Less than a day after it was revealed that the State University of New York's Long Island College Hospital could be redeveloped as condos and a medical mall, the hospital's board halted the plans. SUNY wanted to sell the financially troubled Cobble Hill campus to Fortis Property Group, who proposed turning many of the hospital buildings into condos and constructing a 15,000-square-foot "medical mall" with an urgent care center and other facilities. It would not accept ambulances or have an emergency room. Protestors voiced their opposition at yesterday's meeting, and Mayor-elect Bill de Blasio, who has fought the closure of the hospital, issued a statement against the plan. The Times said H. Carl McCall, the chairman of the SUNY board of trustees, was "clearly exasperated" when they announced their intention to table the plan until the next mayoral administration takes office (though the Times says they "withdrew" the plans).
SUNY is barred by the courts from closing the hospital or laying off employees, but the facility is losing $13 million a month. It has $500 million in liabilities, and the sale to Fortis could maybe fetch $300 million, but appraisers put the hospital's value at $228 to $278 million, according to Crain's. SUNY said this proposal, which was apparently one of seven, though they did not reveal information about the other six, made the most sense for the university financially. De Blasio and his legal team have pledged to fight to keep the hospital open, but some close to the situation think the hospital is already done. An organizer of the group Concerned Physicians of LICH recently wrote that LICH is "history … gone, kaput, whatever," and that he feels "the finance guys, the politics, and the real estate interests have won out over the needs of the people of downtown Brooklyn."
· SUNY Withdraws Development Plan for Troubled Brooklyn Hospital [NYT]
· SUNY tables Long Island College Hospital mall plan [Crain's]
· State to DeBlasio: You want LICH? You can have it [BK Paper]
· Condos, Urgent Care Could Be Next For Troubled BK Hospital [Curbed]
· All LICH coverage [Curbed]