Philadelphia ends negotiations with Hahnemann Hospital for expanded COVID-19 facility

Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney said during a press conference Thursday that Hahnemann Hospital is no longer being considered for a COVID-19 treatment facility, after brief negotiations deteriorated.

Hahnemann, which was decommissioned in 2019, is currently vacant and in a state of disrepair according to Kenney. Although the building can hold the city's desired number of beds, Mayor Kenney said extensive work is required to make the building usable again.

Building owner Joel Freedman reportedly wanted to sell the building to the city, but Mayor Kenney said the city lacked the resources necessary to make a purchase. 

According to Kenney, Freedman then offered to rent the building out to the city for $400,000 a month, plus improvement and expenses. But the expenditure would still cost around $1M a month.

Kenney said Freedman balked at the city's counter-offer to pay a "nominal fee" as well as upkeep and expenses for the building. The talks reportedly broke down following Freedman's refusal.


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"In the midst of a public health crisis with the number of positive cases increasing daily, we simply do not have the time to continue in a lengthy negotiation," Kenny said.

The city also looked into exercising eminent domain which would have allowed the city to purchase the building on fair market value.

"It is a lengthy and complicated process under state law and we also don't have that sort of time," Kenny said. "We don't have the need to own it nor the resources to buy it, so we are done and we are moving on."

Mayor Kenney says the city will continue to look for temporary healthcare facilities that will serve as field hospitals, isolation spaces and quarantine space. 

"I fully expect we will find owners who are ready and willing to step up to work with us and to do what's best for all Philadelphians," Kenny said.


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