Photo by Christina Santucci
By Sarina Trangle

A limited liability company laid claim to the former Parkway Hospital property in Forest Hills with a $22 million bid during a foreclosure auction last month.

Joseph Risi, the referee assigned to the foreclosure case, said five or six parties showed up at the Jan. 10 auction of the 56,400-square-foot lot, at 70-35 113th St.

After Auberge Grand Central LLC, which holds the mortgage on the property, opened with a $1,000 bid, the price jumped to $7 million, crept up to $8 million and gradually climbed to $22 million, Risi said.

An unidentified man affiliated with 70-35 113th Street Holdings LLC entered the winning $22 million bid, Risi said. The referee said he was not aware of what the LLC planned to do with the property, but that it had deposited a 10 percent down payment, as required, and appeared to be on track to close on the sale.

Ann Hsiung, an attorney representing the LLC in the foreclosure, said she was not authorized to speak with the media.

As of Wednesday, the state did not yet have records of the LLC’s formation on hand and the name of the potential new owner was not known.

Risi said the difference between the $22 million bid and the $14,862,239.38 a previous referee determined the hospital owed Auberge would be handed over to the city Department of Finance.

Both Parkway Acquisition I LLC, which represents the original hospital, and Auberge, which holds the debt, could lay claim to the money and ask the court to intervene, he said.

Since the state Commission on Healthcare Facilities shut the hospital in 2008, the Forest Hills building has racked up 14 open violations with the city Department of Buildings and seven with the city Environmental Control Board.

Typically fees from building violations are paid for with the purchase money, Risi said.

Currently Parkway Acquisition I has a $10,700 tab for infractions that range from failing to maintain the building exterior because of bulging bricks to not having its elevator annually inspected, according to the DOB website.

Since 2008, Parkway’s owner and chief executive officer, Dr. Robert Aquino, lost the battle to reopen it as creditors began pursuing him for unpaid debts.

Aquino filed a lawsuit in 2009 against then-state Assemblyman Anthony Seminerio and former Jamaica Hospital CEO David Rosen, accusing them of setting Parkway up to fail after Rosen bribed Seminerio to support Jamaica Hospital in the state Legislature. Seminerio died in prison and Rosen was sentenced to a three-year prison term for bribery.

Aquino later pleaded guilty to federal bribery charges stemming from his attempts to pay state Sen. Carl Kruger $60,000 in exchange for Kruger lobbying to revive Parkway. He was sentenced to four months in prison.

Aquino and Parkway’s attorney did not respond to requests for comment.

Following a foreclosure judgment issued May 6, Parkway Acquisition filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from creditors June 17, 2013.

The bankruptcy case was dismissed, paving the way for the Jan. 10 auction.

Reach reporter Sarina Trangle at 718-260-4546 or by e-mail at strangle@cnglocal.com.

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