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SUNY Looks to Post-LICH Future for Cobble Hill Complex

Friday, July 19, 2013

State health authorities have partly approved a closure plan submitted by SUNY Downstate in its longstanding effort to shutter Long Island College Hospital.

Supporters of LICH are still fighting, and they maintain SUNY is violating a court order to keep it open, but their options are running out.

This week SUNY issued a 44-page “request for proposals,” seeking organizations to purchase the the 19-building complex and provide health care services on all or part of it. The campus sits on prime land in Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, near the city harbor.

The plan gives interested parties wide latitude to propose whatever they want, as long they pay market rate for the real estate, assume all debts and function at least partly as a medical provider.

The deadline for submissions is September 16.

In May, SUNY solicited informal “expressions of interest” and received a half-dozen offers. In one of them, a real estate investment trust proposed buying the LICH complex and leasing it to an out-of-state hospital operator that would run it as a for-profit business – something not currently allowed under New York law. Another prospective buyer wanted to develop apartments on about a third of the area, to provide cash for a much smaller LICH that would operate in the four existing core buildings.

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