The Bronx-based Simone Healthcare Development, the company that made a deal with the Lawrence Board of Education to buy the Number Six School property last January, but lost the public referendum on the sale, has bought the 12,000-square-foot Verizon building at 1436 Broadway in Hewlett for about $1.38 million.
Simone officials said the company has arranged a long-term lease of the Hewlett property to Mt. Sinai Hospital, and is expected to expand the two-story building into 13,000 square feet of medical offices that would comprise primary, specialty and urgent care services. The plan is for the facility to open next spring.
Officials at Mt. Sinai declined to comment.
“As hospitals and other health care providers look for new and innovative ways of delivering the best care,” Joseph Kelleher, president of Simone, said in a release, “we are partnering with them to develop and manage the new facilities they need in order to accomplish those goals.”
Simone planned to lease the Number Six School property, a 6.7-acre site with an 80,170-square-foot building at 523 Church Ave. in Woodmere, to Mt. Sinai to create a 60-doctor, 30-speciality medical facility, but school district residents rejected the proposed sale in March by a nearly 2-to-1 margin. Community members who live near the property fiercely opposed the plan, forming the Community Coalition of the Five Towns and campaigning against the proposed sale. Losing the school’s playing fields and the expected increase in traffic in an already congested area were the group’s two primary complaints.
Coalition member Josh B. Justic said he does not have a problem with a medical facility, as long as its location is “beneficial for the community, and its size and scope are not excessive.” “I think the Verizon building in Hewlett meets those criteria,” said Justic, who lives in Woodmere. “No green space was lost from the sale, a residential area was not converted to commercial, and the smaller size of the building should limit the impact on traffic for Hewlett and the Five Towns.”
The new medical facility would add to a number of urgent care providers in the Five Towns. There are facilities on Peninsula Boulevard and Broadway in Hewlett, and another is slated to open on Rockaway Turnpike in Cedarhurst.
The federal Affordable Care Act, known as Obamacare, has changed the health care marketplace, and is challenging hospitals and other health systems to provide care in new ways to lower costs, improve patients’ experiences and produce better results, said Melissa Mansfield, a spokeswoman for the Healthcare Association of New York State. “New settings are being developed to address population health management,” Mansfield said, “and we will continue to see new initiatives as we move away from fee-for-service to overall population health.”
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