After more than a year of legal battles, Cobble Hill's Long Island College Hospital finally has a new owner. The State University of New York went back to the developer they originally selected last December: Fortis Property Group. The developer plans to turn the 250-bed hospital into market rate condos and an outpatient clinic and emergency room. Six months of drama could have been avoided if SUNY just stuck to its plan, but the community was outraged that the plan did not keep a full-service hospital at the location, so SUNY went through not one, but two bidding processes to find a developer to take over the campus, which has been losing SUNY $13 million a month. Fortis will pay $240 million for the site, which sites on prime Brooklyn real estate, and its medical partners, NYU Langone Medical Center and Lutheran Health Services, will operate the new facility.
According to Capital New York, Fortis will also cover any additional costs to keep the emergency room operating during the transition. Currently, the ER is the only part of LICH that remains openthe rest of the hospital shutdown last month. Fortis will also contribute $5 million for "a community foundation to address the area's ongoing healthcare needs."
After Fortis' original bid was tossed out, SUNY selected Brooklyn Health Partners as a developer in April. The group promised to keep a full-service hospital, but the deal soon fell apart because it was unrealistic (and BHP had zero experience developing anything in New York City). The neighborhood really didn't want a residentially-focused plan like Fortis', but really, did anyone actually think that wasn't what was going to happen?
UPDATE: Here's the official statement from elected officials: State Senator Daniel Squadron; Assemblywoman Joan Millman; and City Council members Brad Lander, Steve Levin, and Carlos Menchaca.
We are distressed that SUNY has yet again ignored the needs of the community. At every step we have called for the best possible healthcare services at the LICH site, and at every step SUNY has refused to heed our calls, costing the state tens of millions and denying Brooklyn the vital healthcare it needs. While this agreement includes some healthcare services, it falls far short of a full-service hospital. And it does not resume immediate ambulance service, nor require an independent community needs assessment. We will continue to stand with the community, and urge SUNY and all parties to work collaboratively to meet the needs of the neighborhood and all of Brooklyn There's still a slight chance the deal will fall apart. It still needs to be approved by SUNY's board of trustees, but they're probably ready to end this shitshow and get rid of the hospital for good.
· SUNY reaches deal with Fortis to sell LICH [Capital]
· Official press release [SUNY]
· All LICH coverage [Curbed]