Long Beach City Council will be asked on Tuesday, Oct. 4 to approve a land sale-transfer of the Termino Avenue and Pacific Coast Highway property that has been Long Beach’s community hospital for 98 years.
The transfer comes almost exactly one year after John Molina and Molina, Wu, Network, LLC relinquished the community hospital’s operating lease, saying it was not economically feasible to operate, particularly due to the requirements for seismic modernization of buildings whose cost is estimated to be higher. at $76 million.
According to a staff report released Monday evening Sept. 26, the city and MWN have agreed to a fair market value for the property of $17,710,000. But MWN said it spent $26,650,948 to temporarily open the community hospital and operate part of the property before closing in November 2021. This figure has been verified by an independent consultant.
Under the lease last amended in February 2022 – allowing the land to be used for general medical purposes instead of being specifically a hospital – the city was only liable for costs up to fair market value of the property. Thus, under a sale agreement negotiated with MWN, the city will transfer the title to MWN for a purchase price of zero.
In addition, the city will share escrow and closing costs with MWN and will pay $2,464,863 in reimbursement for seismic retrofit survey fees expended by MWN – as part of the original lease agreement. MWN will pay the city $715,554 in maintenance costs, less $75,930 in cash reserves.
The sale marks the end of a long history for East Side Hospital.
It opened in 1924 on city property atop the hill at Pacific Coast Highway and Termino Avenue. He survived the Long Beach earthquake in 1933, but age made the hospital seismically vulnerable.
And in this century, it has opened and closed twice, first in 2000 and again in 2018. The 2000 closure came after Catholic HealthCare West attempted to consolidate Community’s operations with St. Mary Medical Center. A group of doctors and residents then reopened the hospital and operated it for several years before merging with MemorialCare Medical.
MemorialCare closed the facility in 2018 for essentially the same reasons MWN closed it in 2021. A total of seven operators operated Community, at Pacific Coast Highway and Termino Avenue, as a full-service hospital.
The main hospital building was declared a historical monument in 1980.
Molina said MWN will create a general healthcare campus with ambulatory care facilities and potentially a lockdown behavioral or psychiatric health bed wing – as well as various independent healthcare providers.
This type of operation has significantly lower seismic safety requirements.
John Molina could not be reached Monday night for comment.
Note: This is a breaking story and will be updated.