Healthcare: United Health Services seeks $23M in tax-exempt bonds for new facility

By My-Ly Nguyen for Press Connect

VESTAL — United Health Services Hospitals Inc. is seeking up to $23.25 million in tax-exempt revenue bonds to construct a medical office building at the former Press & Sun-Bulletin site on the Vestal Parkway.

A public hearing on the issuance of the bonds will be held at 10 a.m. Oct. 28 at the Dormitory Authority of the State of New York, 515 Broadway, Albany.

Comments also will be accepted no later than that date by writing to the Office of General Counsel at the same address (zip code 12207).

It’s not unusual for a hospital or physician group to use revenue bonds to fund such a project, UHS and Dormitory Authority officials said.

UHS announced in May its plans for the new three-story, 85,000-square-foot facility that would include primary care physician offices, a walk-in center, X-ray and other imaging services and a retail pharmacy for patients.

The development is now expected to cost $29 million instead of the $35 million that was previously stated in May as a high-end estimate, UHS spokeswoman Christina Boyd said. Some plans for basic infrastructure were changed, resulting in the lower figure.

The bonds have a 22-year term and would be placed with M&T Bank, Dormitory Authority spokeswoman Susan Barnett said. UHS would pay back only interest during the first two years, then principal and interest in the next eight years. At the 10-year mark, the bank would renegotiate the terms of the agreement.

Boyd said that the project also would be paid for using money “from other sources through the hospital.”

The facility is on track to open in the first quarter of 2012, pending the required approvals from the state, she said. The former Press & Sun building would be demolished.

The town planning board has approved the site plan for the project, requiring that UHS add a sidewalk at the front part of the property along the parkway.

The Internal Revenue Service requires the public hearing because tax-exempt financing is being requested, Barnett said.

[pressconnects.com]

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