AURORA | U.S. Rep. Mike Coffman, R-Aurora, is urging the VA sell a building it owns in Paris — currently leased and operated as a five-star hotel — to help fund the completion of the half-finished, billion-dollar replacement veterans hospital. According to Coffman, the building’s sale could give the VA $30 million to use toward the hospital’s total price tag of over $1 billion.
“Sell the hotel in Paris; build the hospital in Aurora,” Coffman in a statement. “The VA needs to make hard decisions to fund their mismanagement, and selling a five-star foreign hotel is a great place to start.”
The VA owns Pershing Hall, a five-star boutique hotel, restaurant and club in Paris, and is currently leasing it to a private company, L.A. Partners, on a 99-year lease due to end in 2097, according to the statement.
Coffman said Congress rejected the VA’s plan to fund the hospital by either delaying VA projects around the country or cutting spending on veteran healthcare. Under that plan, the department asked Congress to increase the budget for the hospital by $775 million for a total price of $1.675 billion. The VA said it would be able to reduce the cost from $1.73 billion by delaying completion of a community living center and post-traumatic stress rehabilitation facility. The facilities together, the VA said, cost $55 million.
Unless Congress and the VA reach a deal, construction could stop in mid-June when the current spending cap is reached.