After Jewish Home Lifecare announced a deal to swap its West 106th Street property with developer Joseph Chetrit’s parcel in Park West Village, residents feared that Chetrit would construct a building that was out of context with the neighborhood.
Jewish Home was exempt from a 2007 City Council rezoning of the area. To quell concerns that a developer would own the West 106th Street land without zoning restrictions, Jewish Home drafted documents stating that the parcel will be rezoned to fit the character of the neighborhood before the land is exchanged with Chetrit. The change will likely occur in two years after the nonprofit closes on the Park West Village property. At the community board’s behest, Jewish Home has agreed to foot the bill for expert legal counsel to review these documents.
“We are not in position to say to the community, ‘We are adequately protected,’” said Helen Rosenthal, community board chair. “It behooves Jewish Home to make [the land swap proposal] as transparent, as clean and as honorable as possible. By paying for the lawyer, it’s one step in the process.”
Jewish Home’s decision to pay for the legal counsel shows “good faith” with the community, according to spokesman Ethan Geto.
“We want them to have high comfort level that they will get the zoning they want at the right time,” Geto said.
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