The proposal involves tearing down existing buildings and replacing them with new ones, calling for about 800,000 square feet for hospital use. That will include building new cancer, ambulatory surgery and outpatient diagnostic centers, as well as expanding its emergency room, maternity ward and cardiac and breast cancer center facilities.
It also calls for new spaces that would be dedicated to offices for doctors and other health care professionals. The proposal includes about 1,000 units of affordable housing along with mixed-income units to create new housing opportunities for hospital staff and other Brooklyn residents.
Funding for the massive redevelopment will come primarily from the sale and lease of the property.
The hospital would build the new facility in stages in order to ensure it can continue to operate throughout construction, and the proposal will be reviewed by the city public review and approval process. It is a project that administrators say is essential to ensure the 175-year-old hospital can continue to remain operational, independent and financially viable.
The approval process of the billion-dollar plan could take about a year, and construction is expected to last about eight to 10 years.
“What’s important to note, we are a safety net hospital. Safety net hospitals are funded by the government – 50% Medicaid, 25% Medicare. We’re not asking the city or state for any money. What we’re trying to do is convert what has now become a potentially valuable asset to be able to finance our future rebuilding of the campus,” CEO Terranoni says. “We typically only have like 20 days of cash on hand. For an organization that’s a half a billion in size, that’s a very low amount.”
So the plan is, he explained, to take some of the proceeds from the sale and leases to create an endowment and use the return on that to help fund development. Monetizing air rights is another potential source of revenue, and then there is always financing.
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