Agreement reached on Marin hospital lease

GREENBRAE -- Marin General Hospital's lease is set to expire in 2015, and both the health care district and the nonprofit that oversee functions of the hospital have agreed on terms of a new lease that they will put to voters in an upcoming June election.

The Marin Healthcare District owns the hospital, but day-to-day operations are handled by the Marin General Hospital Corporation, which was formed when Sutter Health ceded control in 2010.

Recently, the district board agreed on terms of a new, 30-year lease that would take effect in December 2015, pending a simple majority vote by Marin voters in the June election. Under the approved terms, the nonprofit Marin General Hospital Corporation would pay the district $500,000 a year in rent.

The hospital corporation would also pay the health care district an additional percentage of profits, depending on the overall financial health of the hospital, including cash reserves and its credit rating.

Jon Friedenberg, chief fund and business development officer of the district, said he doesn't anticipate much opposition to the lease terms. Still, the district is making every effort to let the public weigh in, holding five sessions for the public to comment beginning last week. Information on when and where the meetings will take place, along with terms of the lease, can be found at www.marinhealthcare.org.

 "I don't think it's going to be particularly controversial," Mr. Friedenberg said.

The health care district also plans to have a general obligation bond on the November ballot, with the aim of raising $350 million for construction of a new, seismically sound hospital, which is estimated to cost $500 million. The difference would be made up in a capital campaign.


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