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Aging In America is eyeing D’Urso

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Concerns about possible tenants for 1870 Pelham Parkway South seem to be subsiding, as word spreads that Aging in America hopes to turn the vacant, former D’Urso Pavilion of Our Lady of Mercy Medical Center into an assisted living facility.

According to sources, while nothing has been finalized, the plan would create 80 assisted living beds, and in doing so decertify 40 nursing home beds elsewhere within AIA’s organization.

AIA is seeking funding from the state Department of Health under its HEAL NY Phase 12 program, with a Request for Grant for money creating assisted living. Under the program, funding is provided to open additional assisted living beds while decertifying nursing home and rehabilitation beds.

Councilman Jimmy Vacca said that Aging in America has signed a Letter of Intent to turn the former hospital into an assisted living facility catering to mature adults. The plan depends on the approval of the funding from state DOH.

“This is an answer to our prayers,” said Councilman Vacca. “I have been working for months with the property owner, Mr. Moujan Vahdat, to find a suitable tenant for this building, and I have to say that he has been incredibly sensitive to the needs of our community.”

If approved, the plan would put to rest rumors about homeless housing or drug rehab coming into the former hospital.

While Aging in America did not comment as of press time about its possible expansion into Pelham Bay, Councilman Vacca is confident that by working with Senator Jeff Klein and Assemblyman Michael Benedetto funding will be obtained.

He said that he is delighted that such a well-established organization as AIA, based at 1500 Pelham Parkway South, is taking on the project.

“Aging in America has an excellent reputation in the Pelham Parkway community and would make a perfect neighbor for Pelham Bay,” Vacca said. “Now our hope rests with the state, and I plan to work very closely with Senator Klein and Assemblyman Benedetto to urge the Health Department to help fund a facility that will not only help maintain the integrity of Pelham Bay, but also meet a pressing need among our aging population.”

Since the project is open to competitive bidding, state DOH did not comment as to the specifics of the particular application, which is currently under review.

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