Los Angeles Times owner Dr. Patrick Soon-Shiong wants to buy the St. Vincent Medical Center near downtown to turn it into a “central command” center for coronavirus response.
Soon-Shiong and his wife Michele B. Chan are offering $135 million for the closed 366-bed hospital through their foundation, Chan Soon-Shiong Family Foundation, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Soon-Shiong said the hospital would be used to relieve pressure on other medical facilities in L.A. and he hopes to bring in experts on the virus to work out of the hospital.
California health officials would be in charge of staffing the facility and would pay $2.6 million a month to lease it.
A purchase would resolve the fate — at least in the short-term — of the 164-year-old facility, which closed its doors in January. St. Vincent’s owner, Verity Health, is currently in bankruptcy. KPC Group was in talks to buy St. Vincent and three other properties from Verity last year, but that deal fell through.
A judge approved the Soon-Shiong family foundation as the lead bidder for the property in federal bankruptcy court on Wednesday. Competing bids are due today.
Other plans were floated for the facility after it closed. L.A Councilmember Mitch O’Farrell proposed converting it for affordable housing.
Soon-Shiong said the long-term plan for the hospital was not yet firm and said the hospital infrastructure would need “a significant amount of work.” [LAT] — Dennis Lynch