The facility “would create thousands of jobs and be an investment of more than $3 billion,” Blakeman told a news conference Thursday in Mineola. “We will enter negotiations next week to talk about that possibility,” he said.
Blakeman also discussed the plan at Nassau Community College’s graduation ceremony on Wednesday night, where he told graduates the facility would be “the number one state-of-the-art hospital in America.” The 225-acre community college campus in Garden City, which includes about 50 buildings, has about 20,000 full-time and part-time students.
Ken Langone, co-founder of Home Depot and chairman of the board of NYU Langone, said he expects the new medical center to be “up and running” within five years. “I’m 87, so I want it to happen yesterday,” he joked in an interview.
NYU Langone intends to purchase the land for the medical center at a price that has yet to be negotiated, Langone said. He estimated the total cost could be between $2 billion and $3 billion, “to be conservative.”
The 591-bed Mineola hospital of the Manhattan-based healthcare system, NYU Langone Hospital-Long Island, formerly Winthrop University Hospital, is less than five miles from the NCC site. The Mineola facility needs to expand, but there isn’t room for it in its current location, Langone said.
A new hospital at the NCC would allow for more inpatient space and facilities for medical schools, he said. NYU Langone would continue to operate the facility in Mineola, although it’s possible it will eventually become an outpatient center, with inpatient care and medical school activities based at the NCC’s location, he said. All plans would need regulatory approvals, Langone said.
The state Department of Health must approve applications for new hospitals and significant changes to existing hospitals.
Langone said the new medical center would benefit area residents by providing more high-quality healthcare and NCC students by providing more training and employment opportunities. “Think of the number of kids that go to” NCC, he said. “Healthcare is a growing business.” In 2019, Langone donated $100 million to make NYU medical school free for all students. The health system changed its name to NYU Langone in 2008 after Langone and his wife Elaine donated $200 million.
In a statement, NYU Langone said it “is in exploratory discussions to develop a new state-of-the-art medical center,” including a teaching hospital and medical research and education facilities, on the NCC campus. NYU Langone said the hospital would be a “quaternary care” facility, a benchmark for hospitals whose services include the most specialized health care, such as experimental treatments and unusual surgeries.
The medical center would be built on “underused land” on campus, NYU Langone said. The health system plans to “expand our investment in Long Island and provide world-class healthcare to its residents. We will share additional details as the project develops,” a spokesman, Steve Ritea, said in the statement.
The health system is also in the process of merging with the 306-bed Long Island Community Hospital in Patchogue, where it said it is spending $100 million on its first round of upgrades.
NYU Langone operates more than 300 locations in the New York area, including more than 100 on Long Island, and has 700,000 square feet of new outpatient facilities under development on Long Island, according to the health system. The expansion of the outpatient network has increased demand for services at Mineola Hospital, Langone said.
Blakeman outlined the origin of the NCC proposal when he spoke about it at events on Wednesday and Thursday.
The plan began when Langone approached the county last year, Blakeman said. Langone, who lives in Nassau County, said he was looking for a place to build a new NYU Langone campus, Blakeman said, “I told him, ‘There’s only one place to go, Nassau Community College.'”
The facility, Blakeman said Thursday, “would have an amazing effect on the community college because there would be internship programs, it would be great for unions, there would be apprenticeship programs, it would be great for all businesses.”
With Ken Schachter and Candice Ferrette