Thursday, March 17, 2011

Blood Center on state's UMC plan: "I guess I find it somewhat ridiculous”

This issue involving the Blood Center, one of the largest occupants of the LSU Footprint, is even fishier, as pointed out in a WWLTV piece:

In the meantime, the state says it has gotten two appraisals on the Blood Center properties and made an offer based on "the higher of the two appraisals."

But Weales said this is where the disagreement over the value of the Blood Center's properties becomes curious. He said the state refuses to show him its appraisals.

“Which I find somewhat appalling,” he said. “I guess I'm wondering what are they trying to hide from me at this point?”

We have asked spokesman Michael DiResto why the Division of Administration has refused to provide a copy of its appraisal. He said, "We do not give out copies of appraisals to any property owners..."

The Blood Center has bought a building in the 2600 block of Canal Street and the land behind it for the new Blood Center. But since the teaching hospital will be one of its biggest clients, Weales argues it makes more sense for the Blood Center to stay where it is right now.

“Being the fact that we are a biomedical company and we are the provider of blood and blood components to the Medical Center of Louisiana,” Weales said, “it makes perfect sense for us to be in the middle of the biomedical corridor.”

Mr. Weales was asking all the right questions and making all the right observations.  In fact, I'd go so far as to say that he was on fire:

And Weales says to take a look at the footprint for the new hospital. It shows the property that the Blood Center now occupies on the corner of the campus will be green space.

“So I'm really curious as to why they need this property,” Weales said.

At a time when the state has a budget crisis and when it still doesn't have hundreds of millions of dollars lined up to finance the new hospital, Weales argues it makes no sense to pay millions of dollars -- whatever the final price -- to build green space around the new hospital.

“Absolutely not,” Weales said. “Not only that they have yet to be able to completely finance this project.”

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