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Originally published December 12, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified December 12, 2008 at 9:12 AM

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Buyer for Group Health's Eastside hospital campus backs out

The tentative sale of Group Health's former Eastside hospital campus to Trammell Crow is off.

Seattle Times business reporter

Group Health's tentative deal to sell its former Eastside hospital campus has fallen through, a company executive said Thursday.

Dallas-based developer Trammell Crow, which signed a letter of intent this summer to buy the 28-acre site, couldn't proceed with the transaction because an unidentified partner who was to provide financing "was unable or unwilling to perform," said Bill Biggs, Group Health's executive director of administrative services.

"The deal, at this time, is off," he said.

Phillip Wood, principal in Trammell Crow's Seattle office, declined to comment.

Group Health closed the 30-year-old hospital in Redmond's Overlake area in May. It also has moved specialty- and primary-care operations from the campus to new locations on the Eastside.

While Trammell Crow never unveiled a proposal for redeveloping the property, the Redmond City Council last year adopted a new plan for the Overlake area that foresees mixed-use development on the campus, including apartments or condos, office, retail and perhaps a hotel in buildings of up to 12 stories.

When Group Health and Trammell Crow announced the tentative sale in July, they said the deal was expected to conclude by Dec. 1. But Biggs said the developer informed him last month that it didn't have financing.

The deal is one of many transactions that have been waylaid by the credit crunch this year.

"We've all been watching the capital markets for the last six months, and it's not been a pretty picture," Biggs said. "We weren't really surprised."

The campus remains for sale, he said, but another option is for Group Health itself to develop and seek city approval of a master plan for all or part of the property before selling it.

Eric Pryne: 206-464-2231 or epryne@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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