Caption correction appended.
As the City Council gets ready to debate the mayor’s controversial zoning proposals, the Schervier Nursing Care Center is up for sale. The Spuyten Duyvil senior care campus is currently owned by the national non-profit health system Bon Secours, which acquired the facility in 2000.
If passed, the regulations could have a big impact on how a potential new owner could further develop the property, located at 2975 and 2995 Independence Ave.
Community members are worried that the Zoning for Quality and Affordability (ZQA) text amendment will allow bigger residential apartment buildings in the area, which mostly includes single-family homes. ZQA is a key part of Mayor Bill de Blasio’s 10-year plan to encourage new affordable and senior housing throughout the city.
In an email, a spokeswoman for Schervier said no final decisions have been made regarding the sale and declined to comment further. Laura Amerman also said CEO Carlos Beato was not available for an interview.
“This is a land use and zoning issue, not a health care issue,” said Paula Luria Caplan, an urban planning consultant who has lived across the street from Schervier for more than 30 years.
The lots Schervier currently occupies are split into two types of zoning districts: R1-1, which is strictly for single-family, unattached houses, and the medium-density R6.
Under current city regulations, nursing homes can be built in R1 districts if they meet certain criteria. But Schervier also owns a 14-story apartment building for seniors that is listed as a residential building. This building is on R6 land, and could not be located in an in R1 district.
A Department of City Planning (DCP) spokeswoman confirmed the lot is split between two zoning districts and that it appeared the property’s parking lot is zoned R1-1, but could not give further information.
This is where the community concern comes in.
ZQA would change the definition of a long-term senior care facility to include residential buildings like Schervier’s apartment building and put them in the same category as nursing homes — which can be built in single-family home districts.