Borough may auction off former hospital building

The borough assembly may put the old hospital building up for online auction next month, at a starting bid of $830,000, the value deemed by a recent commercial appraisal.

A Florida-based substance abuse treatment center that had expressed interest last year in taking over the property had told borough staff it was waiting on an appraisal but hasn’t been back in touch.

The borough assembly on Tuesday considered a resolution to put the 30,596-square-foot former Wrangell Medical Center on nearly two acres along Bennett Street up for auction on on or after May 16.

The borough has been spending almost $100,000 a year on insurance and heat since SEARHC moved out of the building more than two years ago and the property reverted back to the borough. The oldest portions of the building date back to 1967.

Eligible bidders would have to pay a registration fee of $5,000, refundable to the losing bidders.

Excluded from bidding would be people or businesses delinquent in property tax, sales tax, utility payments, or those who have other financial obligations to the borough.

The property is zoned public/open space, which is primarily for governmental purposes. The successful bidder would be required to submit to the Planning and Zoning Commission a request to rezone “for the purpose they are intending for the site,” according to backup material submitted by staff to the assembly.

The property would sit on the auction website for no fewer than 30 days.

The winning bidder would have to sign a purchase agreement within 10 days of auction close, and may purchase the property with 20% of the winning bid amount as a down payment, payable within five business days from signing the purchase agreement. The remaining balance would be due 60 days after signing.

If the property doesn’t sell, it would be relisted at the original bid amount until sold, according to the resolution presented to the assembly on Tuesday.

Borough Manager Jeff Good said he hasn’t heard from Regard Recovery Centers, a substance abuse treatment center chain with locations in Florida, Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, that in November sent a representative to look at the old hospital and do a walk-through.

Capital Facilities Director Amber Al-Haddad said on March 8 that Regard Recovery had been waiting on an appraisal of the property before possibly submitting a formal proposal.

Anchorage-based appraiser Reliant submitted its appraisal to the borough on April 21.

Al-Haddad on Monday said she hadn’t heard from Regard Recovery.

“We'll make sure they know about it and are aware (the appraisal is done),” Good said Monday.

Regard Recovery representative Casey Odell did not respond to requests by the Sentinel for comment on Monday.


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