With St. Mary's Health Center relocating to a new facility in January 2015, the center announced Friday it has hired Sansone Group of St. Louis to work with potential buyers to purchase and redevelop the current center's site at 100 St. Mary's Medical Plaza.
"We're very committed to our current location being a thriving part of Jefferson City's future," said St. Mary's President Brent VanConia. "Its ideal location near downtown makes it an outstanding place for the right kind of development."
Sansone Group has been in commercial real estate and development for more than 50 years.
Michael Carlson, senior executive director of the office brokering division with Sansone Group, said it's highly likely multiple types of users will have interest in the property, mainly hotel, convention or some type of higher-end entertainment component.
"Your traditional retail users probably aren't the best candidates, just because the size of the site," Carlson said.
The 350,000-square-foot facility sits on nine acres of property.
Both VanConia and Carlson believe it would be a great location for the city's proposed convention center, although the health center did not submit a proposal to the city when it was taking proposals in January. VanConia said the timing wasn't right for the health center to submit such a proposal, because a developer had not yet been secured.
"I have had conversations off-and-on with members of the city administration," VanConia said. "We've had conversations going back to pre-Transformation and post-Transformation of a working collaboration with them to say what are viable opportunities for the site."
Transformation was an economic development strategic plan put forward by the Jefferson City Area Chamber of Commerce to raise more than $41 million to complete a list of 30 projects around the city, including revitalizing St. Mary's Health Center and funding a proposed conference center. Jefferson City voters rejected the Transformation ballot issue on Feb. 7, 2012. It would have imposed a half-cent 10-year sales tax.
Even without Transformation, the city outlined a convention center as one of its priorities for 2013.
Carlson believes such a development is one of the top prospects for the St. Mary's property.
"Obviously, the location and the visibility right at the entrance into the Capitol makes it great," he said. "Our main focus is really going to be if a convention center could work there or not."
While he said Sansone Group plans to mainly market the property in Missouri and the Midwest, the property is also being marketed on a national level.
Although the price is still in negotiation, he said it's safe to say the property will be priced "north of $4 million."
"In terms of selling the property, realistically, we're looking to do it and get someone under contract in the next six months," Carlson said.
VanConia anticipates it could take a full year to secure a buyer because of the complexity of the project.
"Having somebody a year from now gives them plenty of time to develop their plans so that they're ready to begin construction in early 2015," VanConia said. "That would be ideal from our perspective."
He said construction on the new St. Mary's site, located at Mission Drive and Missouri 179, remains on schedule and on budget. The new complex will open in January 2015. The hospital is owned and operated by SSM Health Care.
This article expands upon earlier coverage posted Friday, Feb. 9, 2013.