The flags are faded on the outside. Some parts of the facade of the building are discolored. The New York Blood Center has been operating outside a white brick building on East 67th Street for over 50 years.
And they want an update.
“This project is crucial for New York City to become the vision of the public health capital of the world,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said on Monday.
But for weeks controversy surrounded the plan to develop a new space for the New York Blood Center, which supplies 90% of the city’s blood supply.
At the heart of the matter, the municipal councilor is opposed to it.
“The plaintiff, the developer in this case, has been dishonest from the start,” said City Councilor Ben Kallos. “People have voted on things without knowing what they are voting on.”
That said, city council is expected to vote on the proposal on Tuesday, shaking up a long-standing tradition of relying on local officials for projects in their neighborhoods.
“Everything we get from the administration has been dishonest and the developer has been dishonest every step of the way,” Kallos told NY1 on Monday afternoon. “They refuse to meet the community council. They refuse to meet the president of the borough. They refuse to meet me. They would rather spend millions of dollars to put pressure on everyone.”
The project will significantly expand the building, rising to approximately 233 feet. About a third of it will be for the Blood Center. The rest will be a space dedicated to life science companies. He could be eligible for tax breaks of $ 100 million.
And as part of the deal with the council, the center pledged to donate $ 500,000 to local community groups dedicated to the fight against sickle cell disease. Sources tell NY1 that some of the groups being considered for funding are not in Manhattan, but in Brooklyn and Southeast Queens, including in the district of City Councilor Daneek Miller, who co-chairs the Black, Latino caucus. and Asian Council.
This group has provided crucial support to the center of the Council.
A source told NY1 that part of the deal has been referred to the Investigations Department.
A spokesperson for the center told NY1 he was not aware of any investigation. But he sent NY1 this statement:
“No specific funding agreement has been reached and the suggestion that this is something other than a good faith commitment made in the Council negotiations last week is yet another unfounded attempt to slander a vital New Yorker health project that supports vital research into diseases like HIV and sickle cell disease, ensures a safe blood supply for city hospitals, creates thousands of jobs and opens up career opportunities. career for local students. “
A Council spokesperson also fired back, saying in a statement: “These desperate attempts will not distract attention from the Council’s work to build a new world-class research space for the New York Blood Center, helping to cement New York City as a hub for biomedical research. “
A spokesperson for the Investigations Department said he was aware of the case, but declined to comment further.
Miller did not respond to NY1, but his caucus co-chair, City Councilor Adrienne Adams, sent NY1 a statement saying the project will boost the life science industry and advance vital research.
“In particular,” she said, “research into sickle cell disease, which has a disproportionate impact on African Americans, has historically not had the funding and resources it deserves. My support for it. project is based on these critical factors. “
On top of that, residents of the Upper East Side filed a complaint on Monday in an attempt to derail the council vote. A judge did not approve their request for a temporary restraining order and the council vote was due to go ahead.