorted, Photoshopped renderings."

In response to community criticism, the hospital has made "over 20 changes" since it announced the expansion last summer, according to the FAQ document.

The new building will span the block between Fifth and Sixth streets and Seventh and Eighth avenues. It will be built on property the hospital already owns and would require the demolition of 16 existing buildings, including some brownstones.

The hospital has argued that the planned Center for Community Health would be a "world-class" facility that is necessary for Methodist's long-term survival. It would include an outpatient surgery center with 12 operating rooms, an endoscopy suite with six special procedure rooms, as well as cancer center and other facilities. Called the Center for Community Health, it would serve about 100,000 patients a year.

Community Board 6 will review New York Methodist's revised expansion plans on Monday, Jan. 6 at 6 p.m. at John Jay Educational Campus, 237 Seventh Ave.