Bidding war will delay Bartlet sale
A BIDDING war for the Bartlet hospital has meant that the sale timetable has had to be pushed back, it can be revealed today.More developers than expected have shown an interest in snapping up the hospital and most are understood to be well over the suggested price of £2million.
By Richard Cornwell
A BIDDING war for the Bartlet hospital has meant that the sale timetable has had to be pushed back, it can be revealed today.
More developers than expected have shown an interest in snapping up the hospital and most are understood to be well over the suggested price of £2million.
Martin Royal, director of business development for the Suffolk Primary Care Trust and in charge of the sale, said the number of bids had pushed back the sale timetable.
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PCT officials had been hoping to meet with selected bidders in early January, but now had a series of comprehensive and detailed business proposals to analyse before choosing those to meet, which would probably be late January or early February.
Mr Royal said he could not give the exact number of bidders or details of potential development projects they identify for the Bartlet because of commercial confidentiality.
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All companies or groups had completed successfully the pre-qualification questionnaire except one, which had not answered all the questions and would take no further part in the process.
Sale of the hospital was a complex matter as the PCT had to be satisfied firstly there was not sufficient realistic interest in selling it for its current use.
The questionnaire sought details of the companies, their finances, track records, and ideas.
Mr Royal said: “We have had a healthy return and we now have to carry out a technical evaluation of what they are saying in the documents we have received.
“Those documents are very comprehensive and we are sifting through them now.
“Then we will invite some to come to talk to the PCT so we can look further at their ideas, see which meets our requirements and which offers best value for money.”
At the moment the Bartlet is home to Felixstowe General Hospital, which is to undergo a £1.4m refurbishment.
The Bartlet cannot be sold until this is complete and the General moves back to Constable Road, possibly not until spring 2008.
It has been suggested the Bartlet, a listed building, could be suitable for redevelopment as offices, such as headquarters for a business, or for luxury apartments with panoramic seaviews.
If a change of use is approved, buyers will be required to pay the PCT 60 per cent of the increased value of the building and its site resulting from the alternative use or redevelopment.
What would you like to see the Bartlet use for in future? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN, or e-mail EveningStarLetters@eveningstar.co.uk