Fletcher Allen seeks state permission to buy 130 acres, office buildings in South Burlington


Fletcher Allen is seeking approval to purchase 130 acres of land and five office buildings in South Burlington.

Fletcher Allen Health Care this week submitted a certificate of need (CON) application to the Green Mountain Care Board, outlining a $52 million plan to purchase the 91.35-acre Mountain View Business Park off Hinesburg Road and an adjacent 38-acre parcel known as O'Brien Farm.

If the deal goes through, said Dave Keeley, director of finances and planning at Fletcher Allen, the property will provide space for the future expansion of outpatient services, which are projected to grow in the next decade. Development would also allow for more inpatient space at the hospital's main center in Burlington.

The hospital has considered buying additional real estate since 2002, Keeley said, and found that low interest rates offered an opportune time to make the purchase. Fletcher Allen has no immediate plans to build new facilities at the site.

"A lot of the property is for future use," senior media relations strategist Mike Noble said. "That helps us preserve the medical center for inpatient use."

Fletcher Allen said it will make a 15 percent down payment on the total $52,641,971 price tag, which includes purchase and acquisition costs, and take out a mortgage to cover the rest.

The acquisition, Keeley said, is expected to pay for itself within 19 years.

Fletcher Allen now leases two of the five office buildings, housing the orthopedic specialty center, the outpatient cardiology clinic, cardiac rehabilitation, endocrinology and the pain clinic.

Fletcher Allen will acquire the land from property owner Pizzagalli Properties LLC, pending Act 250 and other permitting necessary for future development.

The Green Mountain Care Board will review Fletcher Allen's application, said Mike Donofrio, general counsel to the board. That will take two to six months.

Although he couldn't comment on the specific case, Donofrio noted that historically, "most CONs where someone gets to the point of getting in an application are passed. But it's not like a court case," he added. "Past precedent doesn't dictate what happens in a present case."


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