Part of Bay Ridge hospital sells for $20M

By Patrick Egan | November 23, 2010 12:53PM

Brooklyn real estate investor Abraham Leser has sold off a piece of the former Victory Memorial Hospital, recouping nearly half the $44.9 million purchase price for the entire property while retaining ownership of the closed hospital building.

Hamilton Park Realty paid $20 million for the nursing home component of the Bay Ridge hospital complex, according to city documents.

The per-bed figure of about $133,000 surprised Steve Monroe, managing editor at Irving Levin Associates, a publisher of merger and acquisition data on the seniors housing and health care industry.

“That’s an attractive price,” Monroe said. “Rarely do nursing homes go over $100,000 per bed.”

Leser’s company, Sunset LG Realty LLC, purchased the entire Bay Ridge complex in 2009 for $44.9 million. In October, Sunset transferred the operational 150-bed nursing facility to a charitable trust that shares an address with Leser’s company, which then sold it the same day for $20 million to an area health care operator. Sunset held onto the 243-bed hospital.

Victory Memorial Hospital, located at 699 92nd Street, closed in 2008 after receiving its death sentence from a state commission launched by former Governor George Pataki and charged with reviewing all of the state’s health care facilities. According to an employee at the nursing facility, the name changed in September 2009 to Hamilton Park Nursing and Rehabilitation Services, around the time that Leser bought the campus.

Sunset LG Realty bought the hospital as one lot, but filed an easement with the city this past August, breaking up the building and land into two pieces.

On Oct. 21, Sunset LG Realty transferred the lot, including the nursing facility, to the Bradford Charitable Trust. City documents indicate that the trustee, Avika Tauber, shares the same address as Sunset LG Realty. The trust then sold the nursing facility to Hamilton Park Realty, LLC. It was not immediately clear why the trust did this.

Leser’s real estate dealings have attracted negative attention in the past. In 2007, Leser received a Dirty Dozen Award from the Citizens’ Environmental Coalition for an abandoned lot in the Bronx that the organization called one of the most toxic sites in the state. The lot stood next to a school.

Neither Leser nor his attorney returned calls to comment about the recent sale or future plans for the shuttered hospital.

Investors do have options when it comes to repurposing a building, depending on its physical attributes, said Paul Wexler, president of Corcoran Wexler Healthcare Properties, who was not involved in the deal.

“These properties are reevaluated based on the needs of the community,” he said.

Some might be converted to residential; other buildings find new health care uses, such as assisted living or medical office space and labs. The nursing facility and defunct hospital are partly surrounded by residential housing and across the street from the city’s Dyker Beach Park.

The nursing facility remained open even after the adjoining Victory Memorial Hospital closed. Sale documents list Liebel Rubin as the managing member of Hamilton Park Realty. He’s been a licensed operator with the New York Department of Health since 1985, and his name shows up as an owner or manager of several other facilities. Rubin was unavailable for comment, and his facilities administrator did not return several calls for comment.