BY NATALIA KOZIKOWSKA
The Queens Tribune has learned that at least three investment groups have submitted proposals and are being considered for redeveloping Holliswood Hospital in Jamaica, which closed in August due to a significant loss in funding.
According to a source close to the situation, the six-acre property located at 87-37 Palermo St., formerly a psychiatric hospital, is being managed by the Long Island-based Liberty Management Group and has sparked the interest of Park Nursing Home in Far Rockaway, Advanced Care Staffing in Brooklyn and another unidentified investment group interested in transforming the hospital into an assisted living residential building.
According to multiple sources, at least two other investment groups, and possibly more, have also expressed interest in the property but have been shut out of the deal – despite offering Liberty Management more than $10 million – a figure which would have covered the debt the group has acquired upon purchasing the property last year.
Though Liberty Management, represented by Massachusetts attorney Robert Eustis, is far from selecting the developer, the Holliswood Civic Board has been in contact with the management at Holliswood Hospital, advising the civic that several businesses have expressed interest.
According to an email obtained by the Tribune, members of Community Board 8 and the office of Queens Borough President Melinda Katz will be in touch with the Holliswood Civic Board “to schedule a meeting with the hospital management to discuss the various proposals for the site.” However, no date been scheduled as of press time.
Katz said her offices are looking into the situation, but had no new information on the status of the hospital.
The first key player, Park Nursing Home, provides nursing care for seniors. The second key player, Advanced Care Staffing, is a healthcare provider and a medical training facility for nurses and other staffers interested in advancing their careers in the medical field.
Though little information regarding the third player has been made public, a number of sources, including Councilman Mark Weprin (D-Oakland Gardens), have heard that the unidentified developer has expressed their interest in transforming the property into a residential building, which will likely feature assisted living.
Liberty Management’s attorney Eustis has not responded to requests for comment as of press time.
While the future of Holliswood Hospital is still murky, Weprin said that he will “monitor the process very closely” to ensure that whatever investment group purchases the property from Liberty Management will keep the community’s interest and needs in mind.
“We just want to make sure that whatever the property is used for, that it suits the neighborhood,” he said. “I believe that we need some facility that’s consistent with the services that have been there previously.”
Weprin noted that a nursing home would be a good option for the site, whereas a drug treatment facility may be met with opposition by residents who live near the hospital.
“I do not think that the community would be receptive to a drug treatment facility,” he said. “I think in this case, a nursing home would be a more acceptable facility to put there.”
Reach Natalia Kozikowska at (718)357-7400 Ext. 123 or firstname.lastname@example.org or @nkozikowska.