Стр. 30 - The Rockaway Times

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Page 30
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 22, 2016
The Rockaway Times
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Peninsula Hospital Being Demolished
By Dan Guarino
The sounds of jackhammers
and heavy equipment are not a
sign of renovation or new con-
struction at 51-15 Beach Chan-
nel Drive. Instead behind the
green plywood barricades that
surround it Peninsula Hospital
Center is being torn down.
The 173-bed Rockaway he­al­
th­care complex opened in 1908
as Peninsula General Hospi-
tal. Despite heavy community
protests it closed in 2012, leav-
ing St. John’s Episcopal in Far
Rockaway as the peninsula’s
sole hospital facility.
Back then the New York
Times reported that “the trou-
bled Peninsula Hospital Center
closed, unable to stay solvent
after its lab failed a state exam
and was shut down by the New
York State Health Department,
which said the lab was danger-
ous for patients.” The NYSHD
decision is still a source of con-
troversy today.
As the formerly derelict
building comes down plans
for the property's future use
are going up.
In May, New York real es-
tate magazine The Read Deal
reported that the Arker Com-
panies and their partner the
Northeast Brooklyn Hous-
ing Development Corpora-
tion bought the site, “with
760,000 buildable square
feet,” and an adjacent lot for
$19 million.
According to Katie Ho-
nan at DNAinfo, city records
show that the property was
sold by Congregation Zichron
Yitzchok Vmoshe Eliyahu, a
non-profit based in Borough
Park and owned by Yosef "Jo-
seph" Brunner. They in turn
originally bought it at a bank-
ruptcy sale conducted after
the hospital closed in 2012.
Last year the Arker Compa-
nies started construction on
an affordable housing site for
low-income seniors in Bay-
swater.
As for the now soon to be
gone
Peninsula
Hospital,
Honan noted “the new own-
ers plan to build multi-fam-
ily housing and commercial
buildings, according to paper-
work filed with the city.”
As demolition goes on, the
Peninsula Nursing and Re-
habilitation Center next door
remains open and operation-
al. Contrary to concerns at the
time, it did not close when the
hospital did and has remained
in business since. Internal
renovations are now under-
way to offer additional outpa-
tient-type services at PNRC.
In the meantime the sounds
of Peninsula Hospital Center
coming down can be heard for
blocks around. The disappear-
ance of this Rockaway institu-
tion, along with memories of
the community service it pro-
vided, can be felt all across the
peninsula.
Photo by Dan Guarino