Construction set for new public health center after Metro-HCA land swap

Tuesday, June 5, 2012 at 2:55pm

A land swap Metro reached last year with health care giant Hospital Corporation of America has set the course for a groundbreaking Wednesday on the city’s new Lentz Public Health Center.

Mayor Karl Dean, Metro officials and HCA executives are set to hold a ceremonial groundbreaking on a new Metro-operated public health center at 2512 Charlotte Ave., a 3.5-acre property that Nashville-based HCA owns. The new Charlotte Avenue health center will replace the existing 54-year-old Lentz Public Health Center at 311 23rd Ave. N., a 3.7-acre Metro-owned property.

Under a Dean-orchestrated deal the Metro Council approved in May 2011, HCA is to construct the new health center, which is not to exceed $28.5 million. HCA is tasked with obtaining bids for architectural, engineering and construction services, among other responsibilities.

After the building is constructed, land ownership transfers will be completed, with HCA taking ownership of the 23rd Avenue land where the old health center currently operates.

Metro is to reimburse HCA for construction and architectural costs.

Two years ago, the Lentz property had been appraised at $5.25 million, and the HCA property had been appraised at $4.19 million.

In addition to acquiring the 23rd Avenue land, situated near Centennial Medical Center, the Metro Council’s vote last year awarded HCA other incentives:

• Metro will pay interest at the rate of construction costs, plus a one-time $50,000 fee.

• HCA can enter a payment-in-lieu-of-tax agreement, allowing the company to be exempt from paying property taxes on the Lentz property for its first five years of ownership, and receive a 50 percent reduction for the next five years.

• HCA has the legal right to sell its new property to a third party at any time.

2 Comments on this post:

By: BigPapa on 6/6/12 at 6:53

I wish Metro would do more of this kind of deal. The city has some public buildings setting on PRIME real estate. Think how much they could get for Hillsboro High.

By: Left-of-Local on 6/7/12 at 5:13

VERY good point, Papa.

Now, we wait for the nay-sayers and Dean-bashers to find the not-silver-lining.