Gurney housing journey: St. Vincent Medical Center could transform into supportive housing

Councilman wants to repurpose the 366-bed hospital, whose owner has announced its planned closure

Jan.January 21, 2020 02:28 PM
Mitch O’Farrell wants this hospital to become housing (Credit: Google Maps and Getty Images)
Mitch O’Farrell wants this hospital to become housing (Credit: Google Maps and Getty Images)

UPDATED, Jan. 22, 1:07 p.m.: St. Vincent Medical Center, whose owner announced its planned closure, could get transformed into supportive housing if a local council member has his way.

Councilman Mitch O’Farrell has introduced a motion that would explore revamping the 366-bed hospital in Westlake, according to Urbanize. O’Farrell is also calling for Los Angeles to work with Gov. Gavin Newsom to identify other properties that can be converted into supportive housing — where residents can access some publicly-subsidized medical and mental health care.

The possible repurposing of the 10.5-acre medical center at 2131 West Third Street follows owner Verity Health’s announcement earlier this month that it would seek to close the facility, after failed attempts to sell. St. Vincent was founded in 1856 as the first hospital in L.A., according to its website.

Two years ago, the Redwood City-based nonprofit filed for bankruptcy, and has not managed to find a buyer for its six hospitals. The recent filing also provided a plan to discharge the remaining patients. Verity would keep open for now its other five hospitals in the Southern California area.

Last year, Verity did come close to selling. KPC Group agreed to buy four of its hospitals, including St. Vincent, for $610 million. But in the court filing, Verity said KPC defaulted on the purchase agreement and it has subsequently sued the Corona-based company. A representative for KPC said it disputes the contention, and has argued that “Verity did not satisfy material conditions necessary to close the deal.” [Urbanize]Matthew Blake

Editor’s note: This article now includes a comment from a KPC Group representative about Verity’s lawsuit against the company.

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