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Borough President Eric Adams to Host LICH Q&A with Hospital Bidders Tonight

By Nikhita Venugopal | February 5, 2014 10:54am
 Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams with members of the Brooklyn Orthodix Jewish community in March 2013.
Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams with members of the Brooklyn Orthodix Jewish community in March 2013.
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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

COBBLE HILL — Developers looking to take over Long Island College Hospital will answer questions about their redevelopment plans for the hospital Wednesday, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams announced Tuesday night.

The five developers, who recently submitted proposals to the State University of New York, will answer questions from community members to be submitted for a Wednesday afternoon taping for a public access channel, Adams said in a statement.

The program will first air at 9:30 p.m. on Wednesday and will be re-aired several times on Feb. 6.

For months, community members have complained of being sidelined in talks that would decide the fate of Cobble Hill’s hospital. Adams’ broadcast is “an effort to promote transparency and community engagement in the process determining the hospital’s future,” according to a statement.

“My goal is for our community to be educated and engaged in the future of Long Island College Hospital,” Adams said in the statement.

Five stakeholders — Brisa Builders Corporation, Brooklyn Hospital Center, Chinese Community Accountable Care Organization, Fortis Property Group and the Peebles Corporation — will participate in Adams’ Borough Hall presentation.

After the presentations, Adams will host a question-and-answer session with the bidders using questions from the community.

Residents and LICH advocates have a short Wednesday afternoon deadline to send in questions via email to askeric@brooklynbp.nyc.gov or tweet to @BPEricAdams with the hashtag #LICHQandA.

Questions and comments not addressed during the program will be posted on the borough president’s website and the bidders will be “encouraged to provide responses to all inquiries,” according to the statement.

The program, a collaboration with BRIC/Brooklyn Independent Media (BIM), will first air on that network Wednesday at 9:30 p.m. EST on the Brooklyn Public Network, which can be found on Cablevision (Channel 69), Time Warner Cable (Channel 56), RCN (Channel 84), Verizon FIOS (Channel 44) or on their website’s Channel 3. 

Last week, SUNY sought “final and best offers” from bidders proposing to acquire LICH after reopening their “Request for Proposals” process.

But only bidders who had met the state’s initial deadline last year could participate so no new hospitals or healthcare operators could submit plans, state officials said.

Residents and local officials blasted SUNY for their “unilateral” and “flawed” handling of the hospital’s future. Community groups accused SUNY of manipulating the “RFP” process and pushing LICH toward developers with their eye on its prime real estate. 

“How insulting that @BPEricAdams gives us less than 24 hours' notice for his rush-rush 'public commentary' event on LICH. What's the rush?” the Cobble Hill Association, a vocal supporter of the hospital, tweeted Tuesday night.