Developer, Doctors Plan Mental Health Hospital In Marlin VA Closed

Developer, Doctors Plan Mental Health Hospital In Marlin VA Closed

A southeast Texas real estate developer and two doctors said they raised $20 million in private equity to buy the long-disused veterans hospital in Marlin and convert it into a mental health and behavioral health facility.







Marlin Mayor Carolyn Lofton sits at the table in a green jacket. To his right are Konstantin Savvon, Dr. Ayesha McCoy, and Dr. Meg Qayum, the team that announced plans for the new VA hospital in Marlin. Behind Lofton stands Conroe Mayor Jody Czajkowski in a purple vest. Behind Savvon stands Marlin City manager Cedric Davis Sr., wearing a cap.


Konstantin Savvon of Montgomery, Texas, he partnered with Dr. Ayesha McCoy, Dr. Meg Qayum and other private investors on the project. The group plans to begin renovations to the former 220-bed hospital and open it to patients in about two years.

“Our company called KAM Medical Group is paying cash for the hospital and the land and we believe we have enough private money available to do the renovations,” Savvon said at an announcement event Monday on the site.

The 170,000 square foot Marlin VA closed in 2002, leaving federal, state and local leaders struggling to find a use for it.

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Marlin Mayor Carolyn Lofton and City Manager Cedric Davis have worked to find the right deal to renovate the hospital and return it to service since taking office in 2019. Lofton said an investment in a private enterprise was something she had prayed for.

Davis added, “That could be the spark that helps Marlin take off.”

The hospital opened in 1950, employing 14 doctors, two dentists and 42 nurses, providing acute and intermediate medical care and rehabilitation, according to the Handbook of Texas Online. It served the needs of chronically ill and aging veterans until 2002, when forced consolidation measures left the six-story building vacant.

The closure was a blow to Marlin, a town with few other employment opportunities. Marlin’s population has since dropped by hundreds to 5,462 in 2020.

The state purchased the building in 2007, announcing plans to convert it into a 200-bed hospital for inmates of Gatesville Women’s Correctional Units, but that renovation never came to fruition.

The facility was turned over to the Texas General Land Office in July 2016 to begin assessments, the Tribune-Herald reported at the time. In June 2017, the land office approved the sale of the property to Sterling Real Estate Development Corporation and Sterling VA Marlin, LLC, for a price of $1.6 million.

The project was supposed to provide veterans returning to civilian life with housing and meals, job training and job placement, Marlin officials said at the time. This effort also failed.

The working name of the proposed new hospital is Texas Central Nervous System Hospital, said Jeff Livingston, whom Savvon hired to be the hospital’s administrator.

In addition to local remodeling contractors, Texas CNS Hospital will also seek to hire local nurses, local paramedics and local staff for the facility when it opens, Savvon said.

Dr. McCoy said she and Dr. Qayum plan to make many mental and behavioral health treatment protocols available at the hospital that are not yet available anywhere in Texas.

“We plan to provide treatment for depression, anxiety, PTSD and other mental and behavioral health issues,” Dr. McCoy said. “Many of the treatments we plan to offer are currently in Phase III trials. We will be the first in Texas to offer them.

Texas CNS Hospital will also offer treatment to patients who have contemplated or attempted suicide, Dr. McCoy said.

Heart of Texas Behavioral Health Network spokesman Vince Erickson did not return the Tribune-Herald’s phone message or email request for comment on the new facility on Monday.

Dr. McCoy also said Texas CNS Hospital would not compete with Marlin’s other hospital, Falls Community Hospital and Clinic, for broken bones, sports injuries and other common medical procedures.

Savvon said the hospital will provide much-needed mental and behavioral health treatment resources throughout Texas and will accept transferred patients from as far away as El Paso and Amarillo.

KAM Medical Group filed its taxable entity documents with the Texas Secretary of State and Comptroller just a few weeks ago on October 24th.

Five days later, a federal lawsuit against Savvon in the Southern District of Texas bankruptcy court was settled.

Lavern Smith had filed a lawsuit against Savvon in bankruptcy court in September 2021 for land near Conroe, in which he and Savvon both had a stake. The bankruptcy judge-approved settlement calls for Smith to pay $150,000 to Savvon, no later than Jan. 10, 2023, and for Savvon to sign all paperwork to clear title.

Savvon said Smith ended up being required to pay him in the final settlement.

“If you add up the value of all the properties I own and all the properties I’ve developed, it’s a very large number,” Savvon said by phone Monday. “If you’ve been in the real estate business for a long time, like I have been, a lot of people will sue you.”

Smith’s lawyer, Anissah Marie Andang, did not return the Tribune-Herald’s email requesting comment on the lawsuit against Savvon on Monday.

Savvon said he himself filed for bankruptcy in 2009, after the financial and real estate crash of 2008 that triggered the Great Recession. He said his name was mentioned in a bankruptcy filed by his ex-wife around 2017, but he did not file for bankruptcy then, or at any time other than in 2009.

“What matters is the ability to bring resources to the table and complete projects,” Savvon said.

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