Hempstead Town zoning board officials are set to vote Wednesday on Mount Sinai South Nassau’s $35 million proposal to convert a four-story building in Wantagh into a multispecialty medical office.
The project, which has raised opposition from some residents concerning parking and traffic, will go before the Hempstead Board of Appeals during a 3 p.m. hearing, town officials said.
South Nassau officials said they plan to convert a vacant former Verizon office building on Wantagh Avenue into a 60,000-square-foot specialty center for outpatient services and medical lab testing. The health system is looking to expand its care beyond the main hospital in Oceanside.
“We’re just trying to reach the community and provide the best high quality health care we can,” said South Nassau co-chair Joe Fennessy. “A project like this will save lives and get people the care they need that they might not otherwise have gotten.”
Fennessy said the new facility would bring such New York City specialty medicine as cancer care to Long Island. He said it could have helped people like his late brother Thomas Fennessy, who needed care after he was diagnosed with brain cancer after working at Ground Zero following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. All-day appointments can be exhausting for patients and their families while also battling traffic and parking for a single specialist visit, Joe Fennessy said.
The proposed facility also would offer specialists for cardiovascular care, gastrointestinal treatment, orthopedics, rheumatology, neurology, women’s health, laboratory services and radiology. It would include 50 exam and consultation rooms.
Hospital officials are trying to mirror the medical building after Mount Sinai’s pediatric, specialist and lab testing site in Greenlawn. Officials point to similar plans by Northwell in Seaford and an NYU Langone facility in Bethpage.
South Nassau officials said they have support from building labor groups and said the project is expected to create 100 new professional jobs. The health system has held several community meetings with residents and point to support from community leaders including an online petition with more than 1,200 supporters.
Opponents to the project also have a petition with nearly 700 signatures, with residents expressing concerns about lost tax revenue for a tax-exempt property and increased traffic. Attorneys for homeowners declined to comment.
The expansion plan calls for 248 parking spaces at the site and hospital officials said traffic would exit heading south on Wantagh Avenue or north toward Sunrise Highway without passing by homes.