A partner involved in the development of Victory Medical Center on the city’s Near South Side said it expects to resume construction by month’s end on the building’s exterior while it negotiates for a new tenant in the wake of the bankruptcy filing of Victory Healthcare’s parent company.
Victory Healthcare, based in The Woodlands, filed for Chapter 11 reorganization Friday night in Fort Worth. Victory Parent Co. manages six for-profit medical and surgical centers in Texas and has another under construction at the northwest corner of Main and Pennsylvania streets in Fort Worth.
Robert Nelms Jr., Victory’s chairman and chief executive, said in a statement that the bankruptcy resulted because the company was “under attack by large insurance carriers.” The filing allows Victory to continue operating as it searches for buyers, which it hopes to complete in the next couple of months, he said.
“Even though we were able to execute in-network agreements with three large insurers, the extreme slowness and lack of payment from the carriers constrained liquidity significantly,” Helms said. “We have responded by reducing expenses and changing our facilities to provide fewer services and kept our emergency rooms open. Unfortunately, now we have no other choice except to sell our facilities.”
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The Fort Worth project was announced in 2013, and construction started last year.
Tom Pisula, with Pisula Development, said Monday that construction stopped Feb. 17 when it learned Victory Healthcare was starting to have “significant troubles.”
But now, at least 10 potential groups are interested in becoming the tenant in the development, including a large, public teaching hospital, Pisula said. He declined to name the hospital. Of the 10 interested parties, three are public institutions and seven are private physician-surgical groups, he said.
As a result, construction will resume to compete the exterior of the building, and interior work will begin when a tenant is signed, he said.
The Fort Worth facility is a three-story, 104,971-square-foot building. It was the first phase of a planned $72 million, three-phase project that was to also have medical offices, and retail and residential space in two other buildings.
The project was on tap to receive $2.3 million in tax increment financing funding for streetscape and utility work.
Victory’s bankruptcy filing covers its facilities in Hurst, Plano, McKinney and San Antonio. Victory recently sold a Houston center, and said it has buyers for another Houston center, one in Beaumont and the Plano site. On the bankruptcy filing, the company lists its assets as between $1 million and $10 million, but its liabilities between $10 million and $50 million.
Victory Healthcare said it has 160 employees companywide. The company was founded in 2005.
Sandra Baker, 817-390-7727