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New JC superintendent named December 19, 2014

Our Opinion: Imagine the possibilities

New construction requires vision; renovation and reuse often require imagination.

Some of Jefferson City’s historic former residences now house law offices and business headquarters. The former Hotel Governor is now an office building.

What will the existing St. Mary’s Health Center become after the hospital moves to its new facility being constructed on Mission Drive and Missouri 179?

St. Mary’s President Brent VanConia announced Friday that a commercial real estate developer – the Sansone Group of St. Louis – has been hired to locate a buyer for the existing building at 100 St. Mary’s Medical Center.

The listing is unique: A 350,000-square-foot facility on nine acres in the heart of the city. Its hilltop location offers a panoramic view and the site includes plenty of parking. The asking price is in excess of $4 million.

The magnitude of the property limits potential buyers. Michael Carlson, senior executive director of the office brokering division with Sansone Group, said: “Your traditional retail users probably aren’t the best candidates.”

But possible candidates identified by both VanConia and Sansone include developers of a convention center or a multipurpose building – two projects at the top of Jefferson City’s wish list.

VanConia said he has been talking with city officials about the building’s future. “We’ve had conversations going back to pre-Transformation and post-Transformation (an economic development sale tax rejected by voters) of a working collaboration with them to say what are viable opportunities for the site.”

VanConia also said St. Mary’s was not among the organizations that recently submitted convention center proposals to the city. The identities of the submitters and the scope of the proposals have not yet been revealed.

We’re pleased St. Mary’s officials are acting to secure a buyer for the existing facility. The site is a prominent location in our community, and it would be sad if the complex remained vacant and unused.

As for what it will become, the possibilites are limited only by imagination.

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