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Historic Preservation Commission OKs old St. Mary's Hospital demolition

Historic Preservation Commission OKs old St. Mary's Hospital demolition

June 13th, 2018 by Nicole Roberts in News

The old St. Mary's Hospital displays signage outside indicating a public hearing for demolition.

Photo by Mark Wilson /News Tribune.

F&F Development plans to re-purpose the stone from the former St. Mary's Hospital into a new building.

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The Jefferson City Historic Preservation Commission unanimously approved Farmer Holding Company's application Tuesday night to demolish the 1905 portion of old St. Mary's Hospital — the original, large building facing U.S. 50 — at 100 St. Mary's Medical Plaza. FHC's parent company, F&F Development, wants to remove, clean and reuse the existing stone portion of the old hospital for a new building.

The new building would be constructed in the same architectural style as the original hospital and would be located in either the same location or near the original location of the 1905 building, FHC's Principal Rob Kingsbury said. F&F Development is Farmer Holding Company's parent company.

"Our goal from the beginning of us purchasing the property has been to do everything we possibly can to preserve the historical significance of the property," he said. "For us, it's very exciting because we're getting one step closer to accomplishing what we set out to do when we first purchased the property."

F&F Development faced a couple of challenges for redeveloping the former St. Mary's Hospital. The State Historic Preservation Office denied F&F Development's application to add the 1905 portion of the hospital building to the state historic registry because the original structure had been added onto more than half a dozen times up until the 1990s, Kingsbury said. That denial meant the company did not qualify for state or federal historic tax credits that would have helped offset the cost of redeveloping the former hospital building.

Without the historic tax credits, that left a $2 million finance gap, he said.

After SHPO's denial, F&F Development brought in several structural engineers to survey the building, who reported concerns regarding the the structural integrity and performance of the hospital's 1905 portion when it's redeveloped, Kingsbury said. The engineers were worried once F&F Development began the project, the original building would not be structurally sound.

"If we were to use the building in its exact condition, in its exact location, it would be deemed impossible due to the structural challenges," Kingsbury said.

The company also plans to add memorabilia around the redevelopment site to preserve the Old St. Mary's Hospital's history, he added.

F&F Development had to submit a demolition clearance application for that building since it is more than 100 years old. F&F Development plans to demolish other buildings at the site but if F&F Development wants to demolish a building on the site that is 50-99 years old, it must submit a demolition review application to the Historic Preservation Commission for review.

"Our goal from the beginning has been to redevelop this property at the front door of our community into a lifestyle destination that represents the proud history of the former St. Mary's Hospital while simultaneously serving as a beacon to tell the world that Jefferson City is a community worthy of investment," Kingsbury said in a letter to the Historic Preservation Commission.

F&F Development proposed redeveloping the 113-year-old former hospital using tax increment financing to offset the cost last year. The Jefferson City Council approved the St. Mary's Hospital TIF project in August.

It had two proposed projects. One project, which would involved Lincoln University, was estimated at $44.6 million and sought $7.3 million in TIF assistance to redevelop the site. The other commercial-space-only project was estimated at $30.9 million and sought $6.7 million in TIF assistance.

F&F Development purchased the site in December 2015 after SSM Health relocated to its current Mission Drive location in 2014.

The commission also approved the demolition of 1732 and 1736 Vieth Drive to make room for an 8,000-square-foot skilled nursing facility, 6,500-square-foot preschool, playground and maintenance building.

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The preschool would have a maximum enrollment of 99 children.

Jefferson City Manor Skilled Nursing is located north of the property. Cindy Juckette, co-owner of Jefferson City Manor Skilled Nursing, told the News Tribune in September she hopes having a preschool and nursing home close together will allow children and nursing home residents to interact with each other.

The Jefferson City Council approved the final Planned Unit Development plan in September.

During hearings for the preliminary and final PUD plans last year, council members and nearby residents said they were concerned the buildings would cause more stormwater issues. Flash floods a couple of years ago impacted Ward 4 — especially at the intersection of Satinwood Drive and Stadium Boulevard, about a mile down the road from the PUD location.

Construction may begin in August, project consultant Paul Sampson said.