Michael Melnicke, a nursing home owner, has been named as a potential buyer for Peninsula Hospital and its nursing home, according to court documents.
The health care executive and former board member of the closed hospital is leading a group looking to buy the facility, which closed in April when it ran out of cash. The Daily News reported the cost of the hospital, clinic and affiliated nursing home would be $24 million.
The documents, filed by court-appointed trustee Lisa Lapin Jones, said that a number of suitors had put in bids for the hospital, but Melnicke’s was the top offer.
“Following in-person meetings with several bidders, discussions with advisers and after considering the relevant issues, the trustee determined that the purchaser’s offer was the highest and best offer received,” Jones wrote in the court documents, as reported by The Daily News.
The break down for costs would be: $16.75 million for the affiliated nursing home, $6.25 million for the hospital area and $1 million for the clinic, according to The Daily News.
Calls to Melnicke and Jones for comment were not answered.
Joseph Mure, formerly a board member for Peninsula, said he had heard Melnicke was interested in buying the shuttered facility, and hoped it remained a health care site.
“I wish [Melnicke] well, I just hope that it remains some sort of hospital or medical facility for the Rockaways,” Mure said.
Mure said he heard different plans for the hospital, including turning it into a psychiatric ward, but was unsure if any of the rumors were true. Regardless, Mure said he hoped the emergency room would at least stay open and return to serving the Rockaway community.
“Whatever they do, we just hope that its medical related so it can help any kind of emergency situation in the Rockaways,” he said. “If they keep the emergency room there and they treat patients on an emergency basis and they’re well staffed and equipped, it would be the greatest thing in the world.”