The Government has re-advertised the multi-million-tala Medcen Hospital facility at Vailima which has been on the market for several years now.
This time, the facility is being advertised by the Land Board through the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment (M.N.R.E.).
The expression of interest (E.O.I.) is signed by M.N.R.E. Chief Executive Officer, Ulu Bismark Crawley.
It is unclear why the property has now been advertised by the M.N.R.E.
In the past, it was the Development Bank of Samoa that had advertised it.
“E.O.I. from interested investors and or parties to express interest to develop and or invest on the lease of 2 1.2 acre of land with an area of 10,222 square meters bearing legal description Lot 2180 plan 6029 and the exiting building, previously used for the Medcen Hospital,” the notice reads.
“The interested parties are at liberty to submit its E.O.I. on how it proposes to utilise and develop the land and building as an investment utility that will provide opportunities to cater and accommodate for social and economic needs.
“The property is located in close proximity to our National health center, regional organisation offices (S.P.R.E.P.), schools, embassies of different countries, government ministries outlet (M.N.R.E./M.A.F.), tourist sites, and town area which not only enhances but also enriches the value added opportunities for any investment venture to foster and nurture in this area.
“Interested parties must submit an E.O.I. with evidence to support that they have legal capacity to enter into contracts for the development and divestment of the old Medcen building.
“They have financial resources in support of its proposal to develop, utilise and invest on a 21.2 acre of land and building there on.
“They possess the relevant technical and organisational capacity, experience and professionalism to divest and also propose a business plan including past or present experiences on similar projects.”
According to the E.O.I, all expressions of interest will be carefully assessed by the Land Board and successful applications will be notified accordingly.
In May, 2017, the Development Bank of Samoa re-advertised the property for sale or as lease-to-own.
As reported earlier, the Minister of Finance, Sili Epa Tuioti, said while the hospital no longer operates, the building is owned by the D.B.S.
“They have not been able to offload the building to sell because it’s on Government land,” Sili said during a previous interview.
“They need to come to some discussion with the Land Board about the land. It makes sense for Development Bank to sell it (building) unless the Government has any use of that land and building and get a decent return for the building.”
Sili added the sooner “we let it (building) go to government cooperation, the better, because every year it sits there not being utilised causes further deterioration to the building.”
Before the launch of Medcen in 1998, a keen supporter of the project, the Pacific Islands Investment Facility (P.I.I.F.), promised the hospital would "upgrade standards, relieve pressures on the public system, incorporate special programmes to bring benefits to the wider community, save foreign exchange, and by providing improved health care, support increased tourism and foreign investment”.
But several years ago, the hospital ran into financial problems.
D.B.S. then moved in and took over the assets and equipment. The Bank was Medcen's biggest creditor, and had poured $2million into the project.