County considers facility for juvenile offenders

Legislature votes for possible repurchase of John. J. Foley nursing home


The Suffolk County Legislature unanimously voted to authorize the county attorney to start negotiations to purchase the former John J. Foley nursing home located at 4 Grover Drive, in Yaphank, for the potential use as a jail-like facility for juvenile offenders during a special meeting.

The county originally owned and sold the five-story building. Back in December 2015, Suffolk County legislators voted unanimously to sell Foley to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center for $15 million.

The county legislature has now voted to spend up to $6.2 million for the repurchase of the 18,749-square-foot building, though a final cost has not yet been determined. After negotiations, the legislature will have to vote again to spend the funds and enter into contract.

The building will also require renovations, depending on what it will be definitely used for, said Suffolk County executive Ed Romaine’s director of communications Michael Martino, explaining that the county could use the building for a medical examiner’s office, expanding police needs, or additional space for the sheriff’s office.

“A juvenile facility is just one of the options,” he said, noting New York State’s Raise the Age law was a determining factor. “It’s a great move either way; [the building] can be used for a lot of different needs.”

“This is a smart deal for Suffolk County and its taxpayers,” added Romaine. “[By] purchasing and renovating this building, the county will save tens of millions of dollars and provide space needed by many of the county’s departments. I opposed the sale of this building years ago as a legislator and now I can return the Foley building to the people of Suffolk County.”

Costs of the renovations are not yet determined; however, Martino said, if used for the youth offender’s facility, the state could cover up to 75 percent of those costs.

According to the state’s Raise the Age law, separate facilities are required for non-violent offenders between the age of 16 and 17 years old to help allow them to rehabilitate and reintegrate into their communities. The idea is to lower the risk of re-offense.

According to the Suffolk County Sheriff’s Department, they currently have 17 youth offenders in custody as of this month.   

Sheriff Errol Toulon did not have a comment at this time.


Long Island Community Hospital (LICH), formerly Brookhaven Memorial Hospital, originally purchased this property from Suffolk County in 2016 and subsequently made a decision to market the property for sale. After NYU Langone Health’s affiliation with the hospital took effect in 2021, the decision was made to sell the building.

At the time of the BMHMC purchase, the hospital had plans to move its dialysis center on West Main Street in Patchogue to the former Foley facility and was hoping to partner with a nonprofit to bring a Medicaid-reimbursed nursing home. Offering alcohol and drug services as well as veterans services, and expanding outpatient services besides hemodialysis with sleep testing, transitional and primary care, were among the possibilities. 

Back in December 2015, Suffolk County legislators voted unanimously to sell Foley to Brookhaven Memorial Hospital Medical Center for $15 million. The county closed at the end of June in 2013. At that time, Suffolk County, under county executive Steve Bellone, ultimately claimed it was too expensive to run.

Also, in 2020, it was being considered as a temporary facility to house COVID patients.

When NYU Langone was asked if they were marketing the building to other health care agencies or to whoever was interested in the property, they replied, “NYU Langone Health is engaged in a broad marketing effort to a pool of potential buyers.”

-Linda Leuzzi