The tug-of-war over Cobble Hill's Long Island College Hospital continues, with the rejected winning bidder being given another chance. A judge ruled yesterday that Brooklyn Health Partners, which originally won the right to redevelop the floundering medical center but then had it taken away, will be allowed to take over the complex if the team can prove it has access to the full $250 million it pledged. BHP already submitted a $25 million downpayment, and according to the Brooklyn Paper, the judge "ordered" the state to deposit the check. BHP needs to have proof of the additional $225 million by Tuesday, and reps for the firm say this will be no problem at all.
State officials and community groups, however, are still concerned that BHP doesn't have a capable team that will be able to keep the hospital running (or create the 300- to 400-bed hospital they have planned). SUNY will cease operations on May 22, and BHP's proposal promised to keep services operating without interruption. Reps for BHP's leader, Merrell Schexnydre, supposedly promised to start negotiations soon with hospital workers, which doesn't really sound reassuring. BHP also still needs to obtain a temporary operating license, which the Dept. of Health could grant them if they show the "financial wherewithal."
BHP's plan includes keeping a full-service hospital, as well as converting some of the campus to housing. At one point, it was reported that this could be two 50-story apartment towers, but BHP denied that was part of their proposal. A portion of the housing will be set aside as affordable. But this fun stuff won't happen until the fighting stops and a new owner and developer is officially in place. And who knows when that will happen.
· Top LICH bidder back in the saddle if it can muster $225 million [BK Paper]
· LICH Rejects Winning Developer, Gets Hit With New Lawsuit [Curbed]
· All LICH coverage [Curbed]