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October 20, 2014

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Union Village turns to Plan B after St. Rose Dominican pulls back from project

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Paul Takahashi

Union Village will be one of the first integrated health-care and mixed-use developments in the country. Developers unveiled its master plan Thursday, April 7, 2011, at Henderson City Hall.

Union Village Master Plan

David Baker, a partner and developer of Union Village, unveils the master plan for one of the first health care and mixed-used developments in the country on Thursday, April 7, 2011 at the Henderson City Hall. Launch slideshow »

Site of proposed Union Village

Long intended to be the anchor tenant for the Union Village health care complex in Henderson, St. Rose Dominican Hospitals is backing off its role in the multibillion-dollar project after more than a year of negotiations.

St. Rose’s parent company, Dignity Health, said in a statement it was unable to find financing for its share of the project.

“Due to the tremendous capital investment required to build a new hospital, this project is feasible only if Dignity Health and St. Rose find the appropriate investment partner to help finance the $75 million-plus project,” the statement said. “After a yearlong search, St. Rose has been unable to reach final terms with a suitable investment partner.”

An exclusive negotiating window between the hospital and Union Village developer ended in January, and discussions now have shifted to finding a different health care provider for the project.

“Union Village chose to enter into discussions with additional health care providers that expressed interest in developing a world-class hospital complex and health center within the project,” David Baker, managing partner for Union Village, said in a statement. “Union Village has now entered into an agreement to exclusively negotiate with another health care provider for that purpose."

Baker did not identify the provider.

The announcement is a setback for the proposed $1.5 billion health care development on 151 acres of city land near U.S. 95 and Galleria Drive, which is unlikely to make it off the drawing board without an anchor tenant.

Plans call for the project to include several hospitals, including a children’s hospital, medical office space, senior-living apartments, retail, restaurants, hotels and a park.

When the project was announced in April 2011, St. Rose said it planned to move its aging Rose de Lima Campus on Lake Mead Parkway to Union Village. The move, St. Rose said, would help relieve overcrowding at its Siena Campus at St. Rose Parkway and Eastern Avenue.

More than a year of exclusive negotiations ensued but failed to produce a deal between the hospital and Union Village.

Instead, Dignity and St. Rose have started making improvements at the two campuses, including $164 million worth of construction at the Siena Campus highlighted by a five-story, 220,000-square-foot hospital tower.

The $11.6 million land sale between Henderson and Union Village was most recently scheduled to close Jan. 13 but has been delayed for a third time by the Henderson City Council to April 16, city spokesman Bud Cranor said.

The land sale was first scheduled to close April 3, 2012, and developers optimistically predicted at the time they would begin construction by the end of the year.

The land, which includes a large gravel pit, comes at a steep discount from its appraised price of $30.1 million because of grading the developer will be required to do to begin construction. Outside of the land sale close date, the city’s development agreement with Union Village contains no hard deadlines to ensure progress on the project.

Cranor batted away comparisons between Union Village and a proposed stadium complex — the other stalled mega-development in Henderson. The city has filed suit in that project against developer Chris Milam and others, accusing Milam of acquiring 485 acres of federal land under the false pretense of building a stadium and instead marketing the land for housing developments.

“It’s not even apples and oranges. It’s entirely different situations with these two projects,” Cranor said. “Union Village has done a good job keeping the city informed as to their progress. We know they’re in discussions with other partners for this health care project. We fully expect they’ll continue those negotiations and we’re excited to see what’s to come.”

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  1. Maybe the developers need to think outside the box and attempts to bring in Hospitals managed by the Mayo Clinic, MD Anderson, The Cleveland Clinic, etc.. and stop the Las Vegans heading for the Airport when serious crisis arise.