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Council hears plan to reuse hospital space

The City Council at a conference session Monday heard a proposal to convert part of the former St. Jerome Hospital into housing for low-income seniors.

Conifer Realty of Rochester would manage the facility in partnership with United Memorial Medical Center, owner of the six-story building on Bank Street.

The proposal, outlined at the meeting by United Medical chief executive officer Mark C. Schoell, would convert the top four floors of the building into 37 one-bedroom apartments, some reserved for disabled residents.

The $7 million project would be financed by grants from the state Housing Trust Fund and the Division of Housing and Community Renewal. The Council was advised that approval of the request for grants is an "essential part of the financing application project."

The Council is scheduled to act on the application at its Feb. 12 meeting. A decision by the state agencies is expected by the fall.

The former hospital has been largely vacant for the past six years since the merger of Genesee Memorial and St. Jerome to form United Memorial Medical Center.

United Memorial expects to spend about $15 million to develop the building's first floor into diagnostic and outpatient treatment clinics. Some services will be moved from its North Street location to ease overcrowding. The Bank Street site would house radiology, cardiology and laboratories.

Doctors' offices and the occupational health and medicine service would be relocated from the nearby Growney Medical Arts Building, which would be razed for additional parking.

Work could begin later this year after financial details are completed and a certificate of need for the relocated outpatient services is approved by the state Health Department.

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