HCA, Metro to announce property swap

Deal could allow for more development on Centennial Medical Center campus

Executives of HCA Inc. and Nashville Mayor Karl Dean are expected to announce tomorrow details of a property exchange that will allow the city to develop a new public health headquarters and give HCA room to expand its flagship Centennial Medical Center campus.

The deal is expected to involve Metro relinquishing its Lentz Public Health Center property at 311 23rd Ave. N. — which is basically on Centennial Medical Center’s campus — in exchange for an undeveloped HCA-owned site on nearby Charlotte Avenue. The swap was first discussed in the spring of 2009. At the time, it was expected to cost $28 million and be completed by the first quarter of this year.

A press conference is scheduled at HCA’s headquarters tomorrow at 11 a.m., according to a news release from Metro. A spokesman for HCA could not be reached immediately for comment.

The transaction should be a win for the city, allowing it to build a new public health headquarters instead of spending an estimated $22.5 million to renovate and expand the 50-year-old Lentz building.

For HCA, the property switch should provide some room for its land-strapped flagship hospital to stretch its legs. The hospital is currently working on a $143 million expansion project that includes a new heart center. It’s also breaking ground on a new medical office building this week.