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FHC: Plans progressing for St. Mary's property

FHC: Plans progressing for St. Mary's property

February 3rd, 2018 by Philip Joens in Local News

The former St. Mary's Hospital property

Photo by Shelby Kardell /News Tribune.

Farmer Holding Company might announce plans for its redevelopment at the historic St. Mary's Hospital site in just over a month.

FHC Principal Rob Kingsbury told the News Tribune on Thursday the company plans to announce details of the project in about 45 days.

Kingsbury did not specify whether the company will announce which of two proposed projects will move forward.

"We're still working very hard on our redevelopment plan," Kingsbury said. "I think we're pretty close to being able to make some announcements.

Last year, FHC proposed redeveloping the 113-year-old site of the former St. Mary's Hospital using tax increment financing to offset some of the cost of building the development. The company plans to turn the blighted area into a center for retail, restaurant and office space.

A proposed $44.6 million project involving Lincoln University sought $7.3 million in TIF assistance, while a $30.9 million project creating only commercial space sought $6.7 million in TIF assistance.

The Jefferson City Council approved the plan last August, leaving it up to FHC to decide which project moves forward.

Under the Lincoln project, Lincoln University could use parts of the old hospital for an expansion of its nursing or other programs. The LU project would contain four commercial pads with 21,000 square-feet of commercial space. If the Lincoln project does not come to fruition, the commercial project would construct six pads with 30,200 feet of commercial space.

Both proposals plan to convert a medical office building and the main St. Mary's Hospital building into offices. Under both plans, buildings would be constructed on both sides of Missouri Boulevard where a vacant St. Mary's parking lot and another vacant lot sit next to Wears Creek.

Discussions between LU and FHC are ongoing, both parties said this week.

"We continue to be optimistic about those conversations," Kingsbury said.

Kingsbury said FHC continues to talk to potential tenants for the site.

"That's what we're working through," Kingsbury said.

Kingsbury did not offer a timeline for when construction might begin.

State Sen. Mike Kehoe, R-Jefferson City, proposed to a Missouri Senate Committee on Wednesday that a small correction made to the site's deed be made, which would transfer a tiny plot of state-owned land to FHC subsidiary F&F Development.

The plot sits across from the old St. Mary's Hospital and adjacent to Wears Creek. When the state built U.S. 54 decades ago, a small portion of the original St. Mary's property mistakenly transferred to the state.

Kingsbury said the company is working through many of these small details as it finalizes development plans.

"It was one of those necessary things," Kingsbury said. "We're working to get a lot of those things cleaned up so that we can build new buildings on the property."

Have a question about this article? Have something to add? Email reporter Philip Joens at pjoens@newstribune.com.