HOBOKEN – Bill Colgan of Community Healthcare Associates, a company that partnered with Jersey City Medical Center in a bid to purchase Hoboken’s city owned hospital, was quoted in Friday’s Wall Street Journal saying that his group “can step in” if the hospital and the creditors can’t come to an agreement in a bankruptcy settlement.
Mayor Dawn Zimmer has said that if the creditors in the hospital operator’s bankruptcy do not reach a settlement, the hospital will close. The parties are due back in court on Oct. 4. Hoboken University Medical Center is in the process of being sold to HUMC Holdco, a group that has common ownership with Bayonne Medical Center. But Colgan says that he and JCMC would step in to buy the hospital.
Is that plan viable? Zimmer criticized the bid of JCMC this past week after CHA/JCMC made their proposal public. The bid called for a medical mall type facility. The bid would also follow the recommendations in the state-issued Navigant Report, which advocates for consolidating services in Hudson County due to the high vacancy rates in area hospitals.
Zimmer questioned JCMC’s method of financing, which would be dependent upon state stabilization funds, tax credits, and redevelopment bonds, according to their bid.
To view Jersey City Medical Center’s bid on the city website, click HERE.
If the hospital were to close, the city would be responsible for a $52 million bond guarantee. When the hospital was on the verge of financial closure in 2007, the City Council voted to guarantee the bonds to revive the struggling facility. Zimmer has said she wants to sell the hospital to a private hospital owner to relieve the city of the debt.
For much more on this situation and the other bidders, see the cover of this weekend's Hoboken Reporter starting Sunday, either on your street or here at hudsonreporter.com. -- Ray Smith