Funding near for hospital project, says HMC/CAH

An official with the company that owns Hillsboro Community Hospital said late last week that negotiations are down to the ?fine details? in securing the financing necessary to start construction of the new $10 million facility.

Gordon Docking, chief operating officer with HMC/CAH Consolidated Inc., said Friday, ?We are making significant process on a new financing deal for not just the hospital in Hillsboro, but for four hospital construction projects.?

Docking said two weeks after HMC/CAH broke ground for the project at the intersection of U.S. Highway 56 and Industrial Road, the company it has had a contract with to provide funding for acquisitions and construction backed out.

?It was a total funding of $10 million, and at the 11th hour, on Dec. 29, they said they?re not going to fund the $10 million,? Docking said. ?We had four USDA guarantees and we had four bank loans in place and four projects that were shovel-ready to go, and they all just came to a grinding stop.?

In the ensuing months, HMC/CAH has been looking for other funding sources.

?We are well down the road in negotiations with a developer out of Dallas, in partnership with a real-estate investment trust out of Florida, to get our hospital projects up and moving,? Docking said.

?Of the four projects, two of them are higher priority for us? the Hillsboro project and the Washington County, N.C., project.?

Docking said he is hopeful construction will begin before the end of the calendar year.

?I?m not going to try to mislead anybody and say the deal?s done, because it?s not,? he said. ?But the people that we?re working with are as excited about these projects as we are, and they are really negotiating with us collaboratively to get these done.?

Docking said HMC/CAH is motivated to get the project under way.

?Nobody wants to get these things moving as much as we do, because it?s critical to the success of our business plan,? he said. ?But I know the folks in Hillsboro need us to show them something, and hopefully we?re getting close to being able to do that.?

Docking was in Hillsboro last week to update the hospital staff and advisory board as well as city leaders.

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