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Nixed LICH developer sues state, claiming chicanery

At the gates: Furious ativists demanded on Wednesday that the state open the state’s bidding process for Long Island College Hospital’s redevelopment.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

The spurned top bidder for Long Island College Hospital is suing the State University of New York, arguing the state has sabotaged negotiations that would result in the full-service hospital that activists have long rallied for.

The state told Brooklyn Health Partners that it was unable to “execute a satisfactory contract agreement” with the medical developer on Monday. But reps for Brooklyn Health Partners, who say it has already put down a $25-million down-payment, want a Brooklyn Supreme Court judge to force the state to negotiate with them for 10 more days and halt all discussions with the second-placed company that wants to dismantle the Cobble Hill hospital and build mostly housing in its place, according to a petition filed on Wednesday.

“Last week, the judge asked that we present him with the $25 million non-refundable deposit as our ‘good faith’ showing that BHP is committed to building the citizens for Brooklyn a full-service hospital,” Brooklyn Health Partners spokeswoman Donnette Donbar said. “We look forward to continuing that conversation with both Judge Baynes and the State University of New York.”

The state has never supported the continuation of a full-service hospital, according to the complaint, which argues that university reps stopped negotiating with Brooklyn Health Partners from April 25, when both parties apparently agreed to changes on the purchase and sale agreement, until May 3, when the court called for talks to proceed. The university also allegedly did not provide the medical developer with two drafts of interim hospital space leases and a draft of property deeds until that day, just shy of Brooklyn Health Partners’ May 5 deadline to put down the deposit on its $250 million purchase.

The state also sent a letter to Brooklyn Health Partners in late April that “fabricated issues where no genuine issues existed, imposed new, unilateral and unnecessary deadlines, and misrepresented material facts,” and laid out the state’s supposedly baseless preliminary claim that the bidder could not meet the terms of its proposal, the complaint alleges.

A state spokesman declined to comment.

Reach reporter Megan Riesz at mriesz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her on Twitter @meganriesz.
Shown the door: Brooklyn Health Partners head Merrell Schexnydre wants to bring a full-service hospital to the Cobble Hill medical campus, but the state won’t let him.
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