NYU Langone Hospital-Long Island  in Mineola,

NYU Langone Hospital-Long Island in Mineola, Credit: NYU Langone Hospital-Long Island

NYU Langone Health aims to build a $3 billion-plus medical center on more than 40 acres at Nassau Community College, County Executive Bruce Blakeman said.

The facility “would create thousands of jobs, and it would be an investment north of $3 billion,” Blakeman said at a news conference Thursday in Mineola. “We are going to enter into negotiations within the next week to talk about that possibility,” he said.

Blakeman also discussed the plan at Nassau Community College’s graduation ceremony on Wednesday evening, where he told graduates the facility would be “the state of the art, number-one hospital in America.” The 225-acre community college campus in Garden City, which includes about 50 buildings, has about 20,000 full- and part-time students.

Ken Langone, co-founder of Home Depot and chairman of the NYU Langone board, said he hopes the new medical center will be "up and running" within five years. "I'm 87 years old so I want it to happen yesterday," he joked in an interview.

NYU Langone intends to buy the land for the medical center, at a price that has not yet been negotiated, Langone said. He estimated the total cost might come in between $2 billion and $3 billion, "to be conservative." 

The Manhattan-based health care system's 591-bed  Mineola hospital, 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 is no room for it to do so in its current location, Langone said.

A new hospital at NCC would allow more room for inpatient and medical school facilities, he said. NYU Langone would continue to operate the facility in Mineola, though it's possible it could eventually become an outpatient center, with inpatient care and medical school activities based at the NCC site, he said. All the 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 health care, and NCC students by offering more opportunities for training and jobs. "Think of the number of kids that go to" NCC, he said. "Health care is a growing business." In 2019, Langone donated $100 million to make NYU's medical school tuition-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 education and research facility, on the NCC campus. NYU Langone said the hospital would be a “quaternary care” facility, a reference to hospitals whose services include the most specialized health care, such as experimental treatments and uncommon surgeries. 

The medical center would rise on “underutilized land” on the campus, NYU Langone said. The health care system plans to “expand our investment on Long Island and provide world-class health care 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 has said it is spending $100 million on its first round of upgrades.

NYU Langone operates more than 300 locations in the New York region, including more than 100 on Long Island, and it 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 the Mineola hospital, Langone said.

Blakeman sketched out the origin of the NCC proposal when he spoke about it at events on Wednesday and Thursday.

The plan got underway 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 said to 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 intern programs, it would be great for the labor unions, there'll be apprenticeship programs, it'll be great for all of the surrounding businesses.”

With Ken Schachter and Candice Ferrette

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