Residents want real action taken on former Hannibal hospital - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Residents want real action taken on former Hannibal hospital

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Boards block the front door of the former St. Elizabeth Hospital in Hannibal. Boards block the front door of the former St. Elizabeth Hospital in Hannibal.
St. Elizabeth carved into the stone above an entrance. St. Elizabeth carved into the stone above an entrance.
Help written on one of the windows of the former St. Elizabeth Hospital. Help written on one of the windows of the former St. Elizabeth Hospital.
HANNIBAL, Mo. (WGEM) -

Hannibal residents are speaking out after learning about a new developer's plans for the old St. Elizabeth Hospital building, which has been a longtime eyesore.

Walking around the building, you'll find boards covering up windows and doors in an effort to keep residents out after a number of break-ins. Those living next to the former hospital say it's common to hear about renovations coming to the building.

"There's been a lot of talk back and forth for the last several years," Jason Nichols said. "So really it is a seeing is believing kind of situation."

The building has been vacant for a number of years. Lenny Clark, who lives right next to the building, questions if it can be saved.

"I've watched it for the last 20 years," Clark said. "People steal, break into it, take metal, gut it out."

Clark's biggest concern is the safety of kids who sneak into the building.

"I'm chasing them out almost everyday trying to keep them out of this building," Clark explained.

They building's new owners, Hill Tide Partners, want to turn the former hospital into senior housing. The city thinks they can get the work done.

"They're very serious about this," City Manager Jeff LaGarce said. "They're really diligent. They've taken a lot of time and studied the MHDC process very closely."

The MHDC is the Missouri Housing Development Commission. Hill Tide needs tax credits from the commission to afford renovations. To increase their chances, the owners need the property's zoning changed from commercial to residential.

"They didn't feel that a mixed use commercial and retail and living facility, apartment building, was the best use for the site," Managing Partner Bob Long said.

The zoning change is now in the city's hands. Nichols hopes something is done soon.

"It has steadily become an eyesore and drawn unwanted attention," Nichols explained.

Residents agreed the city should do whatever they can to help the new owners get the building renovated saying it would improve the look of the city and attract jobs.

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