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Hillcrest to purchase leased properties from Knox County

6:32 PM, Jan 28, 2013   |    comments
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Knox County commissioners approved a deal Monday to transfer ownership of three leased properties to Hillcrest Healthcare.

In return, Hillcrest will pay the county $5,275,000.

Hillcrest uses their two of the locations to provide nursing home care to Knox County's senior citizens, 72% of which are indigent according to the county. 

The third, the old Tuburculosis Hospital, is used for their administrative offices.

Commissioner Mike Hammond said during the meeting that documents he reviewed showed the properties appraised for $11.2 million. 

County Finance Director Chris Caldwell says that some of the $6 million difference from appraisal to price tag will be used by Hillcrest to make capital improvements, including demolishing or renovating the old Tuburculosis Hospital.

According to an attorney for the Industrial Development Board, Hillcrest will not be able to sell the property in the future without Knox County's consent.

With the county's permission, there are three scenarios where they could sell:
  • If they sell to an entity that would assume Hillcrest's current responsibilities.
  • If they used any proceeds from a potential sale to build a new facility in the same geographic region.
  • If the county and Hillcrest agree there is a better use for the properties, they could be sold, so long any profit goes to the county.

"I think that we are as safe as we could be in a contractual way," says Chairman Tony Norman before the unanimous vote.

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