County Executive Robert P. Astorino today announced that the county’s Local Development Corporation (LDC) approved a resolution that will give White Plains Hospital access to $108 million in tax-exempt bond financing to construct a six-story patient care building, five new operating rooms and an expanded outpatient radiology center. The expansion and renovation plan is the LDC’s largest transaction since it was established by Astorino in January 2012.“The investment that White Plains Hospital is making today, thanks to the Local Development Corporation, will deliver state-of-the-art essential healthcare services to Westchester residents for generations to come,” said Astorino. “This project will also produce a variety of high-wage jobs both during and after construction. This will add to the long-term vitality of White Plains, Westchester and the region.”
About 75 full-time, high-wage union construction jobs will be created as a result of a signed project labor agreement between the contractor, Gilbane Building Company, and Edward Doyle, Sr., Teamsters president, representing 34 local trade unions.
With the White Plains Hospital project, the LDC will have issued $246,425,000 in tax-exempt bonds to Westchester non-profits. There is no financial risk to county taxpayers.
Site preparation will begin immediately and construction will commence in November. It will take approximately 24 months to complete the project.
“The responsiveness and accessibility of Astorino’s team and the dramatic savings we will realize from financing through the LDC is what closed the deal and got this project rolling.” said Jon B. Schandler, White Plains Hospital president and chief executive officer. “We are saving nearly $3 million over the next 30 years by going with the LDC instead of other options. That savings will instead be invested in patient support, life-saving technology and clinical training.”
Before the LDC board voted to approve this landmark project, Schandler and Edward F. Leonard, White Plains Hospital’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, presented their project to the LDC board and shared the details of the plan.
The project will add 51,000 square feet of space and renovate 14,000 square feet. The upgrades will include:
· A six-story patient care building that will house two medical/surgical floors, family waiting rooms, and 24 new private patient rooms. With a total of 114 private patient rooms, the percentage of private rooms will double. Private rooms address infection and privacy issues and are more convenient for family members.
· Five new modern operating room suites, along with new pre-op and recovery areas. Featuring state-of-the-art lighting, operating tables, ceiling-mounted equipment, and minimally invasive technology, these new operating rooms will maximize space and minimize turnaround time between procedures.
· An expanded outpatient radiology center will feature new waiting rooms for patients and family members, ensuring patient comfort and privacy.
· A new covered front entrance and lobby, with a glass atrium and a new café, will improve traffic flow and provide patients and visitors with greater comfort and convenience during arrivals and departures.
· Energy conservation strategies and sustainable technology that will reduce costs while being socially responsible.
“I applaud County Executive Astorino’s efforts to create jobs for our tradesman. The White Plains Hospital project is going to create over 75 good paying jobs for our fellow tradesmen for the next two years,” said Doyle. “This wouldn’t have happened without Rob Astorino’s commitment to working families.”
Astorino established the county LDC to fill a void that had existed since January 2008, when the state's Industrial Development Agencies, including Westchester's, lost the authority to issue bonds on behalf of non-profit organizations.
Created under the state's Not-For-Profit Corporation Law, the LDC consists of a board that reviews requests from non-profits seeking tax-free bonds and other financial incentives. The board consists of seven individuals, four of whom are appointed by the county executive, one by the legislative majority conference, one by the legislative minority conference and a representative from labor.
The LDC provides non-profits access to millions of dollars in low-cost, tax-exempt bonds for the financing of job-creating construction projects. There is no financial risk to the county. The obligation for repaying the debt rests solely with the non-profit organizations. The LDC acts as a conduit to enable the non-profits to receive tax exempt status.
Any non-profit organization looking to access the low-cost and tax-exempt project financing made available through the LDC should contact Jim Coleman, executive director of the LDC, at (914) 995-2963 or firstname.lastname@example.org.