Real estate developer buys shuttered MetroSouth Medical Center in Blue Island
The buyer intends to use the main building for veterans services. It is unclear what Lockwood Development will do with the rest of the hospital campus that has been vacant since last year.
The now-shuttered MetroSouth Medical Center might be reopened to house veterans services, but it was unclear if it will be a health care provider.
Blue Island officials were notified Quorum Health completed the sale of MetroSouth Medical Center property to Lockwood Development Partners, a New York-based real estate development company with offices in Chicago.
City officials said Lockwood plans to use the main hospital building for veterans services, but It was unclear what the developers will do with the rest of the medical campus that has remained vacant since last year.
The equipment in the former MetroSouth emergency room will also be transferred to Lockwood.
A spokeswoman for Quorum confirmed the sale and said it is confident Lockwood “will work closely with key community leaders and city officials as they develop plans to utilize the campus.” Lockwood could not immediately be reached.
“Our entire community has felt the impact of the closure of MetroSouth Medical Center,” Mayor Domingo Vargas said in a statement. “I encourage Lockwood to present a plan that partners with local health care providers to use part of the facility for much-needed emergency and urgent care. The residents of Blue Island need and deserve quality health care in our community.”
Quorum announced plans to close the century-old hospital last August, which sparked outrage from staff, Blue Island residents and local politicians. At the time of the planned closure, MetroSouth was losing an average $2 million a year from 2014 through 2017 and suffered an $8.4 million loss in 2018.
MetroSouth, once the largest employer in Blue Island, closed in October after several months of fighting with state regulators.
In December, the founder of a Chicago-based health care consulting firm said he had a tentative deal to buy the hospital for $1. Reached Friday, the would-be buyer, David Smith, CEO of Third Horizon Strategies, said Quorum “adopted a posture with respect to preconditions for the building that were no longer tenable to us.”