UC regents agree to rent Santa Monica medical facility for $147 million

In a rare nine-figure real estate deal, the Regents of the University of California have agreed to pay $147 million over 30 years to rent a medical facility planned in Santa Monica, it was reported today.

Developer Randy Miller hopes to begin construction on the three-story building by August, the Los Angeles Times reported. It would rise on a parking lot at 1223 16th St., across the street from the Santa Monica-UCLA Medical Center and Orthopaedic Hospital.

The final cost of the 50,000-square-foot development, including land acquisition, would be about $50 million, Miller told The Times. His Los Angeles company, Nautilus Group Inc., bought the site in 2007, gambling that it could get city approval to construct a new building and that the university would agree to rent it.

The university's teaching hospital needs more space, Dr. David Feinberg, chief executive of UCLA Hospital System, told The Times.

UCLA acquired Santa Monica Hospital in 1995 because it had run out of room for its medical school on the Westwood campus, Feinberg said. The Santa Monica facility has since evolved into a key resource for the university.

"When we bought it we thought it we be a community hospital," Feinberg told The Times. "Now it's more of hybrid between an academic and a community hospital. You need room to teach."

The new facility would have eight operating rooms where doctors could perform about half of the outpatient operations UCLA does in Santa Monica, according to The Times. It would also have two oncology bunkers for radiation therapy, laboratories and medical offices.