Old hospital site nearly ready to go back on the market

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 19, 2004

Suffolk News-Herald

Environmental mediation work at the former site of Obici Hospital has been completed and officials hope to soon have the go ahead to find a buyer for it.

Obici Health System President and CEO William C. Giermak told the Suffolk Rotary Club Thursday that officials hope to receive a letter from the Department of Environmental Quality by the end of the month that will free up the property.

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In May, hospital officials informed DEQ that soil tests conducted at the 22-acre site at 1900 N. Main St., showed elevated levels of arsenic. The arsenic was apparently present in insulation that covered underground pipes, small amounts of which had seeped into the soil surrounding the pipes.

A DEQ official noted in May that the problem was not serious and likely would not have been found through a routine DEQ inspection.

Giermak stressed Thursday that it’s Obici’s intent to sell the property.

&uot;We are not developing it,&uot; he said. &uot;We are not in the development business.&uot;

The site was initially put on the market for $4.5 million. The owners of Beach and Barton Ford had a contract to purchase the site, but backed away from the deal for undisclosed reasons.

City officials have previously expressed a desire to see mixed-use development at the site and indicated an interest in it.