Tuesday, May 1, 2012
As we first reported back in March, the Cabrini Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation on East Fifth Street at Avenue B will close this summer.
In November, we noted that developer Ben Shaoul was the mystery buyer of Cabrini. The building's previous owner was an unnamed family trust who, according to the Lo-Down, sold Cabrini for $25.5 million. Plans to turn the facility over to a for-profit operator never materialized. (Here's more background on the story and the sale.)
We reached out to Patricia Krasnausky, president and CEO of Cabrini Eldercare, to see how the closure was proceeding. She agreed to answer some questions, done via email.
Where is Cabrini now with the relocation plans for patients at the facility?
Since mid-March, we have been working with the residents and their families to determine their preferences for relocation. We provided lists and facilitated the applications. The biggest challenge is geography. Almost everyone wants to stay in Manhattan and there are not enough places to take them all. We have made an arrangement with a nursing home in Brooklyn that is reopening 156 of Cabrini's beds in Borough Park, and will welcome that number of residents who would like to go together to a newly refurbished environment. They will also hire 60 employees, so that residents and employees may be together again. We are also hosting job opportunities for the staff, and working with the union to facilitate employment.
What has been the general reaction from families, employees about the closure?
The general reaction from the families was anger, naturally. There were promises of protests. Residents and families needed to be helped with their anger and grief. We provided psychologists to assist with this. Employees of course are anxious and grief-stricken as well. We are assisting them and celebrating their service through service awards and parties.
How do you think the closure will impact the neighborhood?
The neighborhood is changing. There are so many rentals and condos, and so few nursing homes in Manhattan. Unfortunately, that is a message to those who need such services. No one is looking forward to more construction on East Fifth Street. It has been a mess for years now.
Have you officially heard what will be coming to the space?
I don't have official information, but I believe the building will contain one-bedroom rentals.
The nonprofit, 240-bed nursing home — sponsored by the Missionary Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus — provides health care for low-income elderly residents in the East Village. The location at Fifth Street and Avenue B opened in 1993. This location serves 240 patients and employs nearly 300 people.
Previously on EV Grieve:
Claim: Ben Shaoul is the new owner of Cabrini nursing home, will convert to condos
Report: Local politicians reach out to Ben Shaoul as re-sale of the Cabrini Nursing Center seems likely
More details on Cabrini's closing announcement