UNMH expansion plans clear major hurdle

Copyright © 2021 Albuquerque Journal

The University of New Mexico’s efforts to build a new hospital tower cleared a major hurdle Friday when a federal agency signed off on insuring mortgage financing for the project.

The Federal Housing Administration announced it completed a mortgage insurance transaction with UNM Hospital on $320 million supplemental mortgages to finance the new hospital tower.

The Housing and Urban Development-held mortgages will help finance a major expansion of UNMH’s adult acute care capacity, according to the FHA announcement.

By insuring mortgages for hospitals, FHA allows borrowers to issue bonds at the equivalent of “AA” or “AAA” ratings, dramatically reducing interest and borrowing costs.

“The UNMH team is pleased to continue our collaborative partnership with HUD,” said Kate Becker, CEO of UNMH. “This will enable us to provide increased access to health care for New Mexicans …”

In 2019, UNMH announced a four-year plan to build a new hospital tower, which will provide an additional 96 inpatient beds and 18 operating rooms, according to UNMH’s website.

Designs also call for 1,400 additional parking spaces, and additional space for clinical laboratories and therapeutic services, a blood bank and other facilities.

The new facility will be located at Yale and Lomas NE, just west of the existing hospital. Completion is expected by late 2024.

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