The Allen Bennett Hospital campus on Wade Hampton Blvd. had been tied up in U.S. Bankruptcy Court since March.
The 10-acre Allen Bennett Memorial Hospital building (168,000 square feet) and Roger Huntington Nursing Center (44,000 sf) comprise the medical complex.
Cardinal Real Estate Group, based in Maryland, defaulted on $1.4 million owed City of Greer last February.
The city was set to foreclose on the property and hold a court-ordered public auction in March when Cardinal Real Estate Group, a Maryland-based company, filed for Chapter 11 protection. Cardinal owed the city and a list of creditors, including Langley & Associates, more than $1.6 million since agreeing to purchase the property from Greer in December 2010, according to court filings. Garrick Good, a Union native whose mother and grandmother live in Greer, is CEO of Cardinal Real Estate.
All marketing activity and utility service to the hospital complex was halted during bankruptcy procedures.
“We will put the building back on the market and see what happens,” Mayor Rick Danner said. Danner said last month, at a council meeting, the property never changed possession from the city since the sale was never consummated.
“At some time we’ll put a sign up that says ‘For Sale’. Every day the building sits there it becomes less a value. We kind of mothballed it and it now has safety issues,” Danner said.
Before Good’s offer to purchase the property, Greer CPW was providing utilities to keep the complex functional. The cost was reportedly more than $40,000 a month. Now, according to Nick Stegall, General Manager at Greer CPW, “We have minimized the losses on utilities.”
The fire line (sprinkler system) in Allen Bennett reportedly isn’t pressurized, according to city officials. Copper and other utility equipment were also reportedly removed and Danner said replacing those items wouldn’t necessarily be a factor in bringing the building’s utilities back on line or be an advantage with the existing facility. A new owner could possibly up fit or develop the property’s infrastructure to suit a new purpose.
One worry is that mold may have developed. “You don’t know if mold is in there until you look,” Danner said.
The Allen Bennett complex is more difficult to sell because it serves a specific purpose. “The problem is it’s a specialized building. It’s a concrete and steel building with 12 x 14 rooms. The building has some value but there functional issues,” Danner said.
Good also publicly announced a similar project in Union that relied on funding both medical projects from the S.C. Jobs-Economic Development Authority that did not materialize. Union did not transfer the property to Good and the project quietly went away.
“I believe Mr. Good had every intention to build what he said,” Danner said. Good did not return phone calls for this story.
Danner said the Allen Bennett complex, “At some point in time is a liability. The true value lies in the property. The mindset was to sell it for more than what we got in it with legal fees and maintenance. The city is not in a position to maintain it. We will lose money on it.”
The State Auto building in the central business district and the Allen Bennett complex gives Greer two prime properties to market.
The timeline for the Allen Bennett Hospital / Roger Huntington Nursing Center campus:
August 2008: Allen Bennett Memorial Hospital vacated by GHS when Greer Memorial Hospital campus opens.
September 2010: The Greenville Hospital System University Medical Center gifts the 10-acre Allen Bennett Memorial Hospital building (168,000 square feet) and Roger Huntington Nursing Center (44,000 sf) to city of Greer.
September 2010: InSite Consulting of Greer advertises requests for proposals of the former Allen Bennett Memorial Hospital Campus offered by the City of Greer.
October 2010: City of Greer submits a request for proposals to purchase and redevelop the site.
December 2010: Cardinal Real Estate Group, a Maryland-based company, purchased the property from the City of Greer for $1.4 million. Cardinal enters into a 20-year, fee-in-lieu of taxes agreement paying $35,208 annually to the city.
December 2010: Cardinal announces plans to invest $14.2 million in the facility relocate a government call center and create 50 jobs and develop a senior living center and create 100 additional jobs. The project is called Seasons of Care Retirement Community at Bennett Place.
February 2011: Cardinal Real Estate Group defaults on $1.4 million owed City of Greer.
September 2011: City of Greer begins legal action to foreclose on the former Allen Bennett Memorial Hospital campus on Wade Hampton Blvd. and Memorial Drive.