Learn more about our plans for the facility, the programs and services that will be provided, and the public review process.
Zoning and contract approvals for Memorial Sloan Kettering's plans to build an outpatient cancer care facility and CUNY/Hunter College's plans to build a Science and Health Professions Building have been received by all parties. Work is under way at the Department of Buildings to secure the necessary permits for the new buildings.
Permits for certain pre-construction activities have been received and that work is scheduled to begin on Monday, January 13, 2014. With the one exception noted below, all of the site work outlined below is planned to occur Monday–Friday, 7:00 AM–3:30 PM. All necessary permits for preliminary site work that will take place prior to the conveyance of the property to MSK and CUNY have been received.
Here is what is on the schedule for the next several months:
January 13–January 31, 2014
- In response to a requirement of the Department of Buildings, a new fence will be erected around the site.
- Some weekend work will be necessary to install fencing along the FDR Drive perimeter of the site. This will require a temporary shutdown of an FDR lane and the adjacent off-ramp, and will occur from just after midnight until 11:00 AM on Sunday, January 19, or Sunday, January 26.
- Abatement of hazardous materials associated with the former Department of Sanitation New York City (DSNY) garage will begin in accordance with NYC Department of Environmental Protection and NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) permits received. The site has been classified by NYSDEC as an active spill site since May 2000. Due to the extent and nature of the contamination, CUNY and MSK are beginning this work prior to closing and at their own expense to clean up the site as quickly as possible.
- Removal of the aboveground debris and remaining foundations of the former DSNY garage facility will occur in conjunction with the environmental remediation.
- Demolition of the aboveground structures will be performed by mechanical means — excavators equipped with pneumatic hammers to break the existing concrete and rock. All noise/decibel levels will be within the limits of the NYC Noise Control Code, and every effort will be made to minimize the level of noise at the site.
Community members can contact MSK's Construction Information Line at 212-639-4444 to ask questions or to voice any concerns.
Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) and CUNY/Hunter College have organized a Construction Working Group (CWG) in order to keep open lines of communication among all stakeholders in the vicinity of our East 74th Street site during construction. Members of the working group will include our project team; representatives of neighboring buildings in the area between East 72nd and East 76th, primarily those east of York Avenue; as well as relevant city agencies, community board officials, and the area’s elected officials.
The purpose of the Construction Working Group is to provide representatives from participating buildings with information and regular access to the project team, relevant city agencies, and area elected officials. Our goal is to fashion solutions to construction concerns affecting the community in a timely manner. Meetings are currently scheduled to be held monthly. Meetings will include an opportunity to review questions or complaints that have arisen since the previous meeting and to discuss actions taken or required in response. Members of the public are welcome to attend and are asked to contact a CWG member to bring questions or concerns to the working group.
Community members can contact the project’s Construction Information Line at 212-639-4444 to ask questions or to voice any concerns. We will respond to calls by the next business day.
2014 Construction Working Group Meetings
All meetings will take place from 8:00 – 9:00 AM in Memorial Sloan Kettering’s Rockefeller Research Laboratories building, 430 East 67th Street, between York and First Avenues.
Outpatient Cancer Care
- Floors: 23 stories (including 5 mechanical floors)
- Height: 453 feet
- Environmental: AKRF
- Architect: Perkins Eastman / Ennead
- Construction: Turner Construction Company
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center is a community of exceptional people united by a singular purpose: to conquer cancer. As a comprehensive cancer center, we are driven to improve the understanding of cancer, find new ways to treat cancer, and combat the suffering caused by this disease. We treat more patients with cancer than any hospital in the tri-state area, and our education programs ensure that even as we make extraordinary progress each day, we’re training future physicians, nurses, and scientists who will continue to fight cancer on every front around the world.
With an inpatient capacity level that is consistently above 90 percent and an outpatient care volume that is expected to rise sharply, we must expand outpatient services to meet the growing demand for our services by cancer patients now and in the future.
Memorial Sloan Kettering has fully embraced the challenge facing all top-tier medical facilities to continue to innovate patient care in tandem with providing state-of-the-art care for those currently in treatment. For the new building on 74th Street, we are:
- Creatively rethinking the process for developing new therapies, both in the laboratory and in the setting of clinical trials
- Developing new treatment paradigms that will lessen the need for patients to be hospitalized for extended periods of time
- Evaluating how design and technology can improve the experience for patients, families, and caregivers
The proximity of the 74th Street location to our inpatient hospital presents a unique opportunity to extend care to additional cancer patients and to investigate innovative clinical strategies within the walking footprint of our National Cancer Institute–designated comprehensive cancer center. We plan to use our portion of the site to provide leading-edge treatment for patients with hematologic cancers, such as leukemia and lymphoma, head and neck cancers, and thoracic cancer, as well as radiation therapy, early-stage clinical trials, and several other programs.
Among the most important changes Memorial Sloan Kettering anticipates in healthcare delivery are the transition to performing lifesaving bone marrow transplants on an outpatient basis and the increased use of interventional radiology. In terms of bone marrow transplants, many hospitals have already moved to outpatient and hotel environments, instead of lengthier and costlier inpatient hospital care. In addition, the only way to make advances in cancer treatment is through clinical trials. Memorial Sloan Kettering’s unique ability to take research from the laboratory into the clinical setting is what sets us apart. This new facility will have dedicated space for patients who are being treated in early clinical trials to receive these leading-edge treatments.
The facility will have a patient-oriented physical design and will incorporate the most-advanced technology to make our patients’ visits as short and comfortable as we can, so they can return to their normal lives as soon as possible.
Science and Health Professions Building
- Floors: 16 stories (including 3 mechanical floors)
- Height: 346 feet
- Environmental: AKRF
- Architect: Perkins Eastman / Ennead
- Construction: Turner Construction Company
The CUNY/Hunter College building will house its School of Nursing, science research labs, and physical therapy program. This project is the culmination of a decade of intensive efforts to build a new state-of-the-art facility for science and nursing students and faculty who are currently using outdated and inadequate labs that were built in the 1930s and 1950s. The plan will significantly advance student training, faculty research, and the College’s ability to compete for grants and other funding. This project will consolidate many of Hunter’s science and health programs under one roof and allow Hunter to educate the next generation of leaders in a spectrum of science and health professions – from lab technicians to nurses to research scientists.
Hunter’s record in training science professionals, particularly women and minorities from the New York City public school system, is nothing short of extraordinary, having produced two of the only four American-born women Nobel laureates and countless trailblazers in the science disciplines. Hunter currently receives the highest amount of National Institutes of Health (NIH) funding among all New York State educational institutions without a medical school.
Hunter’s ability to remain competitive is jeopardized by the severe inadequacy of the North Building on 68th Street, which currently houses Hunter’s science programs and is one of the oldest structures in the CUNY system. The Brookdale Campus, which currently houses nursing and physical therapy, has inadequate space and infrastructure for its highly valued programs. A new science and health professions building will provide professors and students with the modern labs, cutting-edge facilities, and equipment they need to keep pushing the frontiers of scientific research.
The 74th Street site is the ideal location for a new science and health professions building because of its proximity to the main Hunter campus on 68th Street and Lexington Avenue. This location will also allow Hunter to deepen its close ties with the Upper East Side’s world-renowned medical and research institutions, including Memorial Sloan Kettering, The Rockefeller University, NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, Weill Cornell Medical College, and the Hospital for Special Surgery. These ties help Hunter attract top faculty and give its students unparalleled opportunities.
In May 2011, the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), on behalf of the New York City Department of Sanitation (DSNY), issued a Request for Proposals (RFP) to redevelop the lot of land at East 73rd and East 74th Street along the FDR Drive. The RFP explicitly required that the site be redeveloped to create or expand a healthcare, educational, or scientific research facility.
CUNY/Hunter and Memorial Sloan Kettering responded to the RFP with a joint proposal to develop two buildings that would include an outpatient cancer care facility for Memorial Sloan Kettering and a Science and Health Professions Building for Hunter College.
In August 2012, Mayor Bloomberg announced that Memorial Sloan Kettering and CUNY/Hunter College had been designated to develop the site. Watch a video of the press conference.
The acquisition contract with the City is contingent upon approval of the necessary land use and zoning actions necessary for construction of the two proposed buildings. Approval of these land use and zoning actions required an application to the City Planning Commission, which reviews applications pursuant to the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) and the City Environmental Quality Review (CEQR). Both ULURP and CEQR require public review according to fixed schedules by the Community Board, the Borough President, and the City Council. Public testimony is encouraged throughout. The City Planning Commission maintains an excellent online reference page regarding ULURP, CEQR, and the zoning terminology used throughout this webpage.
The following land use applications were approved by the City Planning Commission on August 21, 2013.
C 130214 ZMM. A zoning map amendment was approved to convert the current industrial zoning to support community facility development to a maximum floor area ratio of FAR 10.
N130215 ZRM. A zoning text amendment was approved to adopt a new provision that will expand the type of public open spaces for which additional floor area can be received to include contributions to a public park improvement.
C 130216 ZSM. A special permit under the Large Scale General Development provisions was approved that will (1) provide certain yard and setback waivers to permit the floorplates essential to both buildings and (2) increase the maximum permitted zoning floor area from FAR 10 to FAR 12 to recognize a contribution to a public park improvement to Andrew Haswell Green Park (East 59th Street to East 63rd Street at the East River). In 2010, both Community Board 8 and the Public Design Commission unanimously approved a plan to redesign and landscape this park. In 2011, work on its waterfront level was indefinitely suspended when engineering studies found that the pilings supporting the platform beneath a portion of the park required significant reconstruction. The park, the widest portion of the East River Esplanade, has been identified by the NYC Department of Parks and Recreation as a suitable site to receive this contribution.
C 130217 ZSM. A special permit was approved for building identification and wayfinding signs similar to those of the neighboring medical institutions.
C 130218 ZSM. A special permit was approved to increase the number of parking spaces in the Memorial Sloan Kettering parking facility from 166 to 248.
C 130219 PPM. This action tracks the application of the NYC Department of Citywide Administrative Services to convey the site to CUNY and Memorial Sloan Kettering.
Initially, our application to the City Planning Commission was certified as complete by the Department of City Planning on March 18, 2013, formally beginning the ULURP process. There were a number of public hearings prior to the Commission’s approval. The first step in the ULURP application’s sequence of public reviews was a referral to Community Board 8 for its advisory recommendation. Consistent with its past practice, Community Board 8 appointed a Task Force to learn more about these requested actions. We met with its Land Use Committee on September 19, 2012, and March 13, 2013, and with its CUNY-MSK Task Force on October 9 and November 20, 2012, and February 12, April 10, and April 30, 2013, for presentations and discussion. On May 8, 2013, Community Board 8’s Land Use Committee passed two resolutions supporting the ULURP applications.
The City Planning Commission held its public hearing on the application on July 10, 2013, and further discussed the application during its public meetings on July 8, July 22, August 5, and August 19, 2013. Public testimony was encouraged and received at the hearings, including a letter of support for the project from Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. The Planning Commission’s action on August 21, 2013, in favor of these projects was forwarded for review by the City Council.
The City Council reviewed plans for the two buildings at a public meeting on October 3, 2013, and received significant input before reaching its decision. Executive staff members from both MSK and CUNY/Hunter College participated throughout the public review process for these buildings, and appreciate the public commentary received and time spent reviewing this project.
The City Council voted on October 9, 2013, to approve the land use applications required to proceed with MSK’s plans to build an outpatient cancer care facility and CUNY/Hunter College’s plans to develop an education complex on East 74th Street and the FDR Drive, completing the ULURP process.
On August 8, 2013, the Mayor’s Office of Environmental Coordination (MOEC), on behalf of the Office of the Deputy Mayor for Economic Development which served as the lead agency for the environmental reviews, issued the “Notice of Completion - Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center Ambulatory Care Center and CUNY - Hunter College Science and Health Professions Building (FEIS)” marking the completion of the project’s CEQR environmental review. The FEIS was referenced in the City Planning Commission’s approval of the ULURP application on August 21, 2013.
The CEQR process began last fall with establishing the scope of the environmental reviews. MOEC held a public scoping hearing on November 1, 2012, at which the public could comment on the proposed scope. Due to Hurricane Sandy and at the request of Community Board 8, MOEC extended the public hearing to December 4, 2012. It then oversaw the preparation of the draft EIS (DEIS) in accordance with the proposed scope. A City Planning Commission public hearing on the DEIS was held in conjunction with its public hearing on the associated ULURP applications on July 10, 2013. Public testimony was encouraged and received at the hearing, including a letter of support for the project from Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. The public comment period remained open until 5:00 P.M. on July 22, 2013. The FEIS included an analysis of all issues raised at the public hearing.
The DEIS, Notice of Completion and FEIS can be viewed and downloaded at http://www.nyc.gov/html/oec/html/ceqr/13dme003m.shtml and all other associated CEQR documents can be accessed at http://www.nyc.gov/oec.
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Hunter College maintain numerous active academic and scientific collaborations that benefit students at the undergraduate and graduate levels, as well as faculty members. Both institutions seek to deepen and strengthen these collaborations, a goal that is best supported through physical proximity.
Medical Technologist Licensing
New York City faces a severe shortage of licensed medical technologists, and medical centers recognize that partnering with educators is the best way to train a professional workforce. Hunter College and Memorial Sloan Kettering seek to form a mutually beneficial collaboration that will provide clinical internship sites at Memorial Sloan Kettering for Hunter students and provide continuing education for Memorial Sloan Kettering employees.
Hunter College and Memorial Sloan Kettering are exploring new programs in laboratory science that would be enhanced through the 74th Street co-location, including the joint development of a program in cytotechnology.
Cytotechnology is the microscopic study of cells to detect disease or infection, and the program leads to New York State licensure. Memorial Sloan Kettering employees could enroll in one of Hunter’s medical laboratory science degree or certificate programs, and qualified Hunter students would have new pathways to placement and employment opportunities at Memorial Sloan Kettering.
A highly trained nursing staff is a prerequisite to delivering excellent patient care in today’s complex clinical environment, and this is particularly true in oncology. Nursing executives at Memorial Sloan Kettering and Hunter’s School of Nursing are exploring programs that will benefit Memorial Sloan Kettering’s nursing staff and Hunter students. For example, many Memorial Sloan Kettering nurses are currently enrolled in Hunter’s master's degree programs, and Hunter nursing students are placed at Memorial Sloan Kettering for clinical learning and clinical practicum.
This new site will facilitate increased clinical placements for Hunter students, development of post-baccalaureate programs for specialty nursing positions (chemotherapy and operating room), joint research efforts, and advanced education for Memorial Sloan Kettering nurses.
Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center and Hunter College maintain numerous active academic and scientific collaborations that expand the intellectual productivity and potential for scientific breakthroughs at the undergraduate, graduate, and faculty levels. Both institutions seek to deepen and strengthen these collaborations, a goal that is best supported through physical proximity.
Hunter College and Memorial Sloan Kettering faculty have a long and robust history of collaborative scientific investigation, particularly in the biological sciences. Our faculty and researchers work together on major investigatory and curricular programs that create educational and advancement opportunities for Hunter students and Memorial Sloan Kettering staff.
The newest collaboration is a flagship program in chemistry funded by the National Science Foundation. The Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) will support 15 PhD candidates in radiochemistry.
The goal of the IGERT is to engage in cutting-edge research in cancer diagnosis and therapy using radioactive materials. To achieve this goal, PhD graduate students work with faculty mentors at Hunter and faculty at Memorial Sloan Kettering. Another important goal is the education and training of these PhD students in understanding and implementation of radioactive materials for diagnosis and therapy of cancer.
Led by Weill Cornell Medical College, Hunter College, and Memorial Sloan Kettering, the Clinical Translational Science Center (CTSC) is a model consortium of East Side institutions that seeks to break down institutional and disciplinary silos to accelerate clinical and community applications of basic scientific discoveries. The first Clinical Translational Science Award supported the establishment of this multi-institutional consortium in 2007, and most recently, the CTSC has received a five-year renewal grant of almost $50 million.
The new complex will build on this foundation and support significant efforts in clinical research planned by Memorial Sloan Kettering. It will bring Hunter faculty together with Memorial Sloan Kettering researchers focused on evaluating the effectiveness of new therapies in early-stage clinical trials.