Knoxville EUL Questions and Answers
The selection of a preferred developer means that VA is providing that organization with the opportunity to translate their concept for developing approximately 163 acres of VA land into a detailed development plan that must meet VA, community and city ordinance criteria in order for a lease to be executed.
If an agreement can be successfully negotiated, Veterans will receive VA’s well-documented superior care in new facilities on the Knoxville, IA campus.
Veterans will have modern housing suited to a variety of housing needs on a VA campus with access to outpatient, primary, specialty and mental health care as well as nursing home and respite care.
As always, VA expects the preferred developer will work closely with local, city, county and State zoning officials to assure that their proposed plan is consistent with the existing zoning regulations. (Reference Section 2.2, last paragraph of the section) The preferred developer will be required to independently pursue discussions with the appropriate State and local authorities if any zoning changes to the EUL Site are desired.
Additionally, the EUL Site is currently under exclusive Federal legislative jurisdiction. Prior to executing the EUL, VA plans to retrocede such jurisdiction to the State of Iowa, such that the EUL Site will thereafter be subject to concurrent legislative jurisdiction. To that end, during the EUL term, the selected Developer will be required to provide police, fire, and emergency services to the EUL site.
VA must approve any change in the use delineated in the lease. VA uses an EUL instead of selling land to ensure that the reuse of the buildings and land is compatible with the VA mission and the reuse cannot be changed without VA explicit approval.
VA has indicated to the preferred developer that a development plan should be provided within 90-days of the developer selection. Depending on individual circumstances, VA may choose to continue to pursue the transaction with the preferred developer beyond 90 days.
Yes, VA will review and approve the development plan to ensure that it meets the requirements of the RFP. The developer under the EUL will in part be authorized and responsible for financing, designing, developing, operating, and maintaining the EUL Site in accordance with a detailed development plan approved by VA (“Development Plan”) and applicable Federal, State, and local laws, codes, ordinances, and regulations.
The developer is expected to use the local planning and zoning process to present its plan to the community for review and consideration. However, the Developer has been encouraged to interact with the community regarding the development plan as appropriate in order to facilitate a successful project. VA feels strongly that the community be part of the project dialogue.
VA will terminate the preferred designation status and initiate a new RFP to select a preferred developer. Tantamount to the success of this ambitious project is a plan that meets all of VA’s stringent criterion.
The VA and the preferred developer will negotiate the development plan. The developer will work with the local planning and zoning process in that effort.
VA will undertake and provide results of environmental assessments including a NEPA analysis to the developer and work with the developer to ensure compliance with the State Historic Preservation Office requirements.
Development plan is then submitted to VA for final approval.
If the plan meets RFP criteria, VA will submit a notification to Congress of intent to execute a lease within 45 days.
Examples include a hospice in Tuscaloosa, AL by a non-profit developer; an energy program center in Chicago, IL; co-location of healthcare services in Columbia, SC and multiple transitional housing developments. There are more examples on VA’s website.
It is very unusual for an EUL to include an entire campus, with Knoxville, IA being one of the few places where the entire campus is offered for an EUL. The others include the entire campus at Lincoln, NE and Brecksville, OH. The Brecksville EUL closed approximately four or five months ago.
Preliminary ranges of cost are between $175 PSF and $250 PSF, based on previous VA clinic construction. A more specific estimate will depend on the actual costs in the Knoxville market.
VA can supplement the construction costs to ensure that the consideration is fair. However, there is usually no arrangement made for a lease-back as that would result in questions with the Office of Management & Budget (“OMB”).
The Request For Expressions of Interest (“REI”) and Request For Proposal (“RFP”) will not likely have that level of detail.
Yes. The history of VA is to take the state and local jurisdiction into consideration. The successful Developer will need to work with the state and local governments. VA will not offer any exemption to this just because the campus is a Federal property. However, the Developer is free to negotiate any exemptions or Payments In Lieu of Taxes (“PILOT”) with the jurisdiction.
VAMC Knoxville is under concurrent jurisdiction. Most Medical Centers are under concurrent jurisdictions.
The negotiations for the Programmatic Agreement (“PA”) are the responsibility of the Developer and should occur on a parallel path to the negotiation with VA for the lease. VA would like there to be a concurrent PA and negotiations with VA for the lease, as the Developer will be acting on behalf of VA for compliance with the Section 106 Process.