St. Joseph’s closed, sold

St. Joseph’s Hospital, which closed permanently last spring, has been sold for $10 million to a group of Long Island investors associated with Galway Properties, a real estate company based in Ireland.

The hospital, which was sold in April by Massey Knakal Realty Services, had been in financial trouble since November 2003 after releasing nurses as a way to cut costs.

The site is located on Parsons Boulevard and 160th Street and continues on Union Turnpike to 79th Avenue. Approximately 61,080 square feet of the 101,800 square foot parcel are available for construction according to New York City zoning regulations.

The investors are, “exploring condominiums” stated Thomas Donovan, executive managing director of Massey Knakal, in an interview with the Times Ledger.

“They may lease it out for a long-term lease for a medical facility or a nursing home,” Donovan said.

St. Joseph’s Hospital was once a sub-division of St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers. St. Vincent is the largest Catholic health care provider in New York State. According to their official website, St. Vincent has seven hospitals in their network, two of which are located in Queens with the rest in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island. St Vincent also has several nursing homes and a home health care agency.

St. Joseph’s was built in 1984 and was designated Hillcrest General Hospital.

When Catholic Medical Centers of Brooklyn and Queens merged with St. Vincent Catholic Medical Centers, St. Joseph’s became a part of St. Vincent’s.

St. Vincent put St. Joseph’s Hospital on the real estate market in July of 2004. In March 2005, the parent association severed its ties with St. Joseph’s after shutting down the hospital because of a steady decline in patients and a loss of staff.

There was some disagreement as to whether the closing of St. Joseph’s was necessary. Council member James Gennaro (D√¢?”Fresh Meadows) raised suspicion at a community meeting with St. Vincent leaders in April 2004.

“I want to see the analysis on this on why this could not be maintained as a hospital facility,” Gennaro said in an interview with the Times Ledger.

St. Vincent has also had their share of financial trouble and filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy last July.

“The goal of the bankruptcy filing is to bring Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Centers’ costs, including its debt, in line with its revenues,” a press release from St. Vincent stated. “A bankruptcy filing will give the system the time and means to restructure its debt, operations and finances to continue its mission of Catholic healthcare in New York.”