Could a car lot go in hospital’s spot?

Published 12:00 am Saturday, June 28, 2003

The Daily Press reported Saturday that Obici hospital and Beach/Barton Ford have agreed to terms for the car dealer to purchase the soon-to-be vacant parcel of land on North Main Street where the former hospital building is being demolished.

While that’s no doubt good for the hospital and the car dealer, it’s disappointing to see another good piece of Suffolk’s waterfront that will be occupied by a large box-type store and more asphalt.

City officials apparently lobbied Obici to sell the property to someone who would create a mixed-use development with residential and small retailers. It was a good suggestion and one that would have been much more beneficial to the community than another car lot.

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Alas, business is business. At least the site will be put to productive use.

There’s been a lot of public speculation since the demolition of the old hospital was announced about what Amedeo Obici, Suffolk’s benefactor, would have wanted to become of the hospital building and land he left us in memory of his beloved wife. While it’s hardly likely that he would relish the idea of a car lot sitting atop the spot where his and his wife’s remains once rested, perhaps first and foremost, Obici was an astute businessman and as such would have understood and agreed with the hospital’s decision.

Obici’s vision and goal was to give the people of his beloved home access to quality healthcare. He would have wanted the hospital to accept the most lucrative offer.