Artist’s rendering of the property at 523 Church Avenue in Woodmere
Artist’s rendering of the property at 523 Church Avenue in Woodmere

In a vote held January 15, the Board of Education of the Lawrence School District authorized the sale of the Number Six School property to the Simone Healthcare Development Group for $12.5 million, subject to a public referendum scheduled for March 20.

Simone proposes an adaptive reuse of the existing structure as a comprehensive outpatient medical office serving the Five Towns community. The new facility would be leased and operated by the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai for the benefit of Five Towns residents, and also would provide ongoing economic benefits to the community and school district through additional tax revenue and health-care jobs.

“Mount Sinai is committed to working closely with the local community and physicians to provide an integrated model for high-quality outpatient care,” said Mark Callahan, MD, CEO of Mount Sinai Care. “We plan to offer patients better coordination of primary and specialty care with a full-service multi-specialty practice, with diagnostic services and urgent care, all in one convenient location.”

Mount Sinai plans a comprehensive outpatient medical office staffed by as many as 60 primary-care and specialist physicians. The plan is to include cardiology, dermatology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, general surgery, hematology/oncology, nephrology, neurology, ob‑gyn, ophthalmology, orthopedics, pediatrics, plastic surgery, podiatry, rheumatology, and vascular surgery. An urgent-care center–available to treat urgent, non-life-threatening medical needs–will also be on-site to provide patients and their families with walk-in access to health care.

“Patients have been found to appreciate the one-stop shopping medical experience of an integrated multi-specialty medical practice,” said Simeon Schwartz, MD, a consultant to Mount Sinai. “It is our experience that they like the convenience of a doctor’s visit that includes clinical lab testing and radiology services–all under one roof.”

The existing Woodmere school building will be preserved and upgraded with verdant landscaping to buffer the adjoining residential areas. The Simone proposal will not burden the site with an expansion of the footprint or overall size of the building. The existing facade will remain and landscaping will be enhanced to improve the building’s appeal and appearance.

“The biggest change here will be to the inside of the property and the additional benefits it will bring to the community through the delivery of modern health-care services, new tax revenue, and good jobs,” said Joseph Simone, president of Simone Development.

Simone Healthcare Development Group, which is a division of Simone Development Companies, has a unique understanding of the specialized design, engineering, and technological needs of the medical community and has become an expert at providing these services in a cost-effective manner. Simone also has the capacity to identify, acquire, finance, and build these projects. v


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