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Latest Plan to Save LICH May Be in Jeopardy

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TWC News: Latest Plan to Save LICH May Be in Jeopardy
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The latest plan to save financially struggling Long Island College Hospital may be falling apart.

Earlier this month, Brooklyn Health Partners won its bid to take over LICH and create a mixed-use facility with apartments and a full service hospital.

But now some state and city officials -- including Mayor Bill de Blasio -- are concerned the developer may not be able to maintain a full service hospital.

"You don't know what they're saying, you don't know what this one is saying but it's closing," said Arthur Knight, a Cobble Hill resident.

SUNY Downstate, which runs LICH, could disqualify the group and try to make a deal with the second place bidder, who is only calling for limited healthcare services at the site.

If the deal with BHP does collapse, SUNY would negotiate with the number two bidder, a developer whose plan does not include a full service hospital. That's unacceptable to many who have been fighting SUNY for more than a year to keep the hospital open.

"It's a hugely populated area so obviously having something nearby would be beneficial instead of further of a travel," said one Cobble Hill resident.

SUNY is currently only operating an emergency room and about 150 beds.

The $250 million plan also includes condos and commercial space. Many Cobble Hill residents worry that commercial and residential development would trump health care in a neighborhood where real estate is at a premium.

"Five million dollar townhouse next door. And the hospital just doesn't give the biggest bang for the buck and the city realizes that. It's still very frustrating for us," said one neighborhood resident.

A spokeswoman for Brooklyn Health Partners tells NY1 the group does not understand why the mayor would have an issue with the proposal as he was not involved in the negotiations with SUNY.

BHP says it plans to deliver a $25 million down payment next week and that it can prove it has the money to complete the entire deal.

It's not clear when a decision will be made, but SUNY Downstate is set to give up control of LICH on May 22.

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