HOLLIDAYSBURG - A Chicago real estate investment company will market Valley View Home at $13.5 million, based on an agreement the Blair County commissioners approved Tuesday.
Marcus & Millichap, whose representatives publicly addressed commissioners two weeks ago, put that listing price in the agreement naming the company as the exclusive agent to market the 240-bed nursing facility for distribution to potential buyers.
Blair County solicitor Nathan Karn, who reviewed the agreement, said there's no guarantee that a buyer would pay that amount or more.
"They were able to do a financial analysis and that is where they thought it was logical to start," Karn said.
Several Valley View employees, some of whom addressed commissioners last week and asked them to retain ownership of the home, attended Tuesday's meeting and left after the vote on the agreement.
"We were extremely disappointed," said union leader Dawn Futrell of the Service Employees International Union Healthcare. "But we're still hopeful because the community seems to be behind us. We collected 4,000 signatures in six days."
Nursing home sales
The National Seniors Housing Group of Marcus & Millichap, based in Chicago, completes around $500 million worth of senior housing transactions annually.
Between February 2009 and August 2012, it assisted in the sale of 11 Pennsylvania facilities for prices ranging from $995,000 to $15.6 million.
Among those transactions:
- Caroline Manor Personal Care Home, Nanty Glo, 44 beds, $950,000, September 2009
- Main Line Nursing & Rehabilitation, Malvern, 184 beds, $8.43 million, February 2009
- Laurel Crest Home, Ebensburg, 370 beds, $14.25 million, January 2010
- Weatherwood Home, Weatherly, 200 beds, $11.05 million, July 2010
Source: Marcus & Millichap 2012 Client Information Package
The employees presented commissioners last week with those signatures on petitions in favor of the county retaining ownership of Valley View Home. But ownership, according to Commissioners Chairman Terry Tomassetti, presents the county and the county's taxpayers with a significant potential liability because of changes in the health care industry.
"There's a misconception in the community that the county is doing this to make money," Tomassetti said. "That is 100 percent inaccurate."
Commissioners Diane Meling also addressed a concern she has been hearing.
"I'd like to assure residents that they'll be able to continue residing at the home," she said. "Nobody needs to worry about finding an alternative place to live."
Commissioner Ted Beam Jr. said he voted for the agreement because he wants to know as much as possible before confronting a decision to sell the home. He and Meling said they've been contacted, via email, by companies interested in Valley View Home.
"I think we have to go through with this to see what the property could bring," Beam said.
Under the agreement, Marcus & Millichap will take on the task of putting together a detailed description of Valley View to be distributed to potential buyers. That description is expected to mention the soccer grounds around the home as a potential option for a buyer to consider, county officials said.
Commissioners said they will have input into the description and could add language for buyers to consider concerning employees and residents. Meling said she is interested, if the home is to be sold, in language guaranteeing that a high number of beds will continue to be occupied by Blair County residents.
No matter what language is included in the detailed description, Karn said that everything in that document will be subject to negotiation on what becomes a sales agreement.
Under Pennsylvania's Sunshine Law, commissioners will be able to work on the detailed agreement and a proposed sales agreement outside of their weekly public meetings. The law allows private executive sessions for the discussion of proposed real estate transactions, but votes on real estate transactions must be considered in public.