The Economic Hezitorial Development Truth
YONKERS, NY — June 15, 2017 — Simone Healthcare Development President Guy Leibler has noted that much interest has been expressed over St. John’s Riverside Hospital’s cube structure within the Boyce Thompson Center complex situated on the property’s north side adjacent to Executive Boulevard. Journal News Reporter Ernie Garcia’s May 11, 2017 article reported that the hospital had in fact begun seeing patients as of April 24th. Inquiry was made to St. John’s Riverside Hospital Spokesperson Denise Mananas as to why full use of the entire space was not completed 7 weeks after the move was reported. Ms. Mananas expressed incredulity, instead suggesting all staff designations were delayed because it had yet to be determined who would comprise the full complement of tenants as preposterous as that sort of business conduct is. When advised that a two-week extension had been granted to supposedly mitigate a signage code violation, Ms. Mananas became flustered, advising that this was the first she was hearing of this situation. I suggested she make inquiry of my allegation rather than dismiss the issue as irrelevant, despite her assertion she had not been aware of my allegation. I noted that I had never before heard of any prior circumstance in which new construction was deemed not compliant with municipal codes prior to a tenant taking full posession of office space. It is simply incongruous. I only requested her to make inquiry in this matter. Her response was derisive. I responded by advising that there was no need for her to berate or demean my character because she was first hearing of the issue, and she hung up, commenting that I was ‘hysterical’.
HISTORY: The Simone Development Cos., the developer, has opened The Boyce Thompson Center, a $35 million adaptive re-use, mixed retail / medical complex situated at 1086 North Broadway, in Yonkers, NY, on the former Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research property. The most prominent tenants are St. John’s Riverside Hospital, the WESTMED Medical Group, and Fortina restaurant.
Yonkers Department of Building and Codes has issued notice that a “signage” issue is cause for not meeting compliance with building code and must be mitigated within a two-week timeframe. The “signage” at issue is defined as not in compliance with respect to a specific number value. Since opening its offices on April 23rd to today, June 15th, how many more days must elapse before remedy within the two-week timeframe allotted by the Yonkers Department of Buildings and Codes are met? Is it logical to suggest that a tenant is responsible for being compliant with architectural code or is the developer responsible to adhere to all agreed upon standards as demanded to have won approval of the project in the first place?
Is the delay an issue of “signage” or the issue of not knowing which medical and supporting personnel will staff the remaining unused space or another issue? One can only wonder why a spokesperson would be kept out of the loop over such a major concern. Every day in which there is a delay will likely cost thousands. People in the know suggest St. John’s Riverside Hospital will not be able to move into their facility until as early as September 2017. Ouch!
If a tenant is deemed not responsible, is it logical to suggest the developer is responsible to be compliant with Yonkers City code. Yes, and no. Yes, because they hired the construction teams that were to build the project to specifications defined by their architect and city code. No, because they did not design the structure and they did not build the structure. Even so, because they are responsible to scrutinize the entire project they are ultimately responsible to open the project on time, to pay for fiscal damages due to delays they are responsible to avoid by their oversight, and also for the derogatory and tarnished image their seemingly lack of effort casts on a city desperately working to get things right. It seems this project can legitimately be congratulated over some aspects of the project but still be legitimately questioned over its failings with respect to other aspects of this very same undertaking.
Litigious challenge is likely to be realized over time. The big boys will either seek legal remedy or iron out their concerns amicably leaving Yonkersites to suffer their dignity being besmirched once again. Will the circumstances divulged ever receive an answer? And if not, why not?