I’ve written before on this blog about my hope for the future of a site that once housed an acute-care hospital known colloquially as “Saints.”
The former St. Anthony’s Hospital building has sat empty ever since the care facility merged with High Plains Baptist Hospital to become Baptist-St. Anthony’s Hospital on the far west side of Amarillo.
Well, according to what I see on KFDA NewsChannel 10’s website, the Saints complex is likely to get new life as a low-income housing center for elderly residents.
That, I submit, is a perfect repurposing of the 565,000-square-foot structure.
The building has been owned by a fellow who sought developers to purchase it from him. He doesn’t live in Amarillo, but has been paying the taxes on the structure since purchasing it after the two hospitals merged some years ago.
According to KFDA’s website: “If you live in Amarillo and if you’ve been around for a while you know that this community is in need. In need of a lot. More than that, it’s in need of hope, and this has been on the drawing board for so long that people have begun to give up hope. Well, it’s in motion now Amarillo, and we’re about to put it down,” said Jay Parker, director of media relations for the North Heights Advisory Association.
It’s not a done deal. There are some hoops through which the association must jump.
From KFDA: To make housing affordable, the St. Anthony’s board has to apply for a housing tax credit program that, if granted, would cut the cost of development which would offset the price of rent.
“The low income tax credit is vital to people being able to afford the program. The program is going to be called ‘The Commons at St. Anthony’s,’ so it’s going to be a low income, housing tax credit program for elderly’s for seniors,” said Parker.
The campus on Amarillo Boulevard and Polk Street has been an eyesore for too long already. I am pulling hard for the North Heights Association to make good on the promise of delivering low-income housing for elderly residents in need.