PIH, city reach tentative deal to sell land for $9.8M

DOWNEY - PIH Health is still awaiting approval from the California Attorney General to take over Downey Regional Medical Center but in the meantime it has reached a deal to purchase the city-owned land for $9.85 million. The City Council will consider approving the sale on Tuesday.

Downey Regional currently operates the hospital at 11500 Brookshire Avenue, which is owned by the city of Downey. Downey Regional pays the city $1 per year under terms of a lease that runs through February 2082.

According to the proposed deal, PIH Health would pay Downey the appraised value of $9.85 million. The purchase agreement requires PIH Health to operate a hospital on the site until 2030.

After 2030, PIH Health must operate a hospital or medical-related uses until 2063.

Mayor Mario Guerra likes the deal, although he will abstain from voting because his insurance company previously serviced the hospital.

"As a resident first and foremost, it looks like a good deal to me because it puts money back in the public coffers," he said.

Assuming the sale goes through, Guerra proposed putting half of the $9.85 million into city reserves and using the rest to hire 3-4 police officers and make improvements to parks and roads.

"I want our residents to realize some of the gains (from the sale) but being fiscally responsible we should also put some back in reserves."

If the deal is approved Tuesday, escrow is expected to close in September.

PIH took over day-to-day operations of Downey Regional in June as it waits for Attorney General Kamala Harris to sign off on the acquisition. A decision is expected by the end of this month.