Lease termination cancels urgent care center in S’thorne
December 22, 2005
SILVERTHORNE – A pending lease termination between the Ptarmigan Medical Center and the developer of the Blue River Professional Building could leave the future of medical care in Silverthorne up in the air.Local family practitioner Dr. Sue Dillon and her partner, surgery center consultant David James, signed a 10-year lease in October 2004 with Indiana-based Wise Incorporated, the developer of the still-unfinished building near the Village Inn.Dillon planned to open an urgent care center called the Ptarmigan Medical Center early next year, which would have fulfilled a need for Silverthorne – the only town in Summit County without a medical facility.But the lease between the two ended earlier this month, Dillon said, leaving uncertainties in what will fill the 4,600 square feet of the 11,000-square-foot building the medical center was supposed to occupy.”We’ve had discussions with Ptarmigan Medical that they may not be proceeding forward. We, in our office, have not received any formal notification of that yet,” said Wise Inc. developer Steve Lowry on Wednesday.Lowry said that he anticipates the formal notice will come this week, and that Wise is working with another medical practice that is interested in taking the space.
Ken Deshaies of Snow Home Properties, the Realtor in charge of the property, said if a deal cannot be made with another medical facility, the vacancy would likely be rented as office space.Silverthorne Mayor Lou DelPiccolo expressed regret at the possibility that urgent medical care may continue to be absent in town.”Having some sort of medical facility service has been something we’ve long wanted and did welcome when we heard this one was going in … I guess it’s yet another disappointment in a line of disappointments,” DelPiccolo said, referring to plans in previous years with both High Country Health Care and the Vail Valley Medical Center that never materialized.Dillon, who has been attempting to open a medical center in the county for several years, said her deal with Wise began to break down two weeks ago when she found out the company had made a move that took away her future ownership in the building. One of the incentives of signing the lease was that Dillon would have partial ownership after the 10-year lease period was over, she said.She began earning ownership interest at the time of the signing and was planning to use those funds as equity for her business loan. But without ownership the money isn’t there, Dillon said.She and James hired an attorney to work with Wise, Inc. but the situation could not be worked out, she said.
“The bottom line is I don’t have any ownership and there’s nothing I can do about it,” Dillon said.Lowry said Ptarmigan Medical Center voluntarily ended its lease with the company, and that Wise, Inc. is working with the group to accommodate its wishes.”I think from my standpoint there was nothing stopping Ptarmigan Medical from moving forward from our side,” Lowry said. “Any time one gets into a new business venture there’s going to be a due diligence period to see if that works or not.” Lowry added that Wise, Inc. continues to offer ownership to those who sign a long-term lease with the company.Deshaies also signed a lease with Wise to move his company into the building. An attachment to both his agreement and Dillon’s agreement says money toward ownership does not begin accruing until occupancy commences and the tenants begin paying rent, Deshaies said.
Dillon said she is upset about the broken deal, but is keeping things in perspective, having gained valuable insight during a recent trip to her home state of Mississippi to help clean up the mess left behind by Hurricane Katrina. “Losing this with that comparison – I have a home, I have the ability to make a living. I have so much more than the folks I was taking care of, I’m not going to whine,” Dillon said.Along with Snow Home Properties, Howard Head Sports Medicine and Title Company of the Rockies have signed leases to rent space in the portion of the building that wasn’t dedicated to the medical center, Lowry said. The first of those businesses is set to move in around March 1, 2006.Nicole Formosa can be reached at (970) 668-3998 ext. 13625, or at email@example.com