On a far-eastern block of the Upper East Side’s Lenox Hill neighborhood, a unique venture is underway to build new facilities for Hunter College and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. Now wrapping up its cavernous foundations, the 1.15 million-square-foot development will accommodate two separate towers: an East River-facing building that will house a 730,000-square-foot, 23-story outpatient treatment center for Memorial Sloan-Kettering; and a slightly smaller, 400,000-square-foot mid-block building for CUNY-Hunter College’s schools of nursing and physical therapy. Hunter will trade its current nursing school facility at First Avenue and East 25th Street to the city where they will build a new sanitation facility.
In 2012, then-mayor Michael Bloomberg awarded the institutions the right to to build upon the half-block parcel fronting the FDR Drive between East 73rd and 74th Streets. The site was previously home to a sanitation facility that was demolished in 2008 and was sold to the college-hospital for $226 million. The mammoth, 455-foot-tall structure is being designed by Perkins Eastman in collaboration with Ennead Architects and required special approvals to rise more than the as-of-right floor area and height limit. Aside from the project’s size, neighbors took issue with the project’s shortfall of parking spaces and the resulting congestion of a community loaded with medical facilities.