Long Island College Hospital Closure: What If…

Despite New York judge Betsy Barros’ temporary restraining order to keep LICH open for the time being, local developers are buzzing about the potential “real estate gold mine” that would result if the State University of New York indeed shutters Long Island College Hospital.

The Brooklyn Paper offers a story today that notes, “The swath of Cobble Hill would give developers everything they dream of: location, location and location” because of its “primo spot and friendly zoning just outside the Cobble Hill and Brooklyn Heights historic districts, giving whoever snatches up the land the rare chance to erect the very kind of apartment housing that the landmark zones were designed to stop.”

Broker and realty expert Chris Havens tells The Brooklyn Paper that the sale of the 155-year-old medical center “could be the biggest of its kind in Brooklyn in almost a decade. It’s just so rare that something this big gets converted.”

The last sale of its caliber in Brownstone Brooklyn was the 2004 turnover of nearby 360 Furman Street in what is now Brooklyn Bridge Park, which developers purchased for more than $200 million, Havens said. The sale of Long Island College Hospital real estate could be even more valuable, possibly netting as much as $500 million for the state.

If the land is sold to a developer, housing is a near certainty, Havens adds: “That’s by far the most valuable use, or as they say in the business, the highest and best use.” Meanwhile, according to Ward Dennis, a Williamsburg-based preservationist and land-use expert, because the main hospital building is right next to a landmarked district—but not in it—developers can get all the charm of historic Cobble Hill with none of the red tape. In fact, a buyer could erect a tall “tower in the park”-style development, thanks to the main building’s city-block-sized footprint and the current zoning.

The hospital closure must still be approved by the state board of health, in addition to its current stay, by the Judge Thursday. (Photo: NY Daily News)

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  • Remsen Street Dweller

    Well, then — let’s also imagine that a stipulation be placed on the developer of condos/housing being built on this land to include a graveyard for all the lives that are to be consequently lost.

  • Guest

    Leave it to ‘developers’ to salivate over the fate of a hospital where the NICU saves the lives of newborns, an ER that has saves countless lives, an EMS service that covers the entire community… Ghouls that ought to be ashamed of themselves…no wait, they chase the dollar… Pathetic.

  • Guest

    Brooklyn Hospital Center is just a mile away.

  • Rocky

    Another issue is psych. They are always at full census. Many adult homes are right on Atlantic ave. where will they go. The streets of Brooklyn heights?

  • Remsen Street Dweller

    And, yes, they will really be able to deal with the overflow of patients, i.e., the 58,000+ people that used the LICH ER last year.

  • Yosemite Sam

    What about the spirits of the thousands of people who have already died at LICH over the past 150-years. Maybe they will come back and haunt the rich condo-owners. Wouldn’t that be sweet?

  • Big Dave

    This place saved my life. Keep it!

  • DIBS

    Update: Courts halted the closure

  • shirley

    Souls have died in that building.This land at this point isn’t to be lived in. That building won’t be free of them. If its turned into apts- there are going to be apts up for sale fast

  • Wrong to close LICH

    Yes Brooklyn Hospital is actually 1.5 miles away. If you really know the area, you will realize that from 7 am to 9 pm, with the traffic on Atlantic ave, Flatbush ave and the side streets, it will take you 30 min to get to Brooklyn hospital. With a stroke, a heart attack, a real emergency, death is guaranteed. The real issue here is that real estate moguls are “after” the LICH location. We, the People, should fight to prevent the closure of a much needed hospital just because some well connected folks need the location.

  • William Spier

    I think you should remember that this hospital saw over 58,000 emergencies last year and kept nearly 250 beds filled most of the time. This is a hospital not another spot for crappy real estate development. I ask all the young couples who live in this neighborhood and are ignoring this danger of closing the community hospital: Where are you going to go when a child is hurt, a parent falls, or some other emergency effects your family. The most important part of a growing community are its health services and hospital. You had better wake up and protest this travesty.