Says will move on to Peebles
By Mary Frost
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
The State University of New York (SUNY) ended negotiations on Monday to sell Long Island College Hospital (LICH) to Brooklyn Health Partners Development Group (BHP).
SUNY spokesperson David Doyle said in a statement, “Following good faith negotiations over the last thirty days, The State University of New York is unable to execute a satisfactory contract agreement with Brooklyn Health Partners. SUNY remains unwavering in its commitment to protecting community health care services and a viable long-term solution for Long Island College Hospital.
“Therefore, SUNY is moving forward with the second-highest scoring proposal, consistent with the Request for Proposal and the court-ordered settlement.”
BHP is expected to sue SUNY.
BHP spokesperson Donnette Dunbar said in a statement, "BHP is currently meeting with its attorneys to determine its next course of action. We are deeply disappointed that for the last 30 days SUNY has failed to negotiate in good faith. Despite SUNY's failure to produce important documents until late this weekend, BHP produced all requested documents and a 10 percent down payment to close."
Attorneys for BHP, at court on Monday, told the Brooklyn Eagle, "The results will depend on the resolve of the community. The judge has to make an equitable determination. We don't think the other bidders are offering anything more."
Attorney Jim Walden, of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher, told the Eagle late Monday, "This situation is obviously serious for the community, and particularly for medically vulnerable patients who depend on LICH for life-saving services. The community-group petitioners and Concerned Physicians of LICH, who we now represent, are carefully weighing options, as they should given the grave circumstances."
Both the state and New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio have come out against BHP. On Friday in state Supreme Court, SUNY claimed that BHP was unable to fulfill the promises made in their proposal, including providing temporary “bridge” health services after SUNY walks away from the hospital on May 22.
SUNY also said that the group couldn’t provide documentation proving they have access to $600 million worth of financing.
The New York State Nurses Association, in a rare departure, agreed with SUNY, citing a letter BHP had written a letter giving a fuzzy description of their proposed interim health care services.
On Friday, however, lawyers for BHP said they had firmed up their interim health plans. According to documents obtained by the Eagle, on Monday BHP submitted signed letters of commitment from the Joseph P. Addabbo Family Health Center, Garner Health and QHR Intensive Resources (Quorum) to operate a bridge facility at LICH.
SUNY, however, says it has already moved on to the bidder which accrued the second highest amount of points in last month’s vote.
In a letter dated May 5, SUNY told developer Don Peebles of The Peebles Corp., “Your firm has been awarded the next opportunity to enter into the transaction. A contract is being drafted and will be provided to you and your attorney for your consideration as soon as possible.” The letter adds, “We invite your attorney to meet with us on Tuesday afternoon, May 6, 2014.”
Peebles’ $260 million proposal offers “emergency care, urgent care, primary care, preventative care and specialized treatment,” but no hospital. They would develop the bulk of the LICH property to mixed-use development.
Peebles said it would partner with Maimonides Medical Center, North Shore-LIJ and ProHEALTH to provide an Article 28 “free-standing emergency department” and an ambulatory surgery center, along with doctors offices. They would also provide a health clinic in Red Hook or Gowanus.
Peebles said in a statement on Monday, “The Peebles Corporation and the Witkoff Group, along with our respected team of healthcare providers – Maimonides Medical Center, North Shore-LIJ Health System, ProHEALTH, and the Institute for Family Health – look forward to engaging with SUNY to redevelop the LICH campus and assure uninterrupted access to a broad array of healthcare services focused on meeting the needs of the surrounding communities.”
While the state has claimed that Brooklyn has too many hospital beds and no longer needs a full-service hospital at the site of LICH, Brooklyn has only two hospital beds for every 1,000 residents, while Manhattan has six beds for every 1,000 residents.
Check back for updates.