BY DAN GUZEWICH
Mohawk Valley Health System is moving forward with the appraisals of the downtown Utica properties that would be part of the footprint covered by the new hospital project.
The health system is seeking proposals from certified appraisers to evaluate the properties. It also mailed a letter to property owners in the area likely to be affected by the project informing them of the anticipated process and timeline.
“We want to begin the valuation of the downtown properties as the process will take some time to complete,” Scott Perra, MVHS president and CEO, said in the organization’s news release. “In the meantime, MVHS continues to work on the funding plan for the project, which we hope to have completed in the next 60 to 90 days.”
The state has committed to spending $300 million on a new facility that would combine the acute care services currently offered by St. Elizabeth Medical Center and Faxton-St. Luke’s Healthcare.
Letters were sent to 39 owners representing 77 properties whose holdings comprise, along with city of Utica, about 25 acres. The property areas include several city blocks south of the Utica Memorial Auditorium, bounded by Oriskany Street to the north; properties abutting Columbia Street to the south and Broadway to the east; along with Route 12 to the west.
MVHS anticipates it will pick an appraisal firm in the next six weeks.
Once it selects the firm, it will take about two months to complete the appraisals. MVHS will then meet with each property owner to review the appraisal once the work is complete, the organization said.
“The appraisal process and the offers that would follow will be contingent on New York state approval of a certificate of need for the new hospital,” Perra said in the news release. “We are currently working with the (State) Department of Health on the final plan for securing the $300 million and the process they want us to follow moving forward to complete and file the certificate of need.”
MVHS officials caution that its work with the DOH involves “multiple steps and approvals” before it can make any offers or begin any work on the properties.
Tentative plans include offers on the properties “potentially” by the end of this year. In that case, any work on the sites would begin in late 2017 or early 2018, according to MVHS.