Capital Health has just gotten the biggest mortgage the FHA has granted in its 75-year history. The century old healthcare center, now operating from a landlocked hospital campus in Trenton, is assured of being able to move ahead with its plans to build a modern hospital center in Hopewell.

The FHA announced late last week that it has finalized a deal to insure a $756 million loan from its hospital insurance program for Capital Health. The insurance allows the healthcare organization to save about $538 million in interest expense over the 25-year life of the loan.

The loan finances a $530 million, 223-bed hospital, a $45 million expansion of Capital Health’s Fuld Hospital in Trenton, and a consolidation of debt.

New Jersey state officials approved the Certificate of Need for the new hospital in December 2006. At that time, hospital officials had planned to build the facility on a 32-acre site the hospital owned in Lawrence Township. Since then the plans changed, and Capital Health moved its project to a 165-acre site in Hopewell Township.

That site, owned by Merrill Lynch, was already zoned for hospital use. It is on the east side of Scotch Road between the Interstate 95 interchange and Merrill Lynch’s Southfields Office Park.

Just before the loan guarantee was announced, Capital Health announced that it had awarded the construction contract for the project to Skanska, an $18 billion international general contractor based in Stockholm. That company will build the two-building, nearly 1 million-square-foot hospital complex, which is expected to open in the October, 2011 (the same year the new Princeton Medical Center is scheduled to open on Route 1). The two Capital Health buildings will be linked at the floor level with a public atrium and lobby area.

Don MacNeill, spokesman for Capital Health, says that steel is already rising on the site. He also says that local and minority-owned businesses will receive a share of subcontracting work on the project, which is expected to generate 4,700 full-time jobs and to provide an economic stimulus of nearly $1.7 billion during its construction period. The FHA estimates that the healthcare center will support another 2,200 jobs after construction is complete.

Capital Health, 446 Bellevue Avenue, Trenton 08618; 609-394-4000; fax, 609-695-8865. Al Maghazehe PhD, president & CEO.

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