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Deal on Fort Monmouth Clinic Tweaked

Financing an issue with healthcare facility to be located in the former Army clinic in Oceanport.

The first new ratable promised to Oceanport from inside the gates of Fort Monmouth received a tweak to its deal this week.

The board of the Fort Monmouth Economic Revitalization Authority (FMERA) unanimously approved a change the $2.7 million purchase agreement for the Paterson Health Clinic approved in September.

AcuteCare Health Systems, which is affiliated with Monmouth Medical Center, will reuse the space once slated for demolition, to provide care for seniors, veterans and other patients. Fort redevelopers expect that the reuse will eventually net 200 new jobs for the area.

The sale price fort the property hasn't changed, but details of how it will be paid have. In the original agreement FMERA reserved the right to buy back the property if AcuteCare did not complete promised renovations.

According to the board, lenders for AcuteCare said that clause would "negatively impact AcuteCare's ability to finance the purchase and renovation of the clinic." In place of that clause, AcuteCare upped its bond to secure its obligation to renovate from $2 million to $2.5 million.

Board Chairman James V. Gorman said the move is an acknowledgment that the "lending industry is under duress."

He said the change on FMERA's part is an "alternate means of accomplishing the same thing."

The original buy back clause, he said, was assurance that "we were gonna get what we were told we would get." The increase bond he said, is a safeguard that is used in the private sector.

"We should consider financing people ourselves that we feel are worthy," he said, telling board member and President and CEO of the Economic Development Authority Tim Lizura, to "increase his efforts" to do that. The EDA is the state arm which oversees FMERA and also, among other things, provides financing to New Jersey small businesses.

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