A new skilled nursing facility in College Township, Pa. received a direct loan commitment of $34 million from an interesting partner: the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
The USDA approved the commitment for the new Centre Care Health Center, which will be operated by the non-profit Centre Care and replace the existing Centre Crest facility in Bellefonte, Pa. The USDA loan has an interest rate of 3.875%, fixed for the entire 36-year term.
Complete HealthCare Resources of Dresher, Pa., serves as the management company at the facility and was involved in the transfer of operations to Centre Care.
The loan is contingent upon Centre Care raising an additional $6 million in contributions, which it hopes to do through savings and a fundraising campaign this fall. The company has begun the capital campaign to raise the funds, Ed Balliet, chief operating officer of Complete HealthCare Resources, told Skilled Nursing News.
“We are looking at groundbreaking and construction to start in early spring next year,” Balliet said. “The ultimate goal is to complete this project and then potentially add personal care and independent living to the site.”
Complete HealthCare is acting in a developer role for the new project and has served as the management company for the non-profit since December 2013, Todd Wagner, vice president of financial management and business development told SNN.
The 240-bed facility is projected to open in 2020 and will be the largest of three Centre County nursing facilities licensed to provide Medicaid care, according to a press release announcing the loan commitment. The facility will provide traditional long-term care and feature three specialty neighborhoods: high-acuity for those with complex medical conditions, memory care, and short-term rehabilitation.
The building was also designed in such a way that additional services could be added, and Complete HealthCare is also investigating putting in a dialysis unit, Balliet said. Centre Care purchased a 30-acre site, and only about half of that will be used for the skilled nursing unit, Wagner said, though whether the additional services will be assisted living or independent living isn’t yet determined.
Miles Kingston of the Columbus, Ohio-based senior housing lender Lancaster Pollard structured the financing and helped Centre Crest obtain the commitment using the USDA Community Facilities Program. The program provides affordable funding for the development of “essential community facilities in rural areas,” according to the program’s web page.
“You do have to be a non-profit located in what the USDA defines as a rural area,” Kingston told SNN. “It’s census-defined … so not everyone’s going to qualify, but this project and entity did.”
The process does take longer than with more traditional financing sources such as a bank; Kingston estimated that it was about a year from the point Lancaster Pollard became involved to the securing of the commitment. But given the terms of the financing, “it was pretty clear this was the route to go,” he added.
“The USDA commitment is the biggest financial infusion to happen to our facility in its 80-year history,” Betsy Boyer, board president of Centre Care, said in the release. “We are thrilled to receive the backing of the USDA so we can move forward with the board’s vision of building a new home for the county.”
Written by Maggie Flynn