Riding to the rescue at a desperately needed Mt. Sinai Beth Israel hospital expansion, Hudson Yards developer Related Companies brought in an army of workmen to make more than 400 new beds available to COVID-19 victims.
Mt. Sinai started shrinking the number of beds at its curved-façade building at 281 First Ave. at East 16th Street in 2017 to prepare it for an eventual sale.
Fewer than 400 of the original 825 beds remained in use when Gov. Cuomo on March 23 ordered hospitals to double capacity as the death toll mounted and swelling admissions threatened to overwhelm facilities.
Mt. Sinai officials wanted to add beds quickly but realized they couldn’t retrofit unused rooms fast enough. They reached out for help to Related CEO Jeff Blau, who’s on the hospital board.
Blau responded with boots on the ground within 36 hours.
“What needed to be done was electrical and HVAC work,” a Related spokesman said. “We redeployed construction execs from Hudson Yards as well as our own contractors.”
Thanks to Related’s reinforcements, work that might have taken up to three months longer was completed almost overnight. The hospital was able to open 210 additional rooms in a matter of days and will add 220 more within two weeks.
All the new rooms are equipped to handle COVID-19 cases, although it wasn’t known how many victims were being treated in the reopened rooms. But any newly available rooms take a load off older ones and ease the strain on the system.
Blau said, “Related is about serving our communities and that’s never been more important than it is now. We were glad that when we were asked to help, we could jump into action immediately and leverage our development expertise from Hudson Yards to expedite the delivery of hospital rooms when our city needed them most.”
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