I am excited about downtown Amarillo’s downtown progress and the momentum that continues to build toward an eventual revival.
But I’m troubled by the lack of discussion about what to do about a particular piece of property: the old St. Anthony’s Hospital site on Polk Street and Amarillo Boulevard.
It’s been vacant for a long time. Its demise began when St. Anthony’s merged in the mid-1990s with High Plains Baptist Hospital to become Baptist-St. Anthony’s Hospital. Everyone packed up and moved to the BSA site at the medical center complex off Coulter Street.
What’s left now on the northern fringe of the downtown district is a weed-infested, deserted complex of buildings.
I spoke at length this morning with Mike Callahan, the new head of the Harrington Regional Medical Center, about a number of health-related topics. The discussion turned briefly to the Saints campus. He doesn’t know what will become of it. Callahan said a developer purchased the site “for a song.”
But with all the talk about various parcels in our near the downtown district, why hasn’t the old hospital complex been a topic of public discussion and debate?
It’s too big of a piece of real estate to just let rot.
Someone at City Hall, Center City or Downtown Amarillo Inc. — or at all three agencies — needs to get this conversation started.