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What's Happening in:  Dickinson Square West 

Mt. Sinai development approved; civic prez gives a play by play of ZBA hearing

The Zoning Board of Adjustment approved a development plan yesterday for the old Mt. Sinai hospital at 4th and Reed, according to an email from Ted Savage, president of the Dickinson Square West Civic Association.

Savage said that developer Gagan Lakhmna agreed to incorporate several changes to the plan, but Savage said he’d rather wait to detail the changes until the ZBA releases its decision, which is probably at least a week away. The plan’s most recent iteration included 198 apartments, 38 townhomes, one retail space and a garage with 210 parking spaces.

Mt. Sinai new rendering

View from 4th and Reed of proposed three-story homes that would surround the property.

The decision was rendered after a ZBA hearing that ended shortly after 9 p.m. Savage’s day with the project began at 10:30 a.m., according to a play-by-play in his email, which also provides a frustrating window into city bureaucracy:

At 10:30 AM this morning, after a last minute notice and after clearing my calendar, I met for 45 minutes with the applicant and his attorney. I wanted to know more specifics about the applicant’s intentions. Upon arriving home, I emailed the Zoning Committee and the Board with my findings and opinion.

At 1:45 PM I arrived at 1515 Arch for the 2 PM ZBA meeting, which did not start, until 2:47 PM. Several members of the Zoning Committee, residents of Dickinson Street, Pennsport, and others arrived as well.

At 6:02 PM, more than 3 hours later, the applicant was recognized by the ZBA to start his case.

At shortly after 9:00 PM, about 3 hours later, the matter was concluded, and the ZBA approved the applicant’s appeal, but incorporated many of our Zoning Committee requests.

We’ll update as soon as we get information on changes to the proposal. Whatever the result, Lakhmna would still need to get all construction permits to start work.

As a side note, the DSWCA just received notice today that they have been approved by the IRS as a 501(c)3 nonprofit, Savage told us. That’s a big deal because it means the organization is now eligible for grants and can start holding much larger fundraisers.

Congrats, DSWCA! To find more information about the civic, go to their website or email

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4 Responses to Mt. Sinai development approved; civic prez gives a play by play of ZBA hearing

  1. Aaron Bauman March 6, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

    Who is taking odds on how much of this actually gets built?

    I’ll put 5:1 down against Lakhmna building anything more than the cheap townhouses.

    • Lee March 7, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

      Probably….but he’s not THAT big of a developer and he’ll retain ownership of the huking albatross of the main hospital building. I wouldn’t want to own that.

  2. Kam March 7, 2014 at 4:45 pm #

    Why is it that every new set of homes being built look like mismatched Legos? They are all over the city. What ever happened to matching new homes into the neighborhoods?

    • ProvWitout March 8, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

      Good question… Decide what you want to use as a facade! LoL… Brick, Stucco, Brownstone… Whatever… But pick one! LoL..

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