Scripps Health has agreed to purchase a 4.19-acre property at the northeast corner of Santa Fe Drive and Devonshire from St. Mark Lutheran Church, adjacent to Scripps Memorial Hospital Encinitas.
“Scripps Health is very pleased to have the opportunity to purchase this site so that we can continue to meet the needs of the community by providing excellent health care services at Scripps Encinitas Hospital,” said Chris Van Gorder, president and chief executive officer of Scripps Health. “This purchase is another indication of our commitment to North County and this hospital.”
The acquisition is the result of more than two years of discussions with Church representatives. As a part of the sale, Scripps has agreed to a lease-back provision that allows the Church to remain on the property for 18 months, until it can occupy its new site in Encinitas on El Camino Real.
“St. Mark Lutheran Church has had a long-standing and cooperative relationship with Scripps Health that dates back 25 years,” said Richard Cook, President of the St. Mark Lutheran Church Congregation and Chairman of the Board. “For some time, we have known that both St. Mark and Scripps Encinitas could benefit from new facilities. Our acquisition of the El Camino Real property not only allows St. Mark to grow and meet the challenges of its congregation in the community, but also it provides Scripps Encinitas with an opportunity to meet the increasing health care needs of North County.”
Scripps has not yet developed specific plans for the newly acquired property, which was purchased for $4.69 million. Over the next six months, hospital administrators will undertake a master planning process that will review the entire Encinitas hospital campus. The objective will be to determine how to best utilize the property for medical services in the decades ahead. Local residents will have opportunities to provide input about future plans at the site.
“With this purchase, Scripps Encinitas now will be able to plan its future to meet the health care needs and changing demographics of the community,” said James LaBelle, MD, chief of staff.