LICH real estate suitor partners with NYU Langone and Lutheran

After months of limbo as to the fate of Long Island College Hospital (LICH), there are suddenly two competing proposals to buy the property, both of which have the backing of major area hospitals: NYU Langone Medical Center and Lutheran Medical Center in one, and Brooklyn Hospital Center in the other.

Following the announcement on Wednesday, January 8 that Brooklyn Hospital Center has teamed up with an unnamed private equity firm and a real estate developer to propose a plan to turn the Cobble Hill site into a combination healthcare center and mixed-income housing complex, Crain’s reported that NYU Langone and Lutheran have now partnered with the existing frontrunner, Fortis Property Group, to handle the medical facility portion of their own condos-and-healthcare plan.

The Fortis plan was revealed on December 17, 2013 to be selected by LICH owner SUNY Downstate as the most promising of seven requests-for-proposal (RFP), but was almost immediately tabled for a vote by SUNY’s Board of Trustees after negative community reaction erupted.

The SUNY Board will meet again on Tuesday, January 14, to consider voting on whether to approve the proposal. It is unknown whether they will consider the new competing Brooklyn Hospital plan as viable, as it was presented nearly four months after the RFP deadline.

Here is a breakdown of the two proposals:

  1. DUMBO-based real estate developer Fortis Property Group would buy the 20-building site at 339 Hicks Street and transform it into luxury condominiums and medical facilities. NYU Langone would provide the funding for 60,000 square feet of space, to consist of an FED, cancer center, ambulatory surgery center, and multi-specialty physician practice. As reported in Crain’s, Lutheran would “provide dental and behavioral health care.”
    Fortis’ current proposal has changed from its initial plan, adding an emergency department and reducing the planned condo space from 185,000 square feet to around 140,000 square feet.
  2. Brooklyn Hospital’s plan is to close LICH as a full-service hospital and then transform part of it into an emergency and outpatient-focused facility that employs as many current LICH employees as possible.
    The primary comprehensive care center would consist of a “freestanding emergency department” (FED) that would be open 24 hours a day and treat “non-critical acute illnesses or injuries” while also housing “radiology, laboratory and endoscopy services, outpatient surgery, an infusion center, outpatient physical therapy and physician offices.”
    Inpatient services would be housed at Brooklyn Hospital’s Fort Greene location.
    Two additional urgent care centers would also be built nearby. Also proposed nearby would be two clinics to provide adult and pediatric primary and specialty care services.
    The rest of the valuable real estate would be sold and developed into 1,000 mixed-income residential units, at least 350 of them marked as affordable housing.


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