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LICH Silver Lining Evaporates as Affordable Developer Quits

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In case you were just thinking to yourself, it's been a good seven or eight seconds and there hasn't been a new Long Island College Hospital controversy — what gives?, well, here's another one. The Brooklyn contingent that advocated for keeping a full-service hospital at the LICH site was, obviously, very upset when two separate developers' bids fell through and the State University of New York went back to its original choice, Fortis Property Group, who planned to turn the hospital into market rate condos with an outpatient clinic and emergency room. However, they were mollified, ever so slightly, by the fact the plan was also supposed to include an affordable housing component from developers L+M Development Partners.

Anyway, those guys just quit.

Ron Moelis, a principal at L+M, cited the untenably short time frame for striking a deal with the city as his reason for backing out of the project. According to "people familiar with the matter," Fortis would need to build more housing than zoning allows in order to make an affordable component "work financially," whatever that really means. In order to get the additional bulk signed off on, they would have to go through the public approval process, forcing the community, city officials, etc. to reconcile their desire for affordable housing with their distaste for overly tall buildings. It is not clear yet what path Fortis, who got very into the idea of affordable housing back when they were trying to win the bid, plans to pursue, but if that component of the project is really gone this fight is about to get dirty.
· Affordable Housing Is Unclear in Brooklyn Hospital Venture [WSJ]
· Long Island College Hospital coverage [Curbed]