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Some Long Island College Hospital proposals keep it full-service

Signs of life in LICH bidding

The Brooklyn Paper
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A slate of newcomers to the state’s bidding war over the prime real estate Long Island College Hospital sits on are giving Brooklynites a gasping chance at keeping a hospital on the site.

Four of nine healthcare company–developer partnerships that submitted bids in the latest round of proposals to buy the 155-year-old medical facility from the state call for keeping it a hospital, while the others would turn it into apartment complexes with healthcare components, according to the bids, which were made public over the weekend. Community activists who sued the university for attempting to shutter the hosptial have long fought to keep it full service. None have yet endorsed a specific proposal, but having nearly half of the companies in the running agree with the activists’ stated goal is a solid start, one said.

“The four hospital bidders agree with us that LICH is economically viable,” Cobble Hill Association member Jeff Strabone said. “They indicate the fight we waged.”

Trindade Value Partners, a private-equity firm focused on the production of “highly valued” pharmaceuticals, wants to tear down the current Cobble Hill medical buildings and put in a new, 506-bed teaching hospital — as well as a cancer center and a freestanding ambulatory care center — that would be operated by Healthcare Management Partners. Company honchos say Brooklyn has a serious shortage of quality hospital care.

“This is an integrated-care delivery system to meet the needs of the Brooklyn community so they have a legitimate, ultra-modern choice for healthcare in Brooklyn,” said Scott Phillips, managing director for Healthcare Management Partners.

A group called the Brooklyn Health Partners wants to build a new 300- to 400-bed hospital and offer ambulatory care, intensive care, and other medical services during construction of the new facility. The company would also build the Brooklyn Medical District, a campus of medical offices, commercial spaces, and market-rate and below-market-rate housing, according to the plan.

Another California-based hospital management corporation, Prime Healthcare Services, wants to re-open 16 of Long Island College Hospital’s closed operating rooms as part of a hospital that would start off with 100 beds. The company, which operates 25 acute care centers across the nation, would provide surgeries, maternity care, and a host of other inpatient and outpatient services, its plan states. Prime Healthcare lists the State University of New York, which is selling the hospital after fighting for a year to close it, as a client.

The Chinese Community Accountable Care Organization was a bidder in the last round of proposals, which was halted by the lawsuit settlement that reopened bidding and rejiggered the process to favor plans with larger medical components. The organization re-submitted a plan for a full-service hospital that would open with 150 beds and grow to accommodate as many as 250. The plan has the financial backing of former Republican mayoral candidate John Catsimatidis and former deputy mayor Rudy Washington. It also calls for an emergency room and walk-in ambulatory services.

The State University of New York could choose a plan at an April 3 board meeting, a spokesman said. The hospital will close in May if no company steps up to keep it running, according to the terms of the court settlement.

The basics of the five non-hospital plans are as follows*:

The Cuomo-donor plan

Medical provider: New York University Langone Medical Center and Lutheran Family Health Centers

Developer: L&M Development Partners, Fortis Property Group, Full Spectrum NY, LLC, and KF Brock

Medical facilities: Ambulatory surgery center, cancer center

Housing: Rental units, condos, and townhouses, one quarter of them below-market-rate

Measures to retain jobs: Expected to employ about 200 union workers in non-clinical jobs as well as 26 non-physician employees, all of whom will be members of the New York State Nurses Association or Service Employees International Union 1199

Retail: No

Uses existing buildings: Yes

Time to complete: About one year

Fun facts: Fortis Property Group president Joel Kestenbaum gave Gov. Cuomo’s re-election campaign $5,000 last November, while his uncle Moshe — who is not a partner in the firm — gave $12,500 in Jan. 2014. Cuomo, as The Brooklyn Paper has documented, controls the State University of New York, whose representatives effectively have final say in choosing a buyer for the hospital. The state was considering the Fortis bid alone in December, when university trustees delayed a vote amid cries from hospital advocates to put the brakes on the proceedings until the bidding process was made public and others had a chance to put their hats in the ring.

The developer-only plan

Medical provider: Unknown

Developer: Chetrit Group, FX Fowle

Medical facilities: 100 inpatient beds divided among observation, intensive care, behavioral, and long-term acute care units, as well as an emergency department and community health center

Housing: Apartments, one third of them below-market-rate

Measures to retain jobs: No

Retail: Unclear

Uses existing buildings: Yes

Time to complete: One year

Fun facts: Chetrit Group is one of two developer behind a hot-button, 23-story apartment tower planned for Prospect Lefferts Gardens, as well as the conversion of a former Brooklyn Hospital Center building in Flatbush into a residential complex where, Brownstoner reports, studios will start at $1,999 per month.

The finger-on-the-pulse plan

Medical provider: Unknown

Developer: Lana Acquisitions

Medical facilities: Dialysis center, ambulatory surgery center, family planning department, mental health clinic, nursing home, assisted-living facility

Housing: Unclear

Measures to retain jobs: Will hire Long Island College staffers “whenever possible”

Retail: Unclear

Uses existing buildings: Yes

Time to complete: 12 to 18 months

Fun facts: Lana Acquisitions honcho George Weinberger is chairman of the Board of Trustees of New York Community Hospital in Midwood. His partner is Allen Gross, head of GFI Development Company, which describes itself on its website as a “developer that focuses on opportunistic projects in major metropolitan areas.” GFI was behind the notorious so-called “finger building” in Williamsburg.

The call-in-reinforcements plan

Medical provider: Maimonides Medical Center, North Shore—LIG, ProHEALTH

Developer: Peebles Corporation

Medical facilities: Ambulatory surgery center, multi-specialty offices, and off-site health center in Gowanus or Red Hook

Housing: Yes, but no further details

Measures to retain jobs: $7.5 million for fund to develop new jobs outside of the hospital

Retail: Unclear

Uses existing buildings: Unclear

Time to complete: Unclear

Fun facts: The Peebles Corporation submitted its previous bid with no medical partner. Company head R. Donahue Peebles penned a self-help book called “The Peebles Path to Real Estate Wealth: How to Make Money in Any Market.”

The other Cuomo-donor plan

Medical provider: The Brooklyn Hospital Center

Developer: Blue Wolf Capital Fund, III, L.P., and Related Companies

Medical facilities: Two off-site health care centers, two urgent care centers

Housing: Some below-market-rate housing

Measures to retain jobs: Would provide preferential hiring to qualified Long Island College Hospital employees for 24 months

Retail: Unclear

Uses existing buildings: Yes

Time to complete: Two to three yearsFun facts: Related Companies founder Stephen Ross gave Gov. Cuomo $5,000 last year. A company spokeswoman has denied that the money was meant to buy favor for its hospital-gutting plan.

*Editor’s note: Our last guide to Long Island College Hospital redevelopment proposals included the category “Emergency room.” Each of the five non-hospital plans claims to include emergency facilities, but emergency rooms are by definition departments of hospitals, so we have removed the category from consideration.

Reach reporter Megan Riesz at mriesz@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4505. Follow her on Twitter @meganriesz.
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Reasonable discourse

X ODA Employee from williamsburg says:
Louis & Joel Kestenbaum , Fortis are thugs, thank god they are out of the loop for now. The kestenbaums would destroy Lich and the surrounding neighborhood, we call in everyone who cares to take part at this event and make sure that THUGS dont take controll.
March 25, 2014, 12:31 am
oh boy from around says:
do you guys even read the proposals? Jesus.
March 25, 2014, 7:54 am
CARROLL G says:
Thank you for not participating in the farce calling a non-emergent urgent care room an “Emergency room,” & for recognizing that Emergency Rooms are by definition departments of Hospitals, & a facility that is not a hospital cannot have a real Emergency Room. I appreciate the Brooklyn Paper refusing to help the non-hospital bidders for LICH try to deceive the public about their non-emergent, non-lifesaving care rooms & the loss of real life saving emergency care that they want to pass off to the public as no big deal.
March 25, 2014, 10:27 am
Save LICH from Carroll Gardens says:
Are we so naïve that we believe this process will play out the way we expected it to & SUNY will actually award the bid to the hospital bidder that offers the most hospital services? SUNY's cronies & Gov Cuomo's campaign donors want LICH competition out of the way of their own hospitals & they want LICH's clientele for themselves. SUNY repeatedly defied the orders of Supreme Court. Does anyone think that they now all of a sudden will start playing by the rules? They think theyre gods. They will do whatever they want. Somone needs to be watchdog while they rate the bids so SUNY doesn't, lock the doors, give the keys to their friends, & tell the community to take them back to court if they dont like it. Don't trust the powers that be.
March 25, 2014, 10:39 am
Maybe You Should Try Reading from The Proposals Before Getting Cute says:
Other fun facts, if you'd bothered to read the proposals and done some research:

The Chinese group is a trade group of Chinese physicians with less than $1million in assets, and all their money comes from John Catsimatidis, who has a history of waiting out real estate deals then flipping them. This group has zero experience in operating a hospital and would have to hire a management firm, if Catsimatidis even let them get that far.

Prime Healthcare has been cited dozens of times for malnutrition of patients in their California hospitals. To be fair, they also manage some award winning facilities. They have also been repeatedly investigated by the Justice Department for Medicaid & Medicare over billing practices.

Brooklyn Health Partners looks like it was cooked out of thin air by Quorum Health Partners, headquartered outside Nashville, TN. They don't build anything, they take over troubled hospitals. This sounds like Continuum times 100. AND under a fake name. Lovely.

Trindade has absolutely zero experience in building or operating hospitals. What does that tell you?

I'm not crazy about any of them, but the latest bunch are making way empty promises!
March 26, 2014, 11:13 am
Clem from Ft Green says:
Prime health has the money, experience, & award winning hospitals. It will immediately restore surgical, psychiatric, womans & childrens services that SUNY has kept blocked illegally for months. It will invest in infrastructure, out patient care, and outreach to doctors. It works with labor unions in other states, although SEIU has a personal issue with it in California. Prime is also in good company being looked at on that Medicare Medicaide issue - most of the big successful hospitals are undergoing or have undergone the same review. Including NYU Presby, Northshore LIJ, SUNY Stonybrook, Staten Island Hosp, Lenox Hill, Columbia, Montefiore, & many other successful hospitals. So, it's no reason to cast this bidder aside. As for the malnutrition rate of its patients, consider the border & western states where Prime has its hospitals & non-profit facilities & its amount of charity care. It stands to reason that many of those patients are immigrants & probably already are coming in with some form of malnutrition. Here almost all our elderly have a form of malnutrition, especially if they're sick or live alone or in some nursing homes. None of this is reason to throw away this bidder. I don't care what my union 1199 has to say, I go for PrimeHealth.
March 26, 2014, 4:14 pm
kelly from park slope says:
I like your "fun facts" sections, thanks.
March 27, 2014, 8:39 am

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