Oh LICH. Will the drama ever end? At the beginning of the month, the State University of New York finally selected a team to redevelop the financially failing Long Island College Hospital in Cobble Hill. Known as Brooklyn Health Partners, the team, which the Times points out has never built anything in New York, proposed a redevelopment plan that kept a full-service 300-400 bed hospital, and converted a chunk of the complex to create 1,000 units of housing, 30 percent of which will be affordable. Well, it turns out that nothing about the proposal is as it first seemed, and the Daily News reports that sources close to the development say the plan to keep a full service hospital is complete "fantasyland." Even a spokesman for Mayor de Blasio, who campaigned on saving the hospital, admitted that "As we learn more, there are some real concerns being raised about the bid." Great.
The Times says that Brooklyn Health Partners' application asserted that it was "uncontradictable" that a full-service hospital would be a success at the site, but now sources tell the News, "there's no way they're going to deliver on anything close to it....It would be almost irresponsible to move forward with this company." Oy. On top of all this, emails from Brooklyn Health Partners obtained by Crain's indicate that the developer wants to build two 50-story apartment towers in the complex, though a publicist said that any reports that team "has made land use decisions concerning the Long Island College Hospital campus are absolutely false."
Brooklyn Health Partners offered a $250 million pledged to take over the 200,000-square-foot campus, and they are set to make a $25 million non-refundable downpayment by this Monday, May 5, or the deal will be null. SUNY is set to relinquish control of the hospital, which is running a $500 million deficit, by May 22.
If the deal with BHP falls through, and it's looking really likely that that's what will happen, the second place bidder, the Peebles Corporation, will likely step in. Peebles has no plans for a full-service hospital, but hey, at least they have actually developed things in the city before.
· Effort to save Long Island College Hospital looks like 'fantasyland': state source [NYDN]
· Reconsidering the Saviors of a Hospital [NYT]
· All LICH coverage [Curbed]