A $9.8 million deal was reached with Downey City Council and Presbyterian Intercommunity Hospital for the purchase and sale agreement of the property that Downey Regional Medical Center located on at the city council meeting on Tuesday evening.

The sale will need to be approved by the California’s Attorney General Kamala Harris office and the sale expected to be finalized in September. The city currently owns the land that the hospital is on.

In regards to the tentative deal with PIH Health, Alex Saab, councilman who represents district 5 in Downey was reassured with the deal.

“It’s reassuring, the hospital had some major problems and serious concerns for a number of years. The fact the PIH has had experience running a successful hospital in Whittier, Calif. and they realize the potential in Downey is reassuring for us and residents,” Saab said.

The city’s agreement was approved unanimously by city council with two abstentions by Mayor Mario Guerra and Mayor Pro Tem Fernando Vasquez due to conflict of interest in the vote.

The agreement comes four years after Downey Regional Medical Center filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in 2009. PIH Health took over the management of the hospital in June of this year.

The land is currently being leased by Downey Regional Medical Center for one dollar.

According to Saab, the city council wanted to make sure that Downey still had a hospital with an emergency room. That was the intent of leasing the land for one dollar and to make sure they could still be open.

Though PIH Health will soon own the property, there are some assurances that it will remain a hospital and medical use property.

“We thought long and hard about safeguards to protect it as a hospital. We placed some restrictions on land use and we still control the zoning for the property,” he said.

The agreement states that the use of the property shall be restricted to hospital use until 2030. The property then will be still restricted to hospital and medical use but no longer has to be a hospital if PIH Health decided to change it.

During public comments before the vote, residents expressed concern for making sure the property remained a hospital and was available to residents and not become office space.

He added that PIH Health is planning on investing millions into the property, retrofit, and buildings. “If they were not intending the land to be used and serviced as a hospital they would not be investing millions into the land.”

So what is to become of the $9.8 million that Downey will receive as revenue for the sale?

“Personally, I would like to see a significant amount go into the reserves and the other portion to improving the city’s infrastructure, parks and hiring of police officers,” Saab said.

Saab would like to see the city do something tangible with a portion of funds.

While nothing is set in stone, he encourages all residents that are interested in DRMC or about the revenue to use the non-agenda public comment time at city council meetings to share ideas, thoughts and opinions with the council.

“There is no rush to spend the revenue. We will need thoughtful community input when the time comes,” Saab said.

Downey Regional Medical Center is located at 11500 Brookshire Avenue. Downey, Calif.