The highest-scoring bid for Long Island College Hospital captured the support of surrounding Brooklyn communities and elbowed aside a deep field of competitors by pledging to preserve a full-service hospital at the Cobble Hill site.
But that pledge comes at a cost. The would-be real estate developers of the medical campus are counting on high-rise residential towers of a scale never before seen in an area at the heart of Brownstone Brooklyn in order to make the deal pencil out, according to emails among executives involved in the bid.
Brooklyn Health Partners envisions raising at least two soaring residential buildings of up to 50-stories on the campus of low-rise buildings that comprises LICH. BHP has plans to build a 40- to 50-story condo tower on the site of a large parking garage on the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Hicks Street that is part of the LICH campus, according to emails from a financier involved in the bid and obtained by Crain's.
The building would be 80% market rate and 20% affordable. The financing group, HKS Capital Partners, indicated in the Brooklyn Health Partners proposal that it plans to raise the roughly $600 million that BHP estimates it will need to acquire the hospital, keep it running and refurbish it, as well as to develop up to 2 million square feet of residential space, according to the emails.
The BHP developers envision raising another tower that could be similar in height and size, but would feature rental apartments, 40% of which would be affordable housing.
BHP currently is negotiating with the State University of New York on a contract to buy the LICH campus. The group scored the highest number of points in a bidding process concluded by SUNY earlier this month. A coalition of community groups and unions sued the school system to revamp its bidding process for LICH, opening the door for BHP’s last round winning bid. As a result of a court settlement, the bids were scored to award higher points for proposals that included building a full-service hospital at LICH.