Development company to buy clinic

January 16, 2007 11:00 pm

By Hilary Corrigan

Triplicate staff writer

The Del Norte Healthcare District plans to sell its ocean-side A Street Clinic property in Crescent City to an El Dorado Hills, Calif.-based development company.

The healthcare district board reviewed bids for the more than 1-acre parcel during a closed session Tuesday night. The board agreed to negotiate with Development Consultants Inc., calling the firm's proposal the highest of four bids.

The district also received an offer from local hotel owner Bhanu Patel and two separate proposals from Rural Human Services, a Crescent City nonprofit.

Development Consultants Inc. has built commercial retail centers in the western U.S. Firm president Randy Baugh aims to meet with city planners to talk about options for the property.

"It's a unique piece," said Baugh, adding that he has not decided how to develop it. "Retail there may or may not be the best use."

A board committee met with Baugh in closed session after the meeting to negotiate contract terms.

The healthcare board had set a $1.25 million minimum sale price. Board members would not release financial information on the offers that they received.

"Then everybody would know what was going on," said board member John Alexander, adding that the board has involved the public. "We've been talking about it for a year."

RHS will continue to seek the property if the healthcare board's negotiations fail with Development Consultants Inc., said Larry Lakes, the group's executive director.

"We'll certainly step in," Lakes said.

RHS had aimed to expand its offices and services — including independent living, adult literacy and emergency care programs — to the 9,000 square-foot building at the site.

City and county officials have long viewed the site for tourism uses, said board member Clarke Moore, noting the nearby bicycle path and Hampton Inn. The district sold its land to that hotel about five years ago.

The five-member board unanimously approved negotiations with Baugh. Healthcare board chairman Terry McNamara was absent. Moore recused himself from sale discussions and votes, citing state law that prevents him from participating when he owns property within 500 feet of the site.

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