VA Clinic in Chula Vista gets a reprieve

Posted at 6:08 AM, Sep 16, 2015
and last updated 2015-09-16 09:08:32-04

The Veterans Affairs Clinic in Chula Vista won't be homeless after all, as a new space has been found right next door.

This summer, the owner of the property leased by the clinic refused to sign a rental extension, so the race was on to find a temporary facility.

However, Team 10 obtained the federal award notice that says the VA will pay $2,196,322 for 10,298 square feet of medical office space at 865 3rd Avenue in Chula Vista. The lease could run for as long as 5 years, with termination rights after 3 years.

RELATED: Team 10: VA Clinic in Chula Vista could be on the move

In July, Team 10 first reported the predicament. The VA had hoped to extend their current lease until they could find a much larger space to accommodate the more than 30,000 doctor visits at the South Bay clinic each year. When that didn't work out, administrators found themselves looking for a temporary solution.

Some veterans told Team 10 they were worried about the possibility of having to drive several miles to other VA clinics in the interim.

After sources tipped Team 10 off to the new lease, the San Diego Veterans Affairs put out this statement:

SAN DIEGO (September 15, 2015) - VA San Diego Healthcare System (VASDHS) is pleased to announce they have signed a lease for an interim clinic in Chula Vista until a permanent clinic that will triple in size can be constructed. The new clinic will be located 865 Third Avenue - just next door to the old location. The Chula Vista Clinic has been serving Veterans in the South Bay since July 1999. In fiscal year 2014, the VA Chula Vista Clinic provided more than 30,410 clinic appointments and the demand for care has been increasing every year.

The new clinic has approximately the same square feet of clinic space, 27 exam rooms and will provide all the same services currently available including; primary care, mental health care, optometry, podiatry, social work, laboratory services and ample parking. "We are very happy with the timely award of this lease and feel this will be an excellent location for our Veterans needing health care in the South Bay area," said Healthcare System Director, Jeffrey Gering. "We hope to be able to open the new clinic before the end of November," Gering added.

VASDHS has congressional authorization under the Veterans Access, Choice and Accountability Act, signed by the President in August 2014, for a new location in the South Bay area that will three times the size of the current space. That clinic will take three years to complete as it requires extensive planning, site prep and construction. A team from VA Central Office is working very hard with the local health care system officials to award a long-term lease in 2016 for that permanent clinic.