Perhaps the third time will be the charm — after multiple bids, the State University of New York may have found a buyer for its cash-strapped Long Island College Hospital. In the latest attempt to move redevelopment plans forward, Fortis Property Group has jumped in with a new deal: It’ll pay $240 million to transform the Cobble Hill facility into market-rate condos and a clinic.
This is the second time Fortis has tried to buy LICH. They were set to take over the 20-building complex in a deal announced last December, but the plans were quickly called off when outraged neighbors and then-mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio protested the lack of emergency room services. Fortis’ original proposal only included a medical mall with an urgent care center, but no ER.
The new arrangement is a partial compromise between Fortis’ potential real estate gains with community needs. Part of the 250-bed complex will be turned into luxury apartments, while another section will house an outpatient clinic and emergency room operated by NYU Langone Medical Center and Lutheran Medical Center. Until the new facilities are up-and-running, Fortis will cover the cost of managing LICH’s current stripped-down operation and also set aside $5 million to fund a community organization that will address local healthcare needs.
Nothing is set in stone yet — the plan still needs approval from SUNY’s board of trustees, but an end to this long-drawn saga may finally be in sight.
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