Analysis: Demolish Allen Bennett, nursing home and start over

Published on Wednesday, February 11, 2015

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Demolishing Allen Bennett Hospital and the Roger Huntington Nursing Home is the best value for the city of Greer, according to a marketing analysis.

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Demolishing Allen Bennett Hospital and the Roger Huntington Nursing Home is the best value for the city of Greer, according to a marketing analysis.



The best value to the City of Greer for the vacant Allen Bennett Hospital site is to completely demolish the buildings on the property, including the Roger Huntington Nursing Home, according to a market analysis.

“It would appear the greatest opportunity for the property lies in full demolition although there are some positives for partial demolition,” Reno Deaton, Executive Director for the Greer Development Corporation, said. Deaton and City Administrator Ed Driggers presented the analysis to council Tuesday for informational purposes.

Deaton said the analysis specifically detailed “hospitality, retail and office opportunities including the demands we can forecast over the next couple of years.”

The clean slate option (full demolition) would more quickly attract a potential developer, according to the report prepared by Kimley-Horn and Associates, a design consulting firm in Charlotte. Partnership for Tomorrow has also contracted with Kimley-Horn for its next Community Master Plan heading into 2030. That study will be presented publicly in April.

Demolishing the existing buildings, a total of 220,000 square feet, would make 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.

The less favorable option is repurposing the hospital coupled with the demolition of the Roger Huntington Nursing Home.

The challenges for re-use included the irregular site shape and slope of the property, and accessibility to convenient parking would need to be reconfigured and competitively site affordability.

“The most concern to us is what the market would bear,” Driggers said of the property. “What would be the adaptive use of that property whether they use for office space or for some other type?”

The report’s recommended next steps included:

• Prepare high-level site plans showing the clean slate and partial demolition scenarios.

• Get separate demolition estimates for the entire structure and for just the Roger Huntington and connector portions.

• Have the property appraised, based on potential redevelopment of the site (versus present use).

The process of deciding the best course of action, for the city to find suitors for the 10-acre property, has been meticulous (see timetable below) since the Greenville Hospital System bequeathed the tract to the city in 2010.

• February 2015 – Kimley-Horn market analysis presented to City Council and describes best-use suggestions.

• October 2014 – City awarded $400,000 judgment against Garrick Good and Cardinal Real Estate Group.

• March 2012 – Cardinal Real Estate files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

• February 2011 – City of Greer reports Good has failed to make a payment on the $1.4 million sale.

• December 2010 – City closes on sale of the campus, previously valued at $6 million, for $1.4 million with Cardinal Real Estate Group, Inc, an Upper Marlboro, Md., headquartered company run by Garrick Good, a Union native with family ties in Greer. A $14.2 million senior housing project, and a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention national call center with about 150 jobs is announced.

• December 2010 – Diesel spill from an emergency power generator reached a nearby creek, was mitigated posing no threat, according to the Department of Health and Environmental Control.

• September 2010 – Greenville Health System gives the City of Greer the 10-acre tract, 185,000-square-foot Allen Bennett Hospital, and 41,390-square-foot Roger Huntington Nursing Home and former emergency medical service facility.



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