March 15th marks the latest deadline for property owners in the downtown hospital footprint to respond to their purchase option agreements. The hospital extended the option agreements from February 28th to March 15th. The last we knew there were only 2 business that signed offers with MVHS. No new numbers have been provided from the hospital. Some of the businesses like the Compassion Coalition, and U.A.P. Engine Rebuilders are in negotiations, while others are still waiting for an invitation to the negotiation table, and then there’s business owners like Joe Cerini of Citation Services, who have received an offer, but have no plans of accepting one.
"It’s not a price thing. I mean I did throw out I wouldn’t sell for a million and a half. Right now I really don’t plan on selling. If I do leave I’m going to have to re-structure the whole business."
Businesses have been offered relocation funding to help with potential moves, but the several businesses I spoke with today say the money being offered pales in comparison to the amount needed to move their company. Another factor many businesses are expressing: the loss in time, wages, finding a new place to do business, rent or a mortgage, and some of the older businesses are up against time.
Joe Cerini: "I don’t have the energy to be moving you know boxes and boxes and organizing and you know… not like I was younger, so I’m not going to ever get that back."
We did reach out to the hospital for to see what happens from this point forward and received no response. Hospital officials did say they would be available for comment next week. While the hospital waits to hear from business owners about the purchase option agreements, some business owners are preparing for a fight.
Joe Cerini: "I’m going to be here until we have to take legal action, and just stand my ground."
That being said, the hospital is continuing to move forward with plans to have the complex completed by the summer of 2022.