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BHP fighting for right to bid on LICH

Stephon Johnson | 5/22/2014, 12:51 p.m.

All hope seems lost for Brooklyn Health Partners (BHP), but they refuse to let SUNY move on to the next bidder for the Long Island College Hospital (LICH) site.

Last week, BHP got to celebrate for barely half a day when a Brooklyn court accepted their nonrefundable deposit for $25 million dollars. But the court reversed course later on that day, objecting to the deposit and asking BHP to come back to court and pick up their check.

Another court hearing was set for Tuesday. If BHP doesn’t convince the court to give the go-ahead to their bid, they could lose $25 million.

SUNY is now working with the second bidder, the Peebles Corporation, and negotiating their plans for the LICH site. In an emailed statement, a Brooklyn Health Partners’ spokesperson said they’re staying the course.

“Brooklyn Health Partners is meeting with its attorneys to determine the next steps,” read the statement. “We remain committed [to] providing the community of Brooklyn with a full-service hospital.”

Last month, SUNY began negotiations to transfer ownership of LICH to Brooklyn Health Partners, the top bidding group in the request for proposals. BHP, whose bid is worth $250 million, plans to maintain the facility as a full-time hospital. Part of the property would be assigned for commercial and residential use.

Under BHP’s proposal, a “Brooklyn Medical District” would be constructed to include a 300- to 400-bed hospital and the utilization of reconstructed buildings for inpatient services, including medical/surgical, pediatrics, intensive care, coronary care, maternity, pediatric ICU, physical medicine and rehabilitation, adult inpatient psychiatry and outpatient services, including emergency, ambulance, prenatal and family planning, primary and specialty care, rehabilitation therapy, ambulatory and mental health. But BHP representatives have accused SUNY of negotiating in bad faith, while SUNY officials have questioned whether or not BHP’s plan to run a full-fledged hospital is sustainable.

But according to a recent report by Crain’s New York Business, BHP wasn’t completely upfront with their plans for the facility. According to emails from a financial adviser involved in the bid, and obtained by Crain’s, BHP “envisions raising at least two soaring residential buildings of up to 50 stories on the campus of low-rise buildings that make up Long Island College Hospital.” The report states that BHP plans to build a 40- to 50-story condo tower on the site of a large parking garage located on the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Hicks Street (part of the LICH campus). The units in the apartment complex would be 80 percent market rate and 20 percent affordable.

Starting last Thursday, ambulances were instructed to stop taking new patients to LICH in anticipation of its closing.