Says BHP focused on closing Long Island College Hospital deal with SUNY
By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Brooklyn Health Partners (BHP), the group which won the bidding war for Long Island College Hospital (LICH) earlier this month, is refuting stories leaked to publications that plans are already in the works to raise “at least two soaring residential buildings of up to 50-stories” on the Cobble Hill campus and are “spoon feeding” a deal to the de Blasio administration which would trade building density and height for a higher percentage of affordable housing.
Crain’s, which published a story on this Friday, said they obtained the information from emails from a financier involved in the bid, HKS Capital Partners. HKS was not available for comment at press time.
Donnette Dunbar, spokesperson for BHP, told the Brooklyn Eagle on Friday, “Various reports that Brooklyn Health Partners (BHP) has made land use decisions concerning the Long Island College Hospital campus are absolutely false.
“BHP's sole focus is closing with the State University of New York so it can began to provide medical services to the citizens of Brooklyn, as promised,” she said.
“When the time is appropriate, we will sit with the various community stakeholders and discuss how we will build a 21st century collaborative product that all of New York can be proud of.”
BHP has consistently refused to elaborate on the proposal while the group is “knee-deep in negotiations with SUNY.”
The zoning designation for the hospital campus is R6, and LICH’s current real estate inventory adds up to 1,052,000 square feet, according to the Request for Proposals (RFP) issued by SUNY.
BHP’s $250 million proposal calls for maintaining a full-service 300 to 400-bed hospital at the LICH site, along with developing a mixed-use “medical district” with office, residential and commercial space. Construction would begin two to three years after closing, according to BHP's bid, which indicated that they would seek to rezone the non-core properties.
If an agreement with SUNY is reached, BHP must put down a $25 million deposit by May 4 to close the deal, and then has to obtain a temporary hospital operating license and a host of city and state approvals.
Merrell Schexnydre, the chairman and CEO of Brooklyn Health Partners, committed to operating a 150-bed “bridge” hospital at LICH as part of the proposal, so there would be minimal gap in health care services while the larger project is developed.
Under the agreement worked out under the guidance of state Supreme Court Justice Johnny Lee Baynes and agreed to by SUNY, unions, doctors and six community groups, SUNY's Request for Proposals (RFP) was reissued with the goal of keeping LICH operating as a full-service hospital.