Bidder for failing hospital backed off med center project: report

Fortis backed out of deal for bankrupt facility in Bayonne, creditors say

Mar.March 18, 2014 05:20 PM

Fortis Property Group, a development firm vying for control of the Long Island College Hospital in Cobble Hill, once backed out of redeveloping another failing New Jersey hospital.

Fortis, one of several potential buyers of the hospital, made a last-minute decision not to purchase the bankrupt Bayonne Medical Center in 2007 and instead pursued a redevelopment at an abandoned military terminal, the New York Times reported. The switch came after an intermediary signed a $22.5 million agreement for the property in the company’s name.

The firm claimed it didn’t authorize the buy, but the Bayonne facility’s creditors said Fortis was only interested in the property as part of a hidden agenda to buy the terminal, the Times said.

Fortis is offering $185 million to $230 million to the Cobble Hill hospital at 339 Hicks Street in order to build both affordable and market-rate housing, and an independent emergency room. The firm has not said if it would change its plans to include a full-service facility, even though the owner, the State University of New York, prefers bidders that propose to keep the hospital.

SUNY told the Times it was not familiar with Fortis’ history, and would likely consider it down the road. [NYT]Angela Hunt

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