Brooklyn Health Partners selected as leading bid to redevelop LICH

April 3, 2014 Heather Chin
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A $250 million bid from Brooklyn Health Partners (BHP) to purchase and redevelop Long Island College Hospital (LICH) into a full-service hospital and “medical district” complete with commercial and housing space has received the highest score in a one-week review process by community stakeholders. The proposal now goes to State University of New York (SUNY) officials for 30 days of negotiations with BHP.

Current operator SUNY Downstate Medical Center is due to cease management of LICH by May 22 at the latest. If a sale to BHP is approved, it would take control of the 155-year-old Cobble Hill community hospital before then.

The BHP proposal led the pack of nine potential suitors with a score of 64.53. Second place went to Peebles Corp.’s $260 million proposal—teamed with North Shore-LIJ, Maimonides Medical, ProHealth and Institute for Family Health—with a score of 62.76. Rounding out the top three scorers was former front-runner Fortis Property Group/NYU Langone Medical Center with 61.61.

All bids that included a full-service hospital in its plans received extra points and were given greater consideration.

BHP is a consortium of healthcare, real estate and private equity professionals that was formed specifically to propose transforming LICH into a “Brooklyn Medical District” that would have a new full-service 300-400-bed not-for-profit hospital as its center. The hospital would be operated by Quorum Health Resources. The rest of the LICH campus would consist of medical offices, commercial space and new housing, 30 percent of which would be designated “affordable.”

If approved, BHP estimates that construction would begin “no later than 24 to 36 months after closing” the sale. A temporary 150-bed “bridge” facility would operate during the construction period, and would include an emergency room and ambulatory care center.

However, BHP faces steep hurdles such as the fact that none of its partner organizations have experience in New York’s healthcare climate, meaning it would require a lengthy review process of their financials and other competency measures needed for certification.

Partners within the BHP collaborative include Quorum Health Resources, HKS Capital Partners, Turner Corporation and Intra City Builders Joint Venture, H3 Hardy Collaboration Architecture, and The Switzer Group.

If BHP’s proposal is not approved or takes longer than the 30-day period allotted, then SUNY would begin negotiations with Peebles Corporation, whose $260 million proposal does not include a full-service hospital.

Rather, the Peebles plan proposes a smaller primary care facility—a “Free-standing ER with ambulance services,” ambulatory surgery center and specialty offices—plus a health center in the Gowanus/Red Hook neighborhoods. Most of the site would be used for residential space of which 30 percent would be classified as “affordable,” although by what measure is not made clear.

The third place plan from Fortis/NYU would transform the 20-building complex into condominiums, at least 25 percent designated affordable housing, and a “state-of-the-art healthcare facility” with a 24-7 freestanding ER, urgent care center, primary and preventive care, comprehensive women’s services, a cancer center, ambulatory surgery center, and other specialized health services.

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