The city of Nashville and Meharry Medical College have reached a lease agreement through 2027 for the buildings on Meharry’s campus that house Nashville General Hospital.

In the agreement, all outstanding issues are resolved, and a new rent structure is established for the buildings Meharry leases to the city’s safety net hospital, Nashville General Hospital, Nashville Mayor John Cooper, announced in a press release.

A fair market rent will be paid by the city to Meharry for the use of the Nashville General Hospital buildings, which has been validated by two independent real-estate evaluation experts, starting at $6.3 million this year and increasing by 2.5% every year thereafter, according to Mayor Cooper’s office. Previously, the city only paid the underlying bonds issued in 1995 that were due to expire next year. Additionally, the agreement settles all outstanding claims and resolves a number of financial issues between the parties.

Nashville General Hospital’s financing or the possibility of a new hospital building after the current lease expires will not be affected by the agreement, Mayor Cooper’s office added.

The agreements between the city and Meharry require approval by the Metro Nashville City Council.

Mayor Cooper applauded the agreement and settlement with Meharry, stating, “I am proud to renew Nashville’s firm commitment to the nation’s oldest and largest historically black medical institution and our safety net hospital Nashville General. Meharry and Nashville General are at the center of our efforts to address health disparities in Nashville, and this new agreement sets the stage for that work to grow stronger in 2023.”

The new agreements come a year after NewsChannel 5 Investigates discovered that Nashville was six months behind paying its landlord, Meharry, in 2021. In addition, NewsChannel 5 Investigates found that Nashville General Hospital was struggling to pay “basic” utility bills.

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Kaitlin Housler is a reporter at The Tennessee Star and The Star News Network.
Photo “Meharry Medical College” by The Peep Holes.