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NY developer set to buy Memorial Hospital campus for vets facility

Business News

PAWTUCKET, R.I. (WPRI) — Hospital group Care New England has reached a deal to sell much of the old Memorial Hospital campus to a New York developer, Target 12 has confirmed.

In a document provided to bondholders, Care New England executives said they have a purchase-and-sale agreement with Lockwood Development Partners of New York City for the property. A spokesperson confirmed the deal, and said more information should be released after Labor Day.

Lockwood plans to buy about half the land on the 13.4-acre Memorial campus and all the old hospital buildings except for the ambulatory facilities, according to the document. The developer hopes to turn it into a wellness and residential facility for military veterans.

The document cited two potential hurdles: winning approval from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for the project, and restrictions contained in the original property deed for the hospital.

Lockwood did not respond to a request for comment. Financial terms were not disclosed.

Lockwood is involved in a similar project in New Castle, Pennsylvania, where the company plans to turn a former hospital into a “veterans housing and wellness center,” according to reports in the New Castle News. Charles Everhardt, an executive at Lockwood, has said the projects would use authorization provided by Congress in the VA Mission Act last year.

Memorial closed in late 2017 after operating in the red for a number of years, though Care New England continues to provide some non-hospital medical services on the old campus. Those offices were only utilizing about 97,000 square feet of space as of March, leaving 500,000 square feet of buildings vacant.

Care New England’s leaders introduced Pawtucket Mayor Don Grebien to officials from Lockwood Development a few months ago, Grebien spokesperson Wilder Arboleda told Target 12 in an email.

“The city is committed to working with Lockwood Development and Care New England so long as the project benefits and meets the community’s needs,” he said. “We look forward to working on developments that will breathe life back into a major property in our city.”

Pawtucket “continues to seek strategic partnerships through economic tools such as the federally-designated Opportunity Zones,” Arboleda added, referring to a new tax break for development created by President Trump’s 2017 tax law.

Ted Nesi (tnesi@wpri.com) is WPRI 12’s politics and business editor and a Target 12 investigative reporter. He is a weekly panelist on Newsmakers and hosts Executive Suite. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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