Allen Bennett site to be razed, council will act on demolition bid

$790,000 budgeted, memento bricks will be made available

By Jim Fair, Editor
Published on Tuesday, June 23, 2015

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The side view of Allen Bennett Hospital with Wade Hampton Blvd. at the top and Memorial Drive Extension at the bottom.

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The side view of Allen Bennett Hospital with Wade Hampton Blvd. at the top and Memorial Drive Extension at the bottom.


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The rear view of Allen Bennett Hospital.

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The rear view of Allen Bennett Hospital.


Allen Bennett Hospital and the Roger Huntington Nursing Home will be demolished. “The building needs to come down,” Mayor Rick Danner said.

And City Council vote 7-0 Tuesday night to bring it down.

Danner was approved to enter into negotiations with the Neo Corporation for a contract not to exceed $790,000. Neo is near completion of demolishing the former Exide building.

Permits and DHEC approval remains with demolition of the Allen Bennett campus scheduled for completion in early January 2016, according to City Administrator Ed Driggers. The hospital will not be imploded. Asbestos will be removed from the roof.

"Neo will mobilize immediately, a fence will be put around the building by Monday and demolition includes removal of all materials including three underground tanks," Driggers said. "All the scrap material is theirs."

Driggers said people wanting a brick as a memento will be invited to take one after they have been palletized.

“The building has probably served its useful purpose and sometimes people can’t see beyond that great big building the potential that is there,” Danner said.

Full demolition would more quickly attract a potential developer, according to a market analysis, prepared by Kimley-Horn and Associates, a design consulting firm in Charlotte.

“We’ve known for some time since that report was released that the true value is in the land,” Danner said.

Reno Deaton, Executive Director of Greer Development Corp., will market the site. "We knew the clean slate (demolition) approach would offer us our best option," Deaton said. 

The Greenville Hospital System bequeathed the Allen Bennett Hospital and its tract to the city in 2010. An adventurous legal and marketing maze, that included bankruptcy proceedings from a former suitor, has transpired over nearly five years. The city was awarded $400,000 by a Greenville County bankruptcy court. No payments have been received.

Demolishing the existing buildings, a total of 220,000 square feet, on the 10-acre property makes the site more competitive when comparing against other cleared sites in the region, the analysis summarized. It would further elevate the site’s prominent location on Wade Hampton Boulevard and proximity to downtown Greer.

Other council items presented:

• Greer Police Chief Dan Reynolds and Sgt. Randle Ballenger presented  K-9 officers Jordan Williams with his canine Boss and James Compton with Stryker to council.

• Restructuring of city routes for trash and recycling services presented by Steve Serafino, owner of Ace Environmental. About 50 percent of customers will see a day change in collection. Roll-out of the plan is July 6

• A memorandum of agreement with the Department of Juvenile Justice’s Detention Center for fiscal year 2015-2016 with the same terms and conditions as last year, $50 fee per day for any juvenile housed at its detention center.





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