43°F
weather icon Overcast

Developer to demolish old hospital, build homes

The old hospital building on Park Place inside the Boulder City historic district is expected to be demolished after a local developer put in a bid for the 83-year old property.

The building, which hasn’t served as a hospital since the 1970s, is covered in chipped white paint, littered with broken televisions and trash, and looks nothing like it did when it opened in 1932.

Christina Frausto of the town’s Historic Preservation Committee, said the hospital was one of the few buildings in town not built by the federal government. Six Cos. built the hospital in 1932 for Hoover Dam workers and their families, she said.

Once escrow closes on the property, which is expected on Aug. 1, Boulder City resident and Planning Commission member Randy Schams will begin developing homes on the lot. Schams put in a proposal to demolish the current buildings at 701 Park Place and 700 Arizona St. during the committee’s June 24 meeting.

“It has always been in private hands. It’s never been part of a Boulder City government or the federal government,” Frausto said.

After owning the property for more than 20 years, Six Cos. sold it in 1954 to Boulder City Hospital Inc., a nonprofit, according to Frausto. Boulder City Hospital Inc. maintained the land until 1977 when Sisters of Charity, another nonprofit, took it over and used it as a retreat.

Frausto said the property hit the market in the early 2000s, and I Am Free Inc., a religious organization, took it over in 2012. I Am Free tried to establish a church inside the building, but its request was denied, city records show.

I Am Free later defaulted on the property, and the building that once served as the city’s first hospital quickly became a hangout for vagrants and squatters. Vandalism also became a problem, and the city was forced to board up the doors and windows to prevent any further damage. LGS Holdings eventually acquired the building in 2014 before selling it to Schams.

Schams said he plans to follow city regulations for demolishing the property and redeveloping the land. He wants to incorporate historical facets into the new development, but he’s focused on closing escrow first.

“When things are built in the ’30s and ’40s, and with the current materials we have today, it’s not easy,” he said. “But we’ll do the best we can.”

Community Development Director Brok Armantrout said the city’s 1930 master plan map shows the old hospital’s location as the site for a hotel. The view atop the berm where the hospital sits has a prestigious view of Lake Mead.

“It’s pretty much demolished on the inside, but I’ve always looked at it and thought it would be a great little site,” Schams said.

Although the neighborhood is historically designated, Frausto said it doesn’t prevent an owner from razing a house or building. She said when the Historic Preservation Committee was formed, residents were afraid that the city would impose restrictions on how they could decorate their homes’ exteriors.

“The residents were very paranoid that the city would tell them what they could and couldn’t do. It’s designated, but you can still do whatever you want,” she said.

Boulder City’s historic district was nominated to join the National Register of Historic Places in 1983.

Armantrout said the property’s demolition and redevelopment will go before the planning commission before being discussed at a future City Council meeting, at where the public can voice its opinion.

Contact reporter Steven Slivka at sslivka@bouldercityreview.com or 702-586-9401. Follow him on Twitter @StevenSlivka.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Study: Solar panels improve desert life

The solar panels in the Eldorado Valley outside of Boulder City could help desert plants and wildlife because of how they direct rainwater into the ground, according to researchers with Las Vegas’ Desert Research Institute.

Vaccine clinics scheduled

Some Boulder City residents will be able to receive the COVID-19 vaccine for free locally, starting Monday, Jan. 25.

Vece joins race for council seat

With five days remaining until the filing period for those wishing to run for a seat on the City Council officially opens, the pool of candidates continues to grow.

Planning begins for students to return to campuses

Local leaders are unsure how they will implement new guidance from the school district about reopening campuses to students and teachers.

Vaccine questions answered

Boulder City Hospital adheres to federal, state and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s guidelines for the distribution and administration of the COVID-19 vaccine. Due to the limited quantity available of the newly developed vaccine, a tiered system has been implemented and identifies vulnerable populations to be immunized.

Salary range, guidelines set for new city attorney, manager

The search for the next city manager and city attorney is a little more defined as City Council recently approved the salary range and compensation package for each position.

Purpose of proposed ballot question contested

City Council is divided on whether safety or growth is the purpose of a proposed ballot question about airport capital improvement projects and have yet to decide about moving forward with it.

Three announce plans to seek council seat

Candidate filing for Boulder City’s 2021 municipal election starts in less than two weeks and three residents have already announced their intention to run for city office.

Temporary staff check for COVID compliance

Boulder City is using temporary part-time code enforcement officers to help ensure that local businesses are complying with current health and safety guidelines for the pandemic.

Two council seats up for election

The 2021 municipal election will see residents voting to fill two seats on City Council as well as offer guidance on some community issues.