South Main medical site to resume construction

One of the centerpieces of Fort Worth South Main Street’s revival is back in action.

Construction on what was the Victory Healthcare site will resume shortly said Tom Pisula, with Pisula Development, the Spring-based company that is developing the project.

“We have several groups interested in becoming tenants in the building,” said Pisula. The interested parties range from public healthcare institutions to private physician-surgical groups, he said.

Construction on the site, at the northwest corner of South Main and Pennsylvania Ave., was halted Feb. 17 when Victory Healthcare indicated it was having financial problems. Construction began on the site in 2013 and Victory had gone so far as to name a CEO for the Fort Worth location.

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The shell of the building should be complete in the next five months, Pisula said.

With the popularity of the Near Southside, businesses and residents have been seeking locations outside of the Fairmount and West Magnolia corridors. As a result, some businesses and residential developments have started eyeing the South Main area. At the same time, the city has committed to infrastructure improvements to the area. 

The Victory Healthcare site, along with the 227-unit HighPoint apartment development under construction onto the façade of the historic Coca-Cola building are viewed as the two anchor projects of the South Main redevelopment.

The Fort Worth location was announced as a $70 million 105,000-square-foot medical facility and include a 50,000-square-foot medical office building. The main building’s architecture will pay homage to the heritage of Fort Worth, with the façade, including a replica of the St. Joseph Hospital Tower.

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Woodlands-based Victory Healthcare, the former tenant of the Main Street and Pennsylvania site, filed for Chapter 11 protection in U .S. Bankruptcy Court in the Northern District of Texas in Fort Worth on June 12.

Included in the Chapter 11 filing are Victory Healthcare facilities in Hurst, McKinney, Plano, and San Antonio. Excluded from the filing are Victory Medical Center Beaumont and Victory Medical Center Houston-East, which have buyers in place outside of the Court process.

According to Robert N. Helms Jr., chairman, CEO and manager of Victory, the filing was necessitated by a temporary restraining order associated with a pending lawsuit. This order, which had blocked the Plano facility sale, is now stayed under bankruptcy law.

“We had built an extremely high quality, state-of-the-art group of community-centric medical centers and hospitals,” Helms said in a statement. “Unfortunately, as out-of-network providers, we came under attack by large insurance carriers. 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.”

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“I am thrilled for the development of our Fort Worth location because this project is more than a building,” said Victory CEO Robert N. Helms Jr. in a news release. “We take seriously the honor of being part of the rebirth of South Main, and it will be reflected throughout the design of the building.”