“It was put on the market four to six weeks ago,” St. Clair County Commission Chairman Stan Batemon said. “I think it’s a very valuable piece of property.”
The County Commission hired a national commercial real estate firm to handle the sale of the property, which includes the hospital and a professional building next to the old hospital site on Dr. John Haynes Drive.
Batemon said there were no local commercial real estate agents to handle the sale so EGS, a part of Cushman &Wakefield, was contracted to handle the sale.
Batemon said the asking price is $5 million.
He said the city and county jointly own the hospital property, after the St. Clair County Commission agreed to buy the property for $4 million from the St. Clair County Healthcare Authority.
The money from the sale was used to build the new St. Vincent’s St. Clair Hospital on Veterans Parkway.
Batemon said Pell City is an equal partner in the ownership of the old hospital property, after the City Council agreed to pay the interest on the “interest only loan” for the property, or $100,000 a year, whichever is less.
He said after the property is sold, Pell City and the County Commission will each receive half of the proceeds from the sale.
Batemon said there is a variety of possible uses for the former hospital site, including housing a government agency or a private nursing home facility.
However, he said he believes the property is more suited for commercial use since it borders Interstate 20.
He said additional property along that section of I-20 is owned strictly by the county, and there is additional acreage owned by private individuals next to county and/or city properties.
“There’s probably 50-60 acres there that could be developed for commercial use,” he said.
He said commercial development of the property could pump millions of dollars in tax revenue for both the county and city.
Batemon said major infrastructure is already in place for a large commercial development — water, sewer and road.
He said until the property is sold, he would prefer that the old hospital remain intact in case someone wants both the property and the structure.
“I’m not in favor of spending a half-million dollars to tear the building down and clear the property,” Batemon said.
He said the city and county should equally maintain the property until it is sold.
Batemon said the County Commission also owns the old St. Clair County Department of Human Resources building, which was gutted by fire in 2009, and the three acres that surround it.
“It would cost us about $100,000 to fix it up so it is usable,” he said.
There are plans in the works to build a new DHR facility on half of the eight acres the county owns off Jeanne Pruitt Drive, near the Alabama State Health Department facility.
He said once the county’s agreement with DHR is in place, the commission can then decide exactly what to do with the old DHR facility.
Contact David Atchison at firstname.lastname@example.org.