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Stony Brook Medicine expands into former Forest Labs facility in Commack

Commercial developer Steel Equities plans to spend $50

Commercial developer Steel Equities plans to spend $50 million to purchase and renovate Forest Laboratories Inc.'s former packaging facility in Commack, according to Suffolk County documents. Credit: Newsday / Thomas A. Ferrara

Stony Brook Medicine, which encompasses Stony Brook University's health sciences, medical schools and outpatient clinics, has signed a 20-year lease to expand its patient care services westward into a massive former Forest Laboratories facility in Commack, university officials said.

Stony Brook will occupy 100,000 square feet -- nearly a quarter of the 420,000-square-foot building -- at 500 Commack Rd. as a patient care facility tenant. Situated in the building's northwest corner, between 25 percent to 30 percent of Stony Brook's leased space will be dedicated to primary care services.

The remainder of the 100,000-square-foot space will be used for specialty care practices, including radiology and laboratory testing.

"This is our way of making our brand of health care more accessible to more people," said Dr. Kenneth Kaushansky, senior vice president for Health Sciences and dean of the School of Medicine at Stony Brook.

Kaushansky said the expansion westward was needed given the placement of Stony Brook's nearly 90 patient and specialty care offices, which are almost all located east of Stony Brook University Hospital. Likening the hospital to the hub of a wheel, he said "I've never seen a wheel where the hub is at the edge of the spokes."

With the exception of the hospital, most of Stony Brook's clinical facilities specialize in only one medical field per location. The new facility will function more as a "one-stop shop" for patients, Kaushansky said. The number of physicians and which specialty practices will be based at the site are still being discussed, he said.

Stony Brook's hope is to open the new patient care outfit in six to nine months, he said.

David Leviton, senior vice president at the Melville office of brokerage CBRE, represented Stony Brook in the deal. The property's owner, Steel Equities, represented itself.

Forest Labs, a Manhattan-based maker of prescription medicines, put 500 Commack Rd. on the market earlier this year after agreeing to be acquired by Actavis Plc of Dublin, Ireland for $25 billion.

Last December, Bethpage-based commercial developer Steel Equities, the site's current owner, was approved for tax breaks by the Suffolk County Industrial Development Agency to acquire and convert the site into multitenant office space.


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