District wants at least $1.25 million for clinic site

December 21, 2006 11:00 pm

By Hilary Corrigan

Triplicate staff writer

The Del Norte Healthcare District aims to sell its more than 1-acre property on A Street for at least $1.25 million.

The healthcare board planned to meet this morning to set a deadline for offers.

The district announced its decision about two months ago to sell the commercially-zoned, ocean-side property that hosts a 9,000 square-foot health clinic. Under state law, the public body must give government agencies the first chance to buy it, but none made any offers by a Dec. 16 deadline.

The district has received no bids for the property near Hampton Inn. But three potential buyers have said that they plan to make offers, said Terry McNamara, chairman of the Del Norte Healthcare District board.

"We're gonna sell the property to the best offer," McNamara said, noting plans to advertise the sale in the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Open Door Del Norte Community Health Center operates the A Street clinic, offering medical, dental and other health services. It will move into the 28,000 square-foot Del Norte Community Wellness Center that the healthcare district is building on Northcrest Drive and plans to open in the spring.

That center will also host Area 1 Agency on Aging and the healthcare district's offices that now rent space in a Harding Avenue building.

The district also wants to revive plans with Del Norte County, College of the Redwoods and First 5 Del Norte to run a campus-style health center and boost services, McNamara said.

Money from the A Street clinic sale would help fund the wellness center's more than $6.5 million construction, as well as operation costs, said healthcare district executive officer Norma Reynolds. The money could also help the district buy the remaining 5 acres of an 11-acre parcel that hosts the new wellness center.

The A Street property lies in city limits, but the Crescent City Council has not discussed purchasing it, said Mayor Dennis Burns.

"You have to be able to afford it," Burns said. "It's a lot of money. We don't have any kind of reserve like that that we could plunk down."

He expects that condominiums or restaurants would fit near the Hampton Inn.

"That'd be nice," Burns said. "Obviously, it's prime property. It's right there on the beach."