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Architect chosen for $35M Y/Beth Israel facility.

Architects have been selected to design a new $35 million building, on 14th Street near First Avenue, that will combine facilities of the Emanu-El Midtown YM-YWHA and Beth Israel Medical Center, hospital officials announced.

The architects, Larson Associates, in a joint venture with Davis Brody Architects, will be designing the new 13-story, 168,000-square-foot building at 344 East 14th Street, including program design and facilities.

Peter Kelly, executive vice president for operations for Beth Israel Medical Center, said discussions are continuing between the hospital, the Y representatives and the UJA Federation. He said they are moving ahead with plans and while there are some details to still work out, "we don't anticipate of problem."

The agreement between Beth Israel and the YM-YWHA came as a result of a deal struck in May 1991, in which the Y faced closure if a buyer was not found. The parent organization of the local Y, the YM-YWHA of Greater New York was more than $16 million in debt causing them to seek quick cash and ways to unload some sources of cash drain. But members and leaders of the Y were able to work out a deal with Beth Israel that provided an option for the hospital to purchase the property for $3.4 million in cash or, in the deal that has been put in place, Beth Israel is constructing 22,000 square feet for the new Y and 146,000 square feet for the hospital. Thus the recreational facility will survive in a new location and Beth Israel will get the space they need.

Kelly said Larson Associates, which has worked with Beth Israel for the past nine years, will be doing the flo-services of the building while Brody will be doing the actual design of the facility.

Kelly added that all of the services now provided by the Y will be preserved, with the exception of an enclosed gym, which will be left as an option for the Y to raise enough funds to build an enclosure.

"My understanding is the dollar commitments are there, and the intent is to restore all programs that currently exist there with exclusion of a cover for the gym which can be enclosed at later date," Kelly said. "But all the Y services will be returned to site."

Under the present agreement, the Y facilities will be moved from the current building as of October. The Y board and Committee to Save the Y are seeking alternative sites to maintain the Y. Those sites include the Sirovich Center, Stuyvesant High School, Asser Levy Recreational Center, and other locations or a combination of one or more sites.
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Title Annotation:Larson Associates, Emanu-El Midtown YM-YWHA and Beth Israel Medical Center
Author:Maisel, Todd
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Date:Mar 18, 1992
Words:442
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