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Hannibal's former St. Elizabeth Hospital on track for second life

St. Elizabeth Hospital in Hannibal may have a second life after an investor has expressed interest in the property. 

The question of what will become of the former Saint Elizabeth hospital in Hannibal has been on the minds of many in the community.

The building, described by city manager Jeff Lagarce as in a "deplorable state of disrepair," may have a second life after a new investor has expressed interest in the building.

A proposed $9.5 million, 55-unit senior living facility may be in the property's future.

The investor has to find a way to cut $300,000 from the current cost to be under a state tax credit ceiling, and $200,000 of that may come in the form of a grant to help with the removal of asbestos.

To make the property eligible for the grant, Hannibal needs to take ownership of the land, and that was approved at tonight's city council meeting.

“Because if we don't go through with this process, and provide this kind of aid with this grant, they won't be able to do the project,” Lagarce said. “So we're guaranteeing a fall off a cliff if we don't do this. By doing this, we're creating an opportunity to get this property reinvested and repurposed to make it productive for the community and that neighborhood."

The ‘fall off the cliff’ Lagarce mentioned would be the $500,000 to $800,000 dollars needed to tear the building down, an amount that would have wiped out most of the city's reserve fund.

The grant will now be formally applied for, but a preliminary proposal was already approved, and the property will likely see a good outcome from the grant application.

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