LOUISVILLE, Ky (WHAS11) -- The sale of "The Midlands" to the US Department of Veterans Affairs is signed, sealed and delivered.
The sale of "The Midlands" by Blue Equity, LLC to the US Department of Veterans Affairs was completed on Tuesday, marking the official end to the controversial site selection of a new Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Louisville.
According to a release by the Department of Veterans Affairs, the 34.5 acre site was purchased for the fair market value of $12.905M.
Master planning is currently underway and the design phase should begin as early as October 2012. Construction is anticipated to begin in 2014 with completion in 2018.
The Department of Veterans Affairs has planned a public town hall forum for the evening of August 15 where more information will be shared with the local community.
U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell made the following statement Thursday regarding the Department of Veterans Affairs announcement:
“Now that the Department of Veterans Affairs has finally selected a location for the Robley Rex VA Medical Center, work can begin on the new state-of-art facility, which will ensure that the men and women who so bravely served our country will receive the quality health care they deserve," said Sen. McConnell. "The construction on the new VA hospital has been a top priority of mine, and I’m pleased the VA Secretary made the decision. Our veterans have waited long enough; it’s time to get construction underway.”
On June 28, The VA announced it had chosen the 36-acre field off Brownsboro Road at I-264 for the hospital, to replace the current Robley Rex medical center on Zorn Avenue.
The real estate closing announced by Blue Equity on Tuesday completes the deal.
“The Midlands is situated in a prime location within the City of Louisville," said Jonathan S. Blue, Chairman and Managing Director of Blue Equity, LLC in a statement released to WHAS11. "We considered many opportunities, options and offers for the development of this site and are especially gratified that it will be used for such an upstanding purpose."
Neighbors in the congested area near the Holiday Manor shopping center had expressed concerns about the major medical center being relocated into cramped quarters.
But a Blue Equity news release reiterated that The Midlands was the only remaining tract of its size of greenfield, ground ready land with the closest proximity to the current hospital and centrally located to most of the Louisville metropolitan area.
"The new VA medical center will serve our veterans well," Blue continued, "while bolstering the local economy with both new construction and new medical center employment opportunities. It is anticipated that there will be many reciprocal benefits with the close proximity of the new VA medical center to the well established downtown Louisville medical community and facilities.”
The new medical center is slated as a full-service hospital (inpatient and outpatient) for an estimated 65,000 veterans in western Kentucky and southern Indiana each year.