Expansion in the works at Peconic Bay Medical Center

BARBARAELLEN KOCH FILE PHOTO | The new Kanas Center for Advanced Surgery at Peconic Bay Medical Center on Route 58.

While it’s still in the “conceptual” stage at this time, Peconic Bay Medical Center is considering another large expansion to its Route 58 facility.

“We are considering an affordable senior housing/assisted living residential facility and a parking garage on our Roanoke Avenue parking lot,” the hospital’s president and CEO, Andrew Mitchell, told The News-Review. “In addition, on the main campus we are considering further expansion of our Kanas Center for Advanced Surgery, our MDJ Goodale Emergency Center, and additional major technology enhancements.”

He also said the hospital is currently developing a significant refinancing plan, in the range of $50 million to $60 million,  to take advantage of lower interest rates and obtain additional funds for expansion.

The hospital in 2009 completed a major $50 million expansion project that included the construction of the Kanas Center and the upgrade of the emergency center, the latter of which was completed in 2008. The hospital first formally proposed those projects in 2006 and received a quick approval from Riverhead Town officials.

About $10 million of the expansion costs were raised through fundraising and donations, including a $2 million donation from the John and Elaine Kanas Foundation, which is run by the founder of North Fork Bank and his wife.

Earlier this year, the Nassau Suffolk Hospital Council released statistics that showed Peconic Bay Medical Center was the fastest growing hospital in Suffolk County, with a 4.3 percent increase in patient admissions. It also was the second fastest growing hospital on Long Island, the stats showed.

Hospital officials attributed that trend to a large population growth in the hospital’s service area, along with an increase in the number of doctors coming to the hospital because they want to perform surgeries at the hi-tech Kanas Center.

The assisted living and senior housing component is something hospital officials have been discussing for years, and at one point planned to do in conjunction with a large private development complex in Calverton that would also have featured stores and a space for Peconic YMCA. But that plan is tied up in legal battles with the town and has yet to proceed.

The town also has discussed creating a zoning category to allow assisted living projects, which officials say don’t fit into any current zoning categories. However, that zoning has yet to be formally proposed by the town.

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Read more in the Dec. 16 edition of the News-Review.

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